Notable issues in OSHA’s 2012 regulatory agenda include:

Backing Mobile Equipment

Possibly the main issue to watch would be an OSHA inquiry that eventually could lead to new requirements for limitations of exposure to equipment backing (e.g., traffic direction requirements, prohibitions against backing, and prohibiting or limiting traffic in areas of operation, particularly foot traffic). Also significant would be mandates related to devices that alert persons against backing equipment hazards.

Devices may fall into one of two principal categories: 1) those that warn persons in the vicinity that equipment is backing (back up alarms, warning lights issues have to do with the distance, audibility, visibility, coverage, other distractions and selective operation); and 2) those that detect persons in the danger zone (such as cameras, mirrors, proximity detectors and spotters).

Head Protection

  • OSHA is updating the personal protective equipment (PPE) standard for head protection for general construction and maritime industries to conform to current ANSI Z89.1.

Walking Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems

  • OSHA is updating protections against slips, trips and falls on walking/working surfaces to conform to national industry consensus standards. A final rule is expected in October.

Electrical Transmission & Distribution

  • Revised Electric Transmission and Distribution rules 1926.950 and 1910.269 are in final stages and pending Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review.

Cranes & Derricks – Digger Exemption

  • OSHA will publish a direct final rule exempting digger derricks from the new Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard.
  • With a direct final rule where opposition is not expected, OSHA skips the proposed rule step, but public comments are accepted prior to the rule’s effective date.
  • If there are adverse comments, the direct final rule would likely be withdrawn and regular rulemaking would be initiated.

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