New OSHA rule updates mechanical power press standards

December 3, 2013

The U.S. Dept. of Labor, Washington, D.C., has announced a new rule from OSHA that updates and streamlines the standards for the use of mechanical power presses.

The new rule eliminates a requirement for employers to document mandatory weekly inspections of the presses while clarifying the responsibility of employers to perform and document any maintenance or repairs necessary to protect the safety of workers who operate them. Removing the weekly inspection and test certifications will reduce 613,600 hours of unnecessary paperwork burden on employers, according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor.

The final rule will be effective Feb.18, 2014, unless OSHA receives a significant adverse comment by Dec. 20, 2013.

In addition, OSHA will align the existing standard's maintenance and repair provisions to the ANSI standard for safety requirements for mechanical power presses. This standard would explicitly state that maintenance and repair must be completed before the mechanical power press is operated and, in keeping with the ANSI standard, employers would certify maintenance and repair for the entire machine rather than for certain parts of the power press.