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Occupational Safety & Health Law

The rule requires that employers limit workers' exposure to respirable crystalline silica dust, which can become airborne during tasks such as cutting, grinding, drilling, or crushing materials containing crystalline silica such as brick, concrete, stone or mortar. Workers can also be exposed to respirable crystalline silica during operations that involve the use of industrial sand and abrasive blasting with sand. Typical methods to reduce or eliminate dust in the air include wetting down the operation or using local exhaust ventilation. In addition to requirements to limit workers' exposure, the rule requires employers to take other steps to protect workers, such as providing training to workers exposed to respirable crystalline silica and offering medical exams to highly exposed workers.

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Employers covered by the construction standard have complied with most requirements of the standard by September 23, 2017 (delayed from June 23, 2017). Employers covered by the general industry and maritime standard must have complied with most requirements of the standard by June 23, 2018.

Final Rule to Update General Industry Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection Standards / Effective Jan. 17, 2017

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The rule updates the general industry standards related to hazards from slips, trips and falls, and falls from heights. Among other features, it provides greater flexibility in choosing a fall-protection system, brings general industry scaffold requirements in line with those for construction, adds protections for fixed ladders taller than 24 feet, requires regular inspection of walking-working surfaces, and requires training for employees who use personal fall protection equipment.

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The rule took effect in January 2017, but has several delayed compliance dates for certain requirements on fixed ladders and building anchorages used with rope descent systems. As of May 17, 2017, employers are required to provide training on fall hazards for certain employees. For upcoming compliance deadlines on fixed ladder fall protection, inspections of equipment and anchorages, and more, see the timeline.

Final Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses / Effective Jan. 1, 2017

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The rule requires certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data that they are already required to record on their onsite OSHA Injury and Illness forms. Analysis of this data will enable OSHA to use its enforcement and compliance assistance resources more efficiently.

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March 2, 2020, is the deadline for electronically reporting your OSHA Form 300A data for calendar year 2019. Collection will begin January 2, 2020. OSHA published a Final Rule to amend its recordkeeping regulation to remove the requirement to electronically submit to OSHA information from the OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report) for establishments with 250 or more employees that are required to routinely keep injury and illness records. Covered establishments are only required to electronically submit information from the OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses). The requirement to keep and maintain OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301 for five years is not changed by this Final Rule.

Remember, not all establishments are covered by this requirement.

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