OSHA’s long-awaited “Spring 2022 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions” has been posted online by the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Three “major” final rules are slated for 2022 on COVID-19, electronic submissions, and hazard communication. In fact, the Electronic Submissions (or Improve Tracking) final rule appears to be moving “fast” through the pipeline with its December final rule date.
Note that OSHA is just beginning to review comments from the Heat Illness Prevention pre-rule, so that rulemaking is far from being proposed or finalized. Most rulemakings on the agenda are at the proposed, pre-rule, or long-term stage, but when they come up in the Federal Register, stakeholders will have a chance to shape the final rulemaking with their comments.
OSHA did not remove any rulemakings from its to-do list in this agenda, and no rulemakings on the agenda appear to be anything new.
The agency expects six final rules in the coming months:
- June 2022 — Procedures for the Handling of Retaliation Complaints under the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act
- July 2022 — Procedures for the Handling of Retaliation Complaints Under the Anti-Money Laundering Act
- September 2022 — Subpart U — Emergency Temporary Standard — COVID-19
- November 2022 — Procedures for Handling of Retaliation Complaints Under the Whistleblower Protection Statutes
- December 2022 — Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses; Update to the Hazard Communication Standard
Note that in August 2022 OSHA intends to analyze comments for its interim final rule on Procedures for the Handling of Retaliation Complaints Under the Taxpayer First Act.
Most rules on the agenda are at the proposed rule stage. The major proposals line up as follows:
- June 2022 — Massachusetts State and Local Government Only State Plan — Initial State Plan Approval
- September 2022 — Personal Protective Equipment in Construction
- October 2022 re-open rulemaking record — Walking Working Surfaces
- December 2022 — Shipyard Fall Protection — Scaffolds, Ladders and Other Working Surfaces; Tree Care Standard
- January 2023— Amendments to the Cranes and Derricks in Construction Standard
- February 2023— Welding in Constructions Confined Spaces
- March 2023— Communication Tower Safety; Lockout/Tagout Update
- May 2023— Infectious Diseases; Emergency Response; Occupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica: Revisions to Medical Surveillance Provisions for Medical Removal Protection
Note that in July 2022 OSHA intends to analyze comments on its proposed rules on Powered Industrial Trucks Design Standard Update and Arizona State Plan for Occupational Safety and Health.
OSHA anticipates the following action items at the pre-rule stage:
- June 2022 — Blood Lead Level for Medical Removal
- July 2022 meeting— Process Safety Management and Prevention of Major Chemical Accidents
- September 2022 small business panel — Prevention of Workplace Violence in Health Care and Social Assistance
Note that in June 2022 OSHA intends to analyze comments on the pre-rules on Mechanical Power Presses Update and Heat Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings.
Lastly, the agency has four items with long-term dates that are to be determined:
- Powered Industrial Trucks Proposal
- Occupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica; Revisions to Table 1 in the Standard for Construction Proposal
- COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard Rulemaking
- Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements — Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) Column
OSHA explains that it did not withdraw the ETS from the rulemaking lineup to the extent that it serves as a proposed rule while OSHA continues to evaluate comments and the Supreme Court’s decision.