On Aug. 16, less than two weeks after his confirmation as OSHA administrator, John Henshaw was sent a letter from an industry group that wants the agency to move forward on a number of new regulations. The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) also weighed in on the ongoing lawsuit that challenges the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists'' (ACGIH) involvement in setting threshold limit values (TLVs).
ISEA called on Henshaw to give a high priority to three general areas:
- OSHA should expedite pending regulatory actions in hearing protection, respiratory protection, fall protection, confined spaces in construction, and employer payment for personal protective equipment (PPE);
- OSHA should amend the PPE rule to recognize the hazard of low visibility conditions and require high-visibility PPE where needed;
- OSHA should work to build a national consensus on a way to update references to voluntary standards in its regulations when those standards are revised.
"We''re big proponents of the government''s use of voluntary standards in regulation," Dan Shipp, president of ISEA, explained in an interview.
Shipp said he thought Rep. Charles Norwood''s, R-Ga., concern about ACGIH participation in TLVs revolved around the involvement of governmental employees working on standards outside the normal regulatory structures.
"There''s a difference between an organization like ours and government employees," Shipp said.
With respect to Henshaw''s silence thus far on OSHA rulemaking, Shipp had this to say: "I don''t think he''s trying to evade the issue--I think he''s being careful."
As of last week OSHA has not replied to ISEA''s letter.
by James Nash