2017 is shaping up to be a big year for changes from OSHA (as almost every year seems to be). There are already a number of key changes being rolled out, and being aware of the these changes and their effective dates is very important. The following are some of the most important dates from OSHA so far in 2017.
January 1st – Anti-Retaliation Law
As of January 1st, 2017, several new laws are taking effect. The main new law is the anti-retaliation rule, which provides important protections to employees who report employers (or others) that are violating rules and regulations. Contained within the anti-retaliation rule are a number of other rules that are being updated or implemented.
The updated whistleblower laws, for example, began this date. In addition, the new drug screening mandates took effect on the first of the year. And finally, all the new electronic record keeping rules began to be required as of the first of January.
January 17th – Walking-Working Surfaces
This rule applies to general industry only. This is just the first step in a series of laws that will be rolled out over the next several years, all designed to improve safety in areas where people are walking and working.
February 1st – April 30t – Post Hard Copy of OSHA 300A Log
Companies must post a hard copy of their OSHA 300A log in their facility at some point between February first and April 30th. This posting must be done in a ‘conspicuous’ place. Many companies choose a breakroom, entrance area, or any other commonly occupied location within the facility.
March 10th – Beryllium Testing
The permitted amount of the element Beryllium in the air of a facility is being reduced by 10x’s! This is a rule change that has been a long time in coming, but it is finally going into effect. Most facilities have likely already been in compliance with this rule, but any air quality tests being done must be submitted by March 10th to establish a baseline level.
June 17th – Fall & Equipment Hazard Training
All general industry facilities must provide their employees with fall and equipment hazards training. This training must be done by June 17th. Any employee who works in the facility needs to have it done, so the sooner this training is offered, the better.
June 23rd – Silica Exposure
The amount of exposure to silica is being decreased by five fold. Any changes to ensure employee exposure is below this new standard must be made prior to June 23rd, or the facility can be cited with an infraction. This law applies only to the construction industry at this time (other industries will have this law apply next year).
July 1st – Electronic Submission of OSHA 300A Logs
As of July 1st, 2017, all OSHA 300A logs must be submitted electronically. This rule applies to all employers that have more than 20 employees.
November 10th – Crane Standards
Finally, November 10th is the date by which OSHA must determine whether or not crane standards will be updated. This standard is looking at qualified vs. certified operators. If OSHA does decide these standards will be updated, a new date will be identified by which the standards take effect.
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