OSHA to Issue Proposed Rule on Explosives

OSHA in the April 13 Federal Register will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise its Explosives and Blasting Agents standard.

The proposed rule aims to enhance the protections provided to employees working in the manufacturing, storage, sale, transportation, handling and use of explosives. The agency is accepting public comments on the proposed standard until June 13.

“OSHA’s standard has been largely unchanged since the agency adopted it in 1971,” OSHA Administrator Edwin Foulke Jr. said, “and it is important that we update our standards so they reflect advances in technology and work processes that have increased workplace safety.”

According to OSHA, the proposal updates and clarifies the regulatory language, revises the standard to be consistent with other federal regulations, incorporates updated consensus standards and provides the regulated community with greater compliance flexibility.

Revised Rule Would Incorporate Hazcom Standard, GHS

Significant changes in the proposed rule include:

  • Updating the definition of explosives so it is consistent with the Department of Transportation (DOT) definition.
  • Incorporating the DOT-/United Nations-based classification system in the explosives definition.
  • Updating references to DOT regulations.
  • Requiring package labels to be in accordance with OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard and to use the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.
  • Eliminating storage magazine requirements because the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has adopted and enforces such regulations.
  • Adding provisions to ensure that employees are properly trained in hazard recognition and safe work practices.

Interested parties may submit comments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov; by sending three copies to the OSHA Docket Office, Room N-2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, D.C. 20210; by calling (202) 693-2350; or by faxing to (202) 693-1648.

Comments must include the agency name and the docket number for this rulemaking, Docket No. OSHA-2007-0032. See the Federal Register notice for more information on submitting comments.

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