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DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Angelique Sanders

Weekly safety news. Stay in touch with regulations from OSHA, NFPA, and other safety codes. Find out about other companies' best and worst practices. We scour the internet to provide you with helpful training resources and the latest safety information.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Department of Labor Announces Updated Regulations

The Department of Labor announced yesterday four rules designed to reduce unnecessary burdens on employers by updating or rescinding obsolete regulations and requirements.

A change from OSHA updates and streamlines the standards for the use of mechanical power presses. And three rules from the Employment and Training Administration rescind outdated Foreign Labor Certification regulations for the H-2A, F-1 and H-1A programs.

The OSHA rule change, along with a companion notice of proposed rulemaking, revises the requirements of OSHA's standard for mechanical power presses, which punch, form or assemble metal or other materials. If parts of a press are worn, damaged or not operating properly, machine operators can be exposed to hand, finger or arm injuries-often resulting in amputation. The new OSHA rule will eliminate a requirement to document mandatory weekly inspections of these presses. It also clarifies the responsibility of employers to perform and document any maintenance or repairs necessary to protect the safety of workers who operate them.

OSHA estimates that eliminating the weekly inspection and test certifications will reduce 613,600 hours of unnecessary paperwork.

The final rule will be effective Feb.18, 2014, unless OSHA receives a significant adverse comment by Dec. 20, 2013. If the agency receives a significant adverse comment, the accompanying notice of proposed rulemaking will allow the agency to continue the notice-and-comment component of the rulemaking by withdrawing the direct final rule. Individuals may submit comments electronically at www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Submissions may also be sent via facsimile or mail.

Another change will align the existing standard's maintenance and repair provisions with those of the ANSI standard for safety requirements for mechanical power presses. This standard would explicitly state that maintenance and repair must be completed before the mechanical power press is operated and, in keeping with the ANSI standard, employers would certify maintenance and repair for the entire machine rather than for certain parts of the power press. For more information see Federal Register notice at:

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/11/20/2013-27695/record-requirements-in-the-mechanical-power-presses-standard for more details.

The Office of Foreign Labor Certification within the Employment and Training Administration announced three additional final rules today rescinding obsolete regulations.
  1. The Direct Final Rule for the ETA Labor Certification Process for Logging Employment and Non-H-2A Agricultural Employment. This final rule rescinds the regulations found at 20 CFR 655 Subpart C, which established regulations for employers in the logging industry. Employers seeking to temporarily employ foreign workers in logging operations are now governed by the regulations in Subpart B applicable to H-2A agricultural work and the Subpart C has no force and effect. See Federal Register notice at:

    https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/11/20/2013-27693/labor-certification-process-for-logging-employment-and-non-h-2a-agricultural-employmen

  2. The Direct Final Rule for the ETA Attestation Process for Employers Using F-1 Students in Off-Campus Work. This final rule rescinds the regulations found at 20 CFR 655 subparts J and K, which provided rules governing employers seeking to hire F-1 foreign students as part-time workers off-campus. These subparts became obsolete after the authorizing statute and its two-year extension expired in 1996. Accordingly, the Department of Labor is taking this action to remove regulations that no longer have force and effect. See Federal Register notice at:

    https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/11/20/2013-27685/attestation-process-for-employers-using-f-1-students-in-off-campus-work

  3. The Direct Final Rule for the ETA Removal of Attestation Process for Facilities Using H-1A Registered Nurses Subparts D and E Regulations. This final rule rescinds the regulations found at 20 CFR 655 Subparts D and E, which provided rules governing health care facilities using nonimmigrant foreign workers as registered nurses under the H-1A visa program. These subparts became obsolete after the authorizing statute and all extensions expired fully on Aug. 31, 2001.Accordingly, the department is taking this action to remove regulations that no longer have force and effect. See Federal Register notice at:

    https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/11/20/2013-27683/removal-of-attestation-process-for-facilities-using-h-1a-registered-nurses

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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