OSHA Extends Comment Period on Ergonomics Proposal

Hearings on the proposed ergonomics standard, originally scheduled to begin Feb. 22, are now scheduled for March 13.

Members of the public who want to comment on the proposed ergonomics standard will have an additional 30 days to do so, OSHA announced Friday.

The deadline for public comment, originally slated for next Tuesday, will be extended to March 2 in order to accommodate the large number of requests the agency received from individuals and organizations needing more time to prepare their submissions.

"Because this standard is so important, we determined that it is in the best interest of workers, employers and all concerned to extend the comment period," said Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman. "Although the ergonomics proposal itself is short, there are many supporting documents, and people want additional time to review the record."

Many business and professional organizations requested that OSHA extend the comment period deadline on the 750-page proposal so they could review it more thoroughly.

ASSE President Frank Perry asked OSHA last month to extend the comment period until April 3.

Although the newly revised deadline date is 30 days short of what ASSE wanted, the group is pleased with the extension.

"We wish we could have gotten 60 days, but we'll take what we can get," said ASSE's Perry. "This new date will give our members a chance to get their responses to OSHA."

Hearings on the proposed standard, originally scheduled to begin on Feb. 22 in Washington, D.C., are now scheduled for March 13.

The Chicago hearing will still begin on April 11 as planned.

OSHA said additional information about the third hearing, originally scheduled to begin in Portland on March 21, will be announced shortly.

Those planning to testify for more than 10 minutes at the hearing had until Jan. 24 to file their notice of intent to appear.

That date will not be extended, although people who filed notices of intent to appear will be allowed to amend their requests if necessary.

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