Safety

Update your OSHA safety manual: General duty clause, hazardous drug list, and respirators in the pandemic influenza plan

OSHA Watch, July 1, 2009

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This month, Quality America focuses on changes in the general duty clause, the NIOSH hazardous drug list, and respirator safety as a component of the pandemic influenza plan.

The general duty clause, that catch-all for workplace hazards for which OSHA does not have specific standards, has acquired more enforcement strength.

At the end of March, OSHA revised the Field Operations Manual (FOM), which was last updated in 1994. The FOM is the bible for how compliance safety and health officers (CSHO) conduct inspections; revisions to
it get noticed, especially with the agency talking about flexing its enforcement muscles. Safety experts are writing about
the broadening scope for the general duty clause in the area of recognizing hazards. Recognition that a hazardous condition exists or potentially exists is one of the criteria OSHA must meet in establishing a violation under the general duty clause.

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