July 2021 OSHA Quicktakes

OSHA issues a notice of informal hearing to discuss updates to the agency's Hazard Communication Standard

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a notice of informal hearing on the agency’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS).

The hearing will begin Sept. 21, 2021, at 10 a.m., EDT, and will be held virtually using WebEx. If necessary, the hearing will continue from 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. EDT on subsequent days. Additional information on how to access the informal hearing will be posted on OSHA’s Proposed Rulemaking to Amend the Hazard Communication Standard webpage.

Individuals interested in participating in the hearing must submit a notice of intent to appear at the hearing, along with any submissions and attachments, identified by Docket No. OSHA-2019-0001, electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Submissions and requests to appear must be received by June 18, 2021. Read the Federal Register notice for additional details.

US Department of Labor announces OSHA rule proposal to clarify handrail, stair rail system requirements in general industry Walking-Working Surfaces standard

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is proposing updates in the handrail and stair rail system requirements for its general industry, the Walking-Working Surfaces standard.

OSHA published a final rule on walking-working surfaces and personal protective equipment in November 2016 that updated requirements for slip, trip, and fall hazards. The agency has received numerous questions asking when handrails are required, and about the height requirements for handrails on stairs and stair rail systems.

This proposed rule does not reopen for discussion of any of the regulatory decisions made in the 2016 rulemaking. It focuses solely on clarifying some of the requirements for handrails and stair rail systems finalized in 2016, and on providing flexibility in the transition to OSHA’s newer requirements.

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OSHA's strategic partnership with Holder Construction, Georgia Tech results in improved workplace safety conditions and increased involvement from workers with their safety

Since 1998, the U.S. Department of Labor has maintained the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Strategic Partnership Program. More than 850 partnerships have been formed to date, covering more than 31,300 employers and 2.5 million workers nationwide – with the goal of improving safety during large construction projects.

Add to the list the 36-month partnership between OSHA, Holder Construction Co. and Georgia Tech Consultative Services for construction of the State Farm Hub in Dunwoody.

With hundreds of workers and more than 3.7 million work hours dedicated to the multi-phase project, the partnership sought to prevent injuries and illnesses. OSHA, Holder, and Georgia Tech representatives worked cooperatively and collectively in providing a safety and health program and supportive resources for workers constructing three towers comprising 1.7 million square feet.

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Emergency Temporary Standard

OSHA has issued an emergency temporary standard that requires employers to help protect healthcare workers in settings where suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients are treated.


OSHA Newsletter

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COVID-19 Guidance for Workplaces

This guidance is intended to help employers and workers not covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to identify COVID-19 exposure risks to workers who are unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk, and to help them take appropriate steps to prevent exposure and infection. See Text Box: Who Are At-Risk Workers?

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