2013 US federal regulatory agendas announced

Feb 28, 2013

In late December, U.S. federal agencies were required to release their regulatory agendas for the coming year. Those businesses concerned with compliance now have better insight into which issues the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be looking into in 2013 to adjust their procedures accordingly and prepare for the future.

Change in equipment standards

One major change that was announced pertains to the personal protective equipment (PPE) workers are required to wear when working near electrical hazards. According to its regulatory intentions, OSHA has developed a new standard aimed at keeping workers safe on the job and reducing the number of electrical accidents each year. The final regulations are expected to be in place by March 2013.

Chemical manufacturers may see new regulations

Those in the chemical and food manufacturing industries may also see big changes in 2013. OSHA has announced it will be prioritizing the issue of worker exposure to diacetyl and diacetyl substitutes, chemicals used in food flavorings. Some data has shown exposure to diacetyl and diacetyl substitutes can cause lung problems such as bronchiolitis obliterans, according to the regulatory agenda. In the years to come, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is expected to develop a set of criteria regarding diacetyl exposure, and regulatory agencies will continue to determine the appropriate steps to protect workers.

These regulatory changes and the examinations of certain chemicals have the potential to greatly change multiple industries and alter how companies train workers to protect themselves on the job. Businesses should stay up to date on the latest changes and stay abreast of any impending new rules to be certain they are compliant.

Similarly, firms working with contractors or suppliers should utilize proper supplier qualification strategies and perform a screening process before working with a new partner. This can help a hiring company protect itself from noncompliant businesses and the fines or citations that could be incurred from working with such operators.

To fully protect against risk, a hiring businesses may find it useful to provide its contractors and suppliers with consistent compliance and safety training. This will allow them to be certain new regulations are taken into consideration and a firm continues to abide by all industry guidelines.

Category: risk management