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OSHA Spring 2008 Agenda Published in Federal Register

OSHA's semiannual regulatory agenda, published recently in the Federal Register, listed seven hazard topics, many of which have garnered much public interest in recent years.

In December 2007, OSHA spokesperson Sharon Worthy told Occupational Hazards that they will post “only the most significant items” online in the Federal Register. Agenda items included:

  • In the fall 2007 agenda, OSHA said it would complete a complete peer review of crystalline silica's health effects and risk assessment by January 2008. The current agenda indicates that this review has been pushed back to August 2008.

  • OSHA completed a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act (SBREFA) report in January 2008 for the beryllium rule. A complete peer review of health effects and risk assessment for this hazard is slated for November.

  • Methylene chloride, under a section 610 review to consider the continued need for the rule or if it overlaps, duplicates or conflicts with other federal or state regulations, will be given an end review in November.

  • Occupational exposure to diacetyl, as well as food flavorings that contain the agent, appeared on the agenda for the first time in fall 2007. The agency held a stakeholder meeting in October 2007 and will initiate a SBREFA panel in May regarding this hazard.

  • Confined space in construction currently is in the proposed rule stage, and OSHA noted there will be a public hearing in September on the final rule. This standard was initiated after the United Steel Workers of America petitioned OSHA for a rule to extend confined-space protection to construction workers because the 1993 standard did not apply to this specific industry.

  • A standard for cranes and derricks also is in the agenda's proposed rule stage, with a notice of proposed rulemaking planned for August.

  • Finally, OSHA noted that after a March 2006 public hearing for the Electric Power Transmission and Distribution - Electrical Protective Equipment rule, it is reopening the record in June to gather additional information on minimum approach distances.

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