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Regulatory Updates to Watch for in 2019

By Kelsey Rzepecki

facility managers in workplace

OSHA’s $5 million budget increase for a total of $557.8 million for fiscal year 2019 could suggest an increase in regulatory actions, inspections, and citations. In addition to OSHA, other regulatory agencies have changes in store. To  help prepare workers and the facility for those upcoming changes, here's a breakdown of safety regulation updates and additions in 2019:


IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR)—January 1

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulation (DGR) helps determine how to classify, pack, and accept dangerous goods shipments by air. The new 60th edition has major changes including the classification criteria of corrosives, new requirements for lithium batteries, new UN Numbers, and more.

Who does this affect?

Hazardous material workers in the airline industry (shippers, manufacturers, freight forwarders, ground handlers, and airlines).

How to prepare

Assess labels and processes to identify updates necessary to ensure shipments are compliant. For more details:

OSHA Crane Operator Certification Rule—February 7: Evaluation and documentation requirements

This rule clarifies crane operator certification requirements. Updates include employers’ responsibility to train operators on crane activities, evaluate them, and document completion of evaluations. It also requires operators to receive ongoing training. 

Who does this affect?

crane operation safety sign

Employers and crane operators.

How to prepare

Employers should evaluate crane operators and document evaluations now. If you have completed evaluations before Dec. 9, 2018, you will not need to conduct them again, however, documentation is still required. For more details:


IEEE 1584-2018 Guide for Performing Arc Flash Hazard Calculations—End of 2018

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is significantly updating the method for calculating the arc flash hazard distance and the incident energy to which employees could be exposed during work on or near electrical equipment. 

Who does this affect?

Designers and facility operators in facilities where live work will be performed on electrical equipment.

How to prepare

Employers should confirm that an arc flash risk assessment has been done within the last five years, and if not, conduct one now. Calculations are most often listed on arc flash and equipment labels and used as part of an arc flash risk assessment. Updates to labels to reflect new calculation requirements may be necessary depending on the results of the arc flash assessment. For more details:

OSHA Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses—June

OSHA now only requires electronic submission of OSHA Form 300A. OSHA also wants to add the Employer Identification Number (EIN) to the data collection to reduce the burden on employers who are required to report data to both OSHA and to BLS for their Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII).

Who does this affect?

Establishments with 250 or more employees.

How to prepare

Continue to record workplace injuries and illnesses and follow reporting requirements. For more details:

OSHA Occupational Exposure to Beryllium in Construction and Shipyard Sectors—June

This proposal would maintain the permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 0.2 µg/m3 and short term exposure limit (STEL) of 2.0 µg/m3 of beryllium in construction and shipyard sectors. OSHA is also evaluating the need for ancillary provisions. 

Who does this affect?

Managers and workers in construction and shipyard sectors.

How to prepare

Ensure personal protective equipment and other safety controls adequately protect workers from exposure in these operations: abrasive blasting in construction, abrasive blasting in shipyards, and welding in shipyards. For more details:


OSHA Hazard Communication Standard—February

Align the Hazard Communication Standard with the UN's GHS Revision 7 in addition to the fourth, fifth, and sixth editions. GHS Revision 7 includes amendments, additional content, and guidance relating to the classification and labeling of chemical substances and mixtures. The goal is to reduce costs and administrative burdens to improve the consistency and quality of information between employers and employees.

hazard communication standard labels

Who does this affect?

Any industry where employees are potentially exposed to hazardous chemicals, including common chemicals. This will primarily impact chemical manufacturers, distributors, and importers.

How to prepare

Assess all chemical identification to ensure it is up to date. Ensure Right-to-Know information about workplace chemical safety procedures is also current. For more details:

UN GHS Revision 8—March

The UN updates the GHS Purple Book every two years. The 8th revision will include additional requirements including new precautionary pictograms, a new labeling example for sets or kits, and a change of classification criteria for aerosols.

Who does this affect?

Any industry where employees are potentially exposed to hazardous chemicals including common chemicals. It will primarily impact chemical manufacturers, distributors, and importers.

How to prepare

Assess all chemical identification labels. Determine updates that are necessary to comply with the latest revision. For more details:

Step Up Safety in 2019

In addition to scheduled regulatory updates, OSHA plans to explore opportunities for regulatory improvement and will issue educational materials on topics such as radiation and agricultural hazards.

Heading into a new year presents an opportunity to reassess goals and priorities for the workplace. Maintaining a safe work environment is crucial and produces many additional benefits that improve the quality of your operations. Improve the workflow, increase efficiency, and eliminate waste in the coming year by committing to a safe environment.

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