Just weeks after announcing that it would be initiating the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) process for its IIPP rule, the Agency recently announced that there would be an additional delay in starting the process.  IIPP has the potential to be the most significant OSHA rulemaking in over a decade, potentially requiring all employers to implement a safety and health program at their worksites.  The Agency cited delays in preparation of the SBREFA package for the hold-up in starting the process.  OSHA gave no indication in its notification of when the process will be initiated, so stakeholders should "stay tuned" and monitor OSHA’s website for developments.

While IIPP is delayed, OSHA’s final rule updating its Hazard Communication standard to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Hazard Communication may be on the verge of publication.  The final rule was just recently cleared by the Office of Management and Budget, the final regulatory step before publication in the Federal Register.  OSHA could publish the final rule within the next month.

The rule could affect over 5 million business establishments across the country and potentially over 120 million employees. Over 40 million employees may need to be re-trained. In the proposed rule, OSHA estimated the annualized compliance costs will be almost $100 million for employers. Annualized benefits were estimated to be approximately $850 million.  Attached is a Special Report on the proposed rule that summarizes its key provisions.  While the final rule will differ from the proposed rule, the Special Report provides background information on the Agency’s approach to the rulemaking generally.

We will continue to keep stakeholders apprised of developments with these rulemakings.