OSHA Accepts Comments on Direct Rule to Update Standards

OSHA announced in the Dec. 14 Federal Register it will accept public comments on the direct final rule to remove references to consensus standards with requirements that duplicate, or are comparable to, other existing rules.

“The agency believes these references are unnecessary, and only confuse employers about their compliance obligations,” OSHA explained in the Federal Register.

OSHA will receive comments until Jan. 14 concerning the final rule, which addresses welding definitions, abrasive wheel specifications, floor and wall openings, railings, toeboards, marking portable compressed gas cylinders and spray finishing.

“This rule is part of OSHA's ongoing effort to update its regulatory references to consensus standards,” said OSHA Administrator Edwin Foulke Jr. “The revisions will clarify employer obligations and maintain current levels of employee protection.”

International Safety Equipment Association's (ISEA) President Dan Shipp told Occupational Hazards the approach OSHA was taking to remove outdated or duplicate references to consensus standards was “a good one.”

“We've reviewed the proposals and it's a good way to keep consensus standards up to date,” he said. “Many of the references in these standards are so old that some don't even exist.”

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