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DOL/OSHA RIN: 1218-AC67 Publication ID: Spring 2017 
Title: Standards Improvement Project IV 

OSHA's Standards Improvement Projects (SIPs) are intended to remove or revise duplicative, unnecessary, and inconsistent safety and health standards. The Agency has published three earlier final standards to remove unnecessary provisions (63 FR 33450, 70 FR 1111, 76 FR 33590), thus reducing costs or paperwork burden on affected employers. 

Agency: Department of Labor(DOL)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1926   
Legal Authority: 29 U.S.C. 655(b)   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

The Agency has proposed a fourth rule that identified unnecessary or duplicative provisions or paperwork requirements.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

OSHA is conducting Phase IV of the Standards Improvement Project (SIP-IV) in response to the President’s Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulations and Regulatory Review (76 FR 38210). SIP-IV will update three standards to align with current medical practice, including a reduction to the number of necessary employee x-rays, updates to requirements for pulmonary function testing, and updates to the table used for decompression of employees during underground construction. Additionally, the proposed revisions include an update to the consensus standard incorporated by reference for signs and devices used to protect workers near automobile traffic, a revision to the requirements for roll-over protective structures to comply with current consensus standards, updates for storage of digital x-rays and the method of calling emergency services to allow for use of current technology, and a revision to lockout/tagout requirements in response to a court decision, among others. OSHA is also proposing to remove from its standards the requirements that employers include an employee’s social security number (SSN) on exposure monitoring, medical surveillance, and other records in order to protect employee privacy and prevent identity fraud.


The main alternative OSHA considered for all of the proposed changes contained in the SIP-IV rulemaking was retaining the existing regulatory language, i.e., retaining the status quo. In each instance, OSHA has concluded that the benefits of the proposed regulatory change outweigh the costs of those changes. In a few of the items, such as the proposed changes to the decompression requirements applicable to employees working in compressed air environments, OSHA has requested public comment on feasible alternatives to the Agency’s proposal.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

The Agency has estimated that one revision (updating the method of identifying and calling emergency medical services) may increase construction employers costs by about $28,000 per year while two provisions (reduction in the number of necessary employee x-rays and elimination of posting requirements for residential construction employers) provide estimated costs savings of $3.2 million annually. The Agency has not estimated or quantified benefits to employees from reduced exposure to x-ray radiation or to employers for the reduced cost of storing digital x-rays rather than x-ray films, among others. The Agency has preliminarily concluded that the proposed revisions are economically feasible and do not have any significant economic impact on small businesses. The Preliminary Economic Analysis in this preamble provides an explanation of the economic effects of the proposed revisions.  The cost savings from these revisions and eliminations of several OSHA requirements may be used to offset any costs incurred by employers from new rulemakings that are necessary to update employee protections.


SIP rulemakings do not address new significant risks or estimate benefits and economic impacts of reducing such risks. Overall, SIP rulemakings are reasonably necessary under the OSH Act because they provide cost savings, or eliminate unnecessary requirements.

Action Date FR Cite
Request for Information (RFI)  12/06/2012  77 FR 72781   
RFI Comment Period End  02/04/2013 
NPRM  10/04/2016  81 FR 68504   
NPRM Comment Period Extended  12/02/2016  81 FR 86987   
NPRM Comment Period Extended End  01/04/2017 
Final Rule  09/00/2017 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: Undetermined 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Dean McKenzie
Director, Directorate of Construction
Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
200 Constitution Avenue NW., FP Building, Room N-3468,
Washington, DC 20210
Phone:202 693-2020
Fax:202 693-1689