OSHA to Update Agency Standards Based on Consensus Standards

OSHA has published a final rule in the Sept. 13 Federal Register that revokes references to outdated industry and national consensus standards.

OSHA is revoking references found in its standards on:

  • Temporary labor camps;
  • Guarding of portable power tools;
  • Sawmills;
  • Flammable and combustible liquids; and
  • Arc welding and cutting.

"By eliminating these outdated references we are clarifying employer obligations and reducing administrative burdens for employers and OSHA," said Jonathan Snare, deputy assistant secretary of labor for OSHA. "It's important that we continue to update standards that reference consensus standards issued over 30 years ago so that they reflect the advances in technology and work processes."

On Nov. 24, 2004, OSHA announced the agency is engaging in an overall effort to update OSHA standards that reference or include language taken directly from outdated consensus standards. The agency says it will use a variety of regulatory approaches, including notice and comment rulemaking; direct final rulemaking and technical amendments for updating or revoking outdated references to consensus standards incorporated by reference; and updating regulatory text of current OSHA rules that were adopted directly from the language of outdated consensus standards.

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