More Time to Comment on Explosives Standard

OSHA is giving stakeholders more time to comment on its proposed standard on explosives.

On April 13, the agency published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register and gave stakeholders 90 days to comment on its proposed revisions to 29 CFR 1910.109, Explosives and Blasting Agents. Prompted by several requests, the agency on July 9 extended the comment period to Sept. 10.

The proposed revision of 1910.109 was sparked by a petition from the Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME) and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute (SAAMI). According to OSHA's April 13 Federal Register notice, IME and SAAMI contended that the current standard “does not reflect significant technological and safety advances made by the explosives industry since the standard was promulgated.” OSHA agreed.

“The existing standard has undergone few significant revisions since it was promulgated over 35 years ago and many of its requirements do not accurately reflect current working conditions in the explosives industry,” the agency said in the April 13 Federal Register. “New forms of explosives have been developed (e.g., emulsions), new kinds of detonators have been introduced (e.g., electronic detonators) and substantial changes have been made in the processes and equipment employed to create, handle and use explosives (e.g., new kinds of bulk delivery vehicles).

“OSHA has concluded that the existing standard must be updated to reflect these changes and to adequately protect employees from the significant risks involved in working with or near explosives.”

OSHA added that it consulted with other federal agencies and interested parties “about new technologies, products and procedures used by the explosives industry and has incorporated these developments into the proposed rule.” The agency also said that it updated all references to current national consensus standards.

Stakeholders may submit comments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov. The docket number is OSHA-2007-0032.

OSHA's July 9 Federal Register notice details other options for submitting comments.

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