6 Changes in OSHA to be Aware of in 2024

Press Release from Commercial Industrial Supply

If you run any type of warehouse, factory, or other industrial facility, it's important to keep your workplace safe. That includes doing whatever is necessary to protect you, your workers, and anyone who might be visiting your facilities. To ensure that you do this, OSHA has put several safety protocols and standards in place.

However, just when you thought you had all of OSHA's rules down pat, they're set to make some changes in 2024. This includes how and when you're required to document injuries and illnesses, tighter standards on workplace violence, and more. Failing to note these changes could result in infractions, leading to costly fines and work delays.

If you want to make sure you stay up to date on everything OSHA-related for the new year, you've come to the right place. This article will detail several important changes you need to be aware of, as well as how they might benefit your workplace.


What is OSHA, and What Do They Do?

OSHA, short for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is the official governing body responsible for protecting the workers of America. OSHA is a federal entity, and they have the power to punish and discipline you and your business if you violate their rules.

While OSHA is a stern governing body that is strict with its rules, they are doing what they do to keep workers safe. Each of their rules is put in place for a reason, and businesses that comply with them are safer and better for it.

OSHA is also responsible for tracking and documenting different types of injuries, illnesses, and incidents that happen in the workplace. This is only possible, however, when employers and business owners do their part in reporting and properly documenting incidents in the workplace. As such, many of OSHA's rule changes for 2024 revolve around these aspects.


Important Changes OSHA is Making For 2024


Electronic Injury Tracking Practices

The biggest change to watch out for in 2024 is that OSHA is looking to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses, specifically for companies with 100 or more employees. The new illness and injury tracking rules will apply to high-hazard facilities, such as those involved with agriculture, food, transportation, manufacturing, and more.

Employers will have to make submissions of Form 300 and Form 301 once per year and include a comprehensive list of all illnesses and injuries that took place. In addition to these changes, the new rule, "Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses," also includes the following requirements:

- When they make the electronic submission, each company has to include its full legal name.

- Double-check the current North American Classification System to see if the new rule applies to them.

- Appendix B has been added to the existing OSHA code books with the new stipulations of new companies required to adhere to the new rule.

This new rule will make it easier for OSHA to keep track of injuries and illnesses in the workplace. However, they're also allowed to post some of the information on public websites, which will make some injuries and illnesses public knowledge. This is good for the sake of full disclosure but could anger some employers.

However, in spite of the potential downfalls, the new "Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses" rule will be beneficial. It will ensure that employers are more accountable than ever when it comes to reporting injuries and illnesses so that OSHA can make the necessary changes in the future.

Deadline For Submissions

In conjunction with the new "Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses" rule, there's also a new deadline for when submissions need to be made. All submissions from last year must be made by March 2, 2024, and any ensuing submissions must be made at the same time each year.

Three-Year National Program Regarding Warehouse and Distribution Center Operation

Thanks to an increase in warehouses and distribution centers in the US, OSHA is amping up its three-year national safety program initiative. They will be making more inspections of warehouses and distribution centers, and the inspections will be more comprehensive than before.

Incidents That Qualify as Workplace Violence

Another notable change in 2024 is that injuries sustained due to workplace violence must now be reported to OSHA, per the "Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses" rule. The rule applies to violent injuries that also occur outside of the workplace, such as if an employee is traveling for work or to or from work.

The Potential for a New Heat Sickness Standard

While nothing is set in stone yet, OSHA has created a comprehensive outline that could result in a new standard for protecting against heat sickness in the workplace. The goal of the new rule would be to require employers to come up with a comprehensive plan related to heat hazards. The plan would include evaluating and protecting against these hazards and the dangers of heat sickness they present.

Clarification of Construction Safety Gear Requirements

Finally, OSHA is doubling down on its previous PPE requirements as it pertains to the construction industry. Rather than having generic ill-fitting equipment, all employers and workers are required to have personal protective equipment and gear that fits them properly. While there's currently a similar rule in place, the new ruling is expected to get enforced quickly, which could result in additional PPE expenses to purchase new equipment.

What Do You Need to Do When OSHA Makes Changes

If OSHA makes a rule change and it applies to you, you must make changes within your company to comply with OSHA. To do this, double-check to ensure that the new rule applies to you and follow up on OSHA's website to see what exactly the changes entail. Failing to comply with new changes could result in fines and penalties for your business.

How to Ensure You Remain OSHA Compliant

It's important to note that not all of the changes coming in 2024 will affect all businesses. The "Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses" rule, for example, only applies to businesses with more than 100 employees. Other new rules, such as the proposed new heat sickness standard, only apply to companies that have heat hazards in the workplace.

Therefore, it's important to do your research and determine if the rule changes apply to you. If they do, you'll need to make changes within your warehouse, distribution center, or company to comply with OSHA's changes.

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