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OSHA REGULATIONS - A Shorter Leash for OSHA & Other Federal Agencies

Posted By WSRCA, Wednesday, October 11, 2017


The President Has Signed an Executive Order Demanding OSHA Update Its Policies

by: Marc Dodson, Editor: Western Roofing Magazine - Sept/Oct 2017


I realize that most roofing contractors would choose having a Brazilian waxing administered by a blind, sadistic nun rather than being bestowed the honor of a visit from OSHA. Well, that favorite political department, along with several other agencies, is being put on a shorter leash. It's no secret that when a new administration takes over the White House, they push their own political views and agendas, and adjust federal agency policies accordingly. OSHA, it seems, is always at the forefront and one of the first agencies to be put in the crosshairs. Right now that's good news for roofing contractors.

According to the Department of Labor's Updated Agenda from July, the Trump administration has signed an executive order demanding OSHA update its policies. They state that by amending and eliminating regulations that are ineffective, duplicative, and obsolete, the administration can promote economic growth and innovation and protect individual liberty. Executive Orders 13771 and 13777 require agencies, including OSHA, to reduce unnecessary regulatory burden and to enforce regulatory reform initiatives. As a step in the right direction, the first five months of this administration produced quantifiable annualized cost savings estimated at $22 million, compared to $6.8 billion in annualized costs due to rules finalized during the last five months of fiscal year 2016. 

The Department of Labor went on to state that the agenda represents ongoing progress toward the goals of more effective and less burdensome regulations that include the following developements: agencies withdrew 469 actions proposed in the Fall 2016 agenda; agencies reconsidered 391 active actions by reclassifying them as long term, 282, and inactive, 109, allowing for further careful review; and economically significant regulations fell to 58, or about 50% less than Fall 2016. For the first time, agencies will post and make public their list of inactive rules, providing notice to the public of regulations still being reviewed or considered.

An additional executive order signed by President Trump in January requires that federal agencies cut two regulations for every new one that is proposed. This is one order that should be applauded by every United States business owner who has ever felt buried by government regulations. President Trump also struck down the Volks rule, a regulation that allowed OSHA to issue citations for inadequate injury and illness recordkeeping for 5 1/2 years. This will revert the recordkeeping rule to the six-month statute of limitations. 


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