In case you haven’t heard, OSHA has been rather quietly avoiding implementing a rule that the agency’s top brass has said would help prevent worker injuries and illnesses on the job.
OSHA’s proposed Injury and Illness Prevention Program, known as (I2P2) for short, has been in the planning stages since way back in 2010, when Dr. David Michaels, the Assistant Secretary of Labor, made worker safety his top priority to get a written rule on the books by 2011. The rule would, among other things, require employers to implement a to develop and implement an injury and illness prevention program, including a systematic process to proactively and continuously address workplace safety and health hazards.
In addition, OSHA is reportedly pushing for regulatory action to address the risk to workers exposed to infectious diseases in healthcare and other related high-risk environments. This would look at all routes of infection not currently covered by the bloodborne pathogen standard.
It’s now 2014, and the latest information is that OSHA is looking to publish a rule by September. It’s August, and we haven’t heard much. My guess is that it will get delayed again.
I think there’s a reason for that. It’s getting towards election time, and a rule of this caliber would place lots of pressures on healthcare employers, who would be required to comply with yet another, very vague OSHA standard. It would place large financial and time burdens on them, and reportedly people are worried that it would just add another “General Duty Clause” for inspectors to have free reign over what they perceive as infractions of the rule.
I’d like to know your opinions on this. Is it a good thing? Should this standard be adopted? Is OSHA playing games here?
As always, feel free to drop me a line with your opinions at firstname.lastname@example.org.