This month,the federal government through OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has changed the rules for those working in several very dangerous kinds of work. The new final rule from OSHA applies to head protection (hard hats, helmets, etc.) worn by those working in general industry as well as in shipyards, marine terminals, longshoring, and those involved in construction.
This is a great thing, since some of the OSHA requirements here had not been revisited and updated in forty-eight years. That’s right: 48 years.
- To read the complete rule as it will appear in federal law, assuming no successful challenge is made, go here to read it in the Federal Register.
- To read how this changes things from the old rule, go here.
What’s happening here?
OSHA is making its federal requirements line up with the hard hat safety standards already set by the American National Standards Institute. This is important because some of OSHA’s hard hat standards hadn’t been updated since the late 1960s. That’s a long time, even for something that many see as so basic: hard hats haven’t evolved all that much in the past 50 years right? Wrong.
Employers will be happy to learn that hard hats made to meet old ANSI standards set in 1997 as well as 2003 will be okay with OSHA. That’s because these hard hats will meet the new design criteria set out by the new OSHA rule.