We are still learning about the novel coronavirus; however, there is some evidence indicating that a person may be infectious before symptoms. As a result, the US DHS has imposed strict restrictions on travelers returning from China and discouraged travel to the Country. These developments require employers to continue to adapt, but are manageable if thoughtfully handled.
OSHA announced today that registration is open for an upcoming open informal public meeting to discuss proposals in preparation for the 38th session of the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (UNSCEGHS).
OSHA just finalized the proposed rule on occupational exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds in construction and shipyards by declining to adopt the previously proposed revocation of the ancillary provisions in the construction and shipyards standards. See 29 C.F.R. §§ 1915.1024, 1926.1124. Thus, the agency is delaying the compliance deadlines for nearly all provisions of the standards to September 30, 2020. Occupational Exposure to Beryllium and Beryllium Compounds in Construction and Shipyard Sectors, 84 Fed. Reg. 51377 (Sept. 30, 2019) (to be codified at 29 C.F.R. pts. 1915, 1926).
Registration is open for an upcoming OSHA meeting on the benefits of using leading indicators in addition to lagging indicators for the tracking of workplace injuries. The agency notes that while many employers track their injury or illness rates using lagging indicators, such information does not reveal hazards until after an injury or illness occurs. Instead, OSHA wants to discuss whether employers should also consider using leading indicators, which it describes as including proactive, preventive, and predictive measures.
A federal judge recently dismissed a lawsuit alleging that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration wrongfully delayed the compliance deadline for its own recordkeeping reporting regulation. The court said that the agency properly rolled back an Obama-era rule that would have require it to collect detailed electronic workplace injury and illness information from employers across the country. Several other challenges still exist, however, so employers aren’t completely out of the woods – but this decision is a welcome development.