OSHA to Hold Informal Hearing on Walking-Working Surfaces Rule

Nov. 12, 2010
OSHA will hold an informal public hearing beginning Jan. 18, 2011, on the proposed rule revising the Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standards to improve worker protection from slip, trip and fall hazards.

“These public hearings will provide an important opportunity for stakeholders who will be impacted by the rule to share their concerns and provide input on the proposal,” said OSHA Administrator Dr. David Michaels.

OSHA projected that the proposed rule, described in the May 24 Federal Register, will prevent annually about 20 workplace fatalities and more than 3,700 injuries that are serious enough to result in lost work days.

“Injuries and fatalities from fall hazards are a leading cause of work-related injuries and we need to have the best rule possible to ensure that we effectively address this serious hazard,” said Michaels.

Proposed revisions will include specific criteria for personal fall protection equipment that are consistent with industry voluntary consensus standards. Revisions also will better align OSHA’s general industry walking-working surfaces standards with the agency’s construction and shipyard industry standards.

The hearing will begin 9:30 a.m. at the U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. If necessary, the hearing will continue on subsequent days at the same time and location.

Individuals interested in testifying at the hearing must submit a notice of intent to appear by Nov. 30. Only those who submit notices will be permitted to present testimony, question witnesses or OSHA, and participate in the post-hearing comment period. Individuals who request to testify for more than 10 minutes or who intend to submit documentary evidence at the hearing must submit the full text of their testimony and evidence by Dec. 21. See the hearing notice for submission details.

Technical questions and public hearing inquiries should be directed to Virginia Fitzner, Office of Safety Systems, at 202-693-2052. Individuals requesting special accommodations to attend or testify at the hearing should contact Veneta Chatmon, Office of Communications, at 202-693-1999.

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