By: Daniel R. Flynn, Esq.
On Friday, January 20, 2017, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus issued a Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies (“Regulatory Freeze Memo”) that directed agencies to impose a freeze on all new or pending regulations “[i]n order to ensure that the President’s appointees or designees have the opportunity to review any new or pending regulations.”
The Regulatory Freeze Memo instructs agencies to immediately forgo sending new regulations to the Office of the Federal Register (“OFR”), withdraw any unpublished regulations, and postpone the effective date of any published regulations that have not yet taken effect. Agencies may only issue new regulations in “emergency situations or other urgent circumstances related to health, safety, financial, or national security matters.”
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) moved forward with a number of potential regulations in the waning days of President Obama’s final term. OSHA’s request for information on The Prevention of Workplace Violence in Healthcare and its proposed rule on The Standards Improvement Project-Phase IV will likely be postponed, pursuant to the White House’s direction. We previously published a Client Alert on OSHA’s Changes to the Lockout/Tagout Standard as part of the Standards Improvement Project, which you can read here.
OSHA’s Final Rule on Occupational Exposure to Beryllium (“Beryllium Rule”) has been published and was scheduled to take effect on March 10, 2017. The effective date will be postponed for 60 days and may be further delayed if the incoming Secretary of Labor needs additional time to review questions of fact, law, or policy related to the rule. The first compliance date under the Beryllium Rule is not until March 2018, so it remains too early to determine whether the Regulatory Freeze will ultimately impact compliance dates.
OSHA’s Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment Rule became effective on January 17, 2017, a few days prior to issuance of the Regulatory Freeze Memo. Most of the requirements are now in effect. There are a few delayed compliance dates unrelated to the Regulatory Freeze Memo, which are mentioned in our previous client alert on the rule.
Leech Tishman’s OSHA Compliance, Enforcement & Litigation Subgroup has experience counseling companies on a wide range of OSHA issues. Should you have any questions about any of OSHA’s recent regulations or the temporary postponement, please contact Daniel R. Flynn, a partner at Leech Tishman and chair of the firm’s Environmental Health & Safety Practice Group. Dan also chairs the OSHA subgroup. He can be reached in our Chicago office at 630.536.1171 or email@example.com.
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Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl is a full-service law firm dedicated to assisting individuals, businesses, and institutions. Leech Tishman offers legal services in alternative dispute resolution, bankruptcy & creditors’ rights, construction, corporate, employee benefits, employment, energy, environmental, health & safety, estates & trusts, family law, government relations, immigration, insurance coverage & corporate risk mitigation, intellectual property, international legal matters, litigation, real estate, and taxation. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, Leech Tishman also has offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Wilmington, DE.