Mechanical Power Press Standard to Be Updated

OSHA is planning to update the general industry mechanical power press standard and has published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking in the June 4 <I>Federal Register</I> seeking comments on the standard update.

The existing standard – 29 CFR 1910.217 – is based primarily upon the 1971 edition of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) B 11.1, the industry consensus standard for mechanical power presses. This ANSI standard has been updated a number of times since OSHA adopted the 1971 version. The most recent edition was issued in 2001.

“This standard has been around as long as OSHA. It’s time for a complete update,” OSHA Administrator Edwin Foulke Jr. said. “This effort will allow us to address industry consensus standards, technical and cost issues and training as well as reporting and recordkeeping requirements in our continuing effort to help keep this nation’s working men and women safer at work.”

OSHA conducted a look-back review of the mechanical power press standard in 2002. Based on analyses and information obtained during this review, the agency decided to begin development of a proposal to update all of the standard to be consistent with ANSI B 11.1-2001 or a comparable consensus standard.

OSHA determined that an update would address industry concerns that the mechanical power press standard is out of date and could be made safer.

Some industry experts have noted that OSHA's mechanical power press standard is the most detailed machine safeguarding standard in OSHA's Subpart O – Machinery and Machine Guarding. Many of the machine safeguarding concepts and techniques used to safeguard other types of machines are gleaned from this standard, as well as from ANSI's B11 series of standards.

The agency is accepting public comments until Aug. 3.

Public comments must be submitted in triplicate and can be sent by regular mail, express, hand delivery or by courier service. Comments should be sent to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2007-0003, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Room N2625, Washington, D.C. 20210.

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