OSHA Semiannual Regulatory Agenda Items

OSHA Semiannual Regulatory Agenda Items

OSHA recently released its semiannual regulatory agenda items and some of them could directly affect compliance in healthcare facilities. Most of the healthcare-related items are still in the pre-rule stage meaning that approval, promulgation, and enforcement are at least a year, or years even, away. One agenda item, however, changes in the Hazard Communication standard concerning material safety data sheets, is scheduled for implementation in 2011.

Here is a status report on agenda items of interest to healthcare:

(1) Infectious Disease: OSHA's work on this potential standard is still in the pre-rule stage. The agency expects to finish the information gathering and analysis phases on public comments by the end of December.

(2) Bloodborne Pathogens Standard: This is a routine reevaluation of the standard under the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

(3) Hazard Communication Standard: Adopting the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) into the standard is in the final rule phase. Among other changes, the rule would require a standardization of material safety data sheets and warning labels.