OSHA seeks comments regarding powered industrial trucks standards
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is seeking input as the agency considers rulemaking to update the powered industrial trucks standards for the general, maritime and construction industries, according to www.osha.gov. The standards took effect in 1971 and were based on industry consensus standards from 1969. Since then, national consensus standards have been updated several times.
Powered industrial trucks include forklifts, fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks and other specialized industrial trucks powered by an electrical motor or internal combustion engine.
OSHA is requesting information regarding the types, ages and use of powered industrial trucks; maintenance and retrofitting; how to regulate older powered industrial trucks; types of accidents and injuries associated with operating the trucks; costs and benefits of retrofitting the trucks with safety features; and other components of a safety program. OSHA will use the information received to determine whether to take action to reduce regulatory burdens and improve worker safety.
Comments must be submitted by June 10 at www.regulations.gov, through the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, or by facsimile or mail. Submission details are available in the Federal Register notice availble here.
DOL releases proposed overtime regulation
The Department of Labor issued a notice of proposed rulemaking March 7 that would make more than 1 million American workers eligible for overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The proposal would increase the salary threshold from $455 to $679 per week—equivalent to $35,308 per year. Workers earning less than that amount must be paid time and a half when they work more than 40 hours per week. The new threshold is less than the $47,476 threshold included in DOL's original overtime compensation proposal issued in 2016, which was enjoined by a federal court in Texas when the court determined it violated the intent of Congress. At the time the regulation was struck down, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta had speculated DOL would ultimately propose an inflation-adjusted threshold of $33,000 per year.
Public comments regarding the proposed rule can be submitted through May 21 by clicking here.
Senate committee approves nominee for OSHA assistant secretary of labor
Scott Mugno, former vice president of safety, sustainability and vehicle maintenance for FedEx, Memphis, Tenn., was again approved by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to be assistant secretary of labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration during a Feb. 27 hearing.
The committee previously approved Mugno's nomination in early 2018, but the nomination was not considered by the full Senate before the end of the 115th Congress and had to be resubmitted for the 116th Congress. The Senate's focus on confirming President Trump's nominees for judgeships, filling vacant seats on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and National Labor Relations Board, and partisan disagreements resulted in a lengthy delay in securing the Senate's approval. Mugno's nomination is one of many in a backlog, and it is unclear when his nomination will be considered by the full Senate. Loren Sweatt is acting assistant secretary of labor.
If confirmed, Mugno will become head of OSHA, where he is expected to focus on promoting greater levels of education and compliance assistance to reduce regulatory burdens on employers without compromising safety. NRCA strongly supports Mugno's nomination; NRCA representatives served with him on the OSHA policy committee at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.