Direct final rule published in Federal Register
For those workers in general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring, and marine terminals, head protection requirements are in the process of being updated and are also being expanded to include workers in the construction industry. On June 22, 2012, OSHA published a direct final rule and request for comments to update its requirements for personal protective equipment, specifically head protection.
The rule will align OSHA’s head protection standards to the requirements recognized in the 2009 edition of the American National Standard for Industrial Head Protection. At the same time, the rule will delete the 1986 edition of the national standard for head protection because it is outdated. In the interest of consistency, OSHA is also including the construction industry in its national consensus standard requirements for head protection.
By making the requirements of OSHA’s head protection standards consistent with the Agency’s other standards and with current industry practices, the direct final rule will, according to OSHA, eliminate confusion and clarify employer obligations, while providing up-to-date protection for workers exposed to falling objects.
Employers in the above-mentioned industries must comply with OSHA’s head protection requirements unless they can demonstrate that other head protection is at least as effective in protecting workers as equipment that complies with the national consensus standard.
The direct final rule will become effective on September 20, 2012, unless OSHA receives significant adverse comments by July 23, 2012.