The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its latest regulatory agenda on Dec. 21.
The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires federal agencies to publish lists of pending regulatory actions twice a year – spring and fall. However, the White House never released the spring 2012 agenda and did not release the fall agenda until late last year. These actions have prompted some lawmakers, including Sen. Portman (R-Ohio) and Rep. Issa (R-Calif.), to question the White House’s failure to meet its transparency obligations.
The OSHA regulatory agenda, as well as those of other federal agencies, can be viewed at www.reginfo.gov under “Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan.”
In its fall 2011 agenda, the agency had shifted combustible dust to its roster of “long-term actions,” meaning the next action/timeline on the rules were undetermined. However, in its latest agenda, OSHA has placed rulemakings on combustible dust back on the active list of regulatory goals and targets an Oct. 2013 date to initiate a small business review panel.
OSHA has not, however, brought back rulemakings for musculoskeletal disorder recordkeeping from the long-term actions list.
The posted timeline for rules on the injury and illness protection program (I2P2) is obscure. A small business review panel on I2P2 was to have been initiated on Jan. 6, 2012, with the panel set to complete its work in Jan. 2013. A notice of proposed rulemaking is scheduled for Dec. 2013, but OSHA has not yet begun the small business review. The agenda also targeted final action in May for updating occupational injury and illness recording and reporting.
Although the timelines laid out in the Unified Agenda often are delayed, the list does provide the public some insight into what priorities a federal agency has set for itself.