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OSHA Proposes Revisions on PPE Standards

In the May 17 <I>Federal Register</I>, OSHA has published a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise the PPE sections of its general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring and marine terminals standards.

The revisions will replace the existing references to specific, out-of-date consensus standards with performance language that requires PPE (eye and face protective devices and head and foot protection) to be constructed in accordance with good design standards. The proposed revisions include appendices that may be used to identify good design standards.

“PPE must be strong enough to protect employees from the hazards they face in the workplace. It also must be constructed and tested in accordance with sound and accepted principles that will ensure the safety of employees,” OSHA Administrator Edwin Foulke Jr. said.

OSHA is proposing to delete paragraphs in its ventilation standard as well as its welding, cutting and brazing standard that currently reference outdated PPE consensus standards.

In proposing to delete these paragraphs, OSHA says it is continuing the process of consolidating all PPE requirements in Subpart I. The agency says it intends for all safety equipment to comply with the performance language design provisions in revised Subpart I of the general industry standards.

OSHA invites interested parties to submit comments on the proposed rule by July 16.

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