The Top 5 upcoming OHS regulatory events you need to know about: #1

It can be hard for businesses to determine which regulatory events will directly affect how they do business. That’s why I’ve put together a list of the Top 5 OHS regulatory events on the immediate horizon business leaders as well as OHS managers and staff need to know about.

Yesterday we talked about the revised hazard communication standard. Here’s the next issue in the Top 5:

1. The Injury and Illness Prevention Program:

OSHA chair Dr. David Michaels indicated in an online chat earlier this year that OSHA’s top priority for 2011 is publishing and enforcing a new, nationwide Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2).

The scope of the planned regulation is sweeping: it will likely affect every employer in every industry, coast-to-coast. Michaels himself has called it the most significant change in workplace safety culture since OSHA’s inception 40 years ago.

OSHA is expected to model the program on California’s own successful, 20-year-old IIPP program.

So, the question is, when will it take effect? Well, the short answer is, we don’t know. Since OSHA has yet to even specify a date for a proposed rulemaking, it could be a ways off.

That said, OSHA has stated it wants to publish the rule by the year’s end. While few details are known on how the standard will take shape, one hint was provided in an OSHA web chat on Monday: OSHA has taken the fact many businesses across all industries have already implemented safety management systems (e.g. guided by frameworks like OHSAS 18001) into consideration and suggested I2P2 could be aligned with existing SMS conventions.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to write me or comment if you have any questions. Next week we’ll be looking at what changes related to the Food Safety Modernization Act will mean to you.

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