Standards Process May Be Revamped

It's little surprise that 18- to 34-year-olds are at the heart of a nationwide increase in illegal drug use, and the manufacturing industry traditionally draws heavily from this pool of job seekers.

A pilot reorganization that has created teams of 10 agency experts to develop new standards may become agency policy this fall, OSHA Administrator Charles Jeffress said.

Jeffress said he may establish 10 teams, each responsible for two or three major rulemakings. Each team reports to Marthe Kent, director of the agency's Safety Standards Programs, who makes sure the process is moving forward.

Prior to the teams, Jeffress said no one person was responsible for monitoring the process of a standard and heralding it through the system. Instead, each person involved in the process worked independently and conducted individual reviews which added time and red tape.

The new program will help ensure everyone involved is aware of the agency's priorities and is working toward the same goal, Jeffress said.

Five of the 10 standards teams are working on health rules while the other five are addressing safety regulations. This will likely be the case when the program is implemented formally.

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