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OSHA to Publish Final Rule Dealing with State Plan Programs

OSHA to publish a Direct Final Rule (Streamlining of Provisions on State Plans for Occupational Safety and Health) in tomorrow's federal register which addresses some management issues at OSHA state plan programs. I didn't notice anything in the rule that would have a material impact on external (covered) stakeholders. For example, State Plans will be expected to develop and implement their I2P2 (safety programs) for their respective agencies. It also gets into some internal processes for handling variances (states must align with Federal OSHA) as well as not deviating in any meaningful manner from the Federal Recordkeeping/Reporting requirements. Again, this will have impact on the state plan programs, not so much on the covered employers.

The rule becomes effective in 60 days (on or about October 18, 2015).

SUMMARY: This [final rule] document primarily amends OSHA regulations to remove the detailed descriptions of State plan coverage, purely historical data, and other unnecessarily codified information. In addition, this document moves most of the general provisions of subpart A of part 1952 into part 1902, where the general regulations on State plan criteria are found. It also amends several other OSHA regulations to delete references to part 1952, which will no longer apply.

The purpose of these revisions is to eliminate the unnecessary codification of material in the Code of Federal Regulations and thus save the time and funds currently expended in publicizing State plan revisions. The streamlining of OSHA State plan regulations does not change the areas of coverage or any other substantive components of any State plan. It also does not affect the rights and responsibilities of the State plans, or any employers or employees, except to eliminate the burden on State plan designees to keep paper copies of approved State plans and plan supplements in an office, and to submit multiple copies of proposed State plan documents to OSHA.

This document also contains a request for comments for an Information Collection Request (ICR) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), which covers all collection of information requirements in OSHA State plan regulations.

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