On May 23, 2014 the full semiannual regulatory agenda for federal agencies was published.  This regulatory agenda provides a complete list of all regulatory actions that are under active consideration for promulgation, proposal, or review and covers regulatory actions for over 60 federal departments, agencies, and commissions.

The regulatory agenda for the Department of Labor includes a total of twenty six regulatory entries for OSHA-specific actions. Nine of these regulatory actions are in the prerule stage, seven are in the proposed rule stage and ten of these specific actions are in the final rule stage.

Three of the biggest changes to OSHA’s regulatory agenda since November 2013 include shifting the combustible dust rulemaking from a proposed rule to a prerule stage, removing the agency’s goal of issuing a notice of proposed rule for an Injury and Illness Prevention Program rule (I2P2) in September 2014 and adding a proposal for a rule on communication towers.

According to the regulatory agenda, OSHA alleges that “[i]n 2013, the industry experienced a dramatic increase in the number of fatalities occurring during communication tower work, with 13 total fatalities.”  Therefore, OSHA claims that the current general industry and construction standards regulating communication towers do not adequately protect employees. OSHA intends to publish a request for information in June 2014.

Surprisingly, the agency removed I2P2 from an active agency action to a long-term action and removed the September 2014 date for publication of a proposed rule.  Instead, OSHA left the date for publication open and “to be determined.”  This move seems inconsistent with repeated statements from OSHA’s Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels that I2P2 is the agency’s highest or number one priority.

Additional regulatory actions under consideration by OSHA include:

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The full federal Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan can be found online at:

http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaMain