A number of regulatory proposals and rulemakings were either issued or became effective during the last several months of the Clinton Administration. However, the new Administration issued a “Regulatory Review Plan” putting some of these on hold. Here's a summary:
Cargo securement. FMCSA proposal would tighten rules, including specific load ratings for anchor points depending on type of cargo being secured; changes to tie-down capacity; and new friction co-efficients for trailer decks and skids.
Emissions. The Bush Administration is currently re-evaluating new low-sulfur diesel and cleaner-engine regulations.
Ergonomics. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) new ergonomics rule, which went into effect January 16, 2001 (see FO, 1/01), is also currently under re-evaluation.
Hazardous waste manifests. EPA is proposing changes to the Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest system to allow waste handlers the option of using electronic manifests instead of paper to track waste shipments. Under the proposal, the electronic manifest would use a digital signature to ensure that the appropriate persons have “signed” the manifest. A digitizer pad and stylus, similar to those used by package-delivery companies, will create a graphic image of the authorized person's signature for storage. The new manifest system will also simplify and streamline the necessary forms. For more information, check EPA's web site: www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/gener/manifest/index.htm .
Workplace injuries. Starting next January, employers will not have to immediately report fatalities from motor vehicle crashes on public streets to OSHA, unless they occurred in a highway construction zone. Incidents will still have to be included on accident logs, according to revised recordkeeping rules designed to simplify the system used to track and record workplace injuries. As usual, companies with 10 or fewer employees are exempt from most requirements. Other highlights:
Form 300, Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses; Form 301, Injury and Illness Incident Report; and Form 300A, Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses are being updated.
The criteria for recording musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) covered under OSHA's new ergonomics standards will be the same as for all other injuries and illnesses. Updated forms include columns dedicated to MSD cases.
Employers are now required to record adverse changes in employees' hearing on Form 300.
A “significant” degree of aggravation is required before a preexisting injury or illness is recordable.
Annual summaries, which must be certified by a company executive, must be posted for three months instead of one. For more information, see www.osha.gov .
Our up-to-date “Regulations Scorecard” can be found online at www.fleetowner.com .