Leaders in workplace safety predicted last year that in 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would move to change or update a number of its regulatory policies. President Obama's re-election ensured that the agency would continue to have a mandate to implement additional workplace safety policies.
As such, there are a number of initiatives that managers and business owners who fall under OSHA's authority should be on the lookout for. One of the most ubiquitous, which could apply to a huge range of industries, is a potential revamping of the Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) requirements.
The agency plans to revisit and potentially expand the regulations in the existing doctrine for these programs, and may introduce mandatory reporting and new rules for IIPPs.
However, OSHA faces several challenges in meeting this goal, as a recent article in Construction Executive, an industry news publication, pointed out. In particular, the body must create "requirements that can be applied to employers of all sizes and in all industries." In addition, this effort has been in the planning stages for nearly three years, demonstrating the difficulty OSHA has had establishing a unified front on the issue.
Given the extremely diverse nature of the businesses that would need to develop these programs, these regulations may not be released or decided upon until the end of the year. However, as a manager or business owner, it's always wise to implement an IIPP, as well as equip your workers with all of the personal protective equipment they need, like disposable respirators and first aid kits, to keep them safe and healthy on the job.
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