OSHA Extends Comment Period on Standards Improvement Project

Didn't get to have your say about improving some OSHA standards? You're in luck. The agency announced today it is extending until Jan. 30 the period for comments on the second phase of its standards improvement project.

The project addresses 40 provisions in 23 health standards for general industry, maritime and construction that are inconsistent, duplicative or outdated. The changes in the standards are expected to reduce the regulatory burdens on employers while maintaining the safety and health protections afforded to employees.

OSHA first proposed the revisions on Oct. 31, 2002. The original comment period was scheduled to end Dec. 30, 2002. However, numerous shareholders requested an extension to provide a thorough review and response to the substantive provisions proposed for changes. Those parties were notified of the extension before the end of last year.

OSHA first made several substantive revisions in 1998 to its health and safety standards. The agency has since identified other regulatory provisions involving notification of use, frequency of exposure monitoring and medical surveillance, and similar provisions that may be unnecessary or ineffective in protecting worker safety and health.

Anyone wishing to comment should send three copies of his or her comments, postmarked not later than Jan. 30, to: Docket Office, Docket S-778-A, Room N2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20210. Comments of 10 pages or less may be faxed to the Docket Office at (202) 693-1648.

Comments may also be submitted electronically to ecomments.osha.gov. Further information on submitting comments can be obtained by calling the Docket Office at (202) 693-2350.

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