OSHA announces reopening on two rulemaking records

News May 05, 2003
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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it would reopen for 90 days its rulemaking records on propos

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it would reopen for 90 days its rulemaking records on proposed revisions to the Walking and Working Surfaces standard and fall protection provisions of the Personal Protective Equipment standard.


OSHA first proposed revisions on the two standards together in 1990 because of the interdependent nature of the hazards and working conditions that they address. Since then, technology has changed, industry practice has evolved and the costs of controls have been affected. OSHA is reopening the record to gather data and information on these advances and to invite public comment on specific issues concerning each proposal.


The Walking and Working Surfaces standard provides general industry requirements for employers to protect their workers from slips, trips and falls that may cause serious or fatal injuries. OSHA is seeking further comment on the issues of rolling stock and self-propelled, motorized equipment, in addition to qualified climbers, rung width on fixed ladders, hierarchy of fall protection controls, scaffolds and controlled descent devices, and anchors for suspended work.


The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standard contains requirements covering the use and maintenance of PPE, as well as specific provisions on requirements for various types of PPE such as eye, face, head and respiratory protection. OSHA is interested in comments on whether the agency should prohibit the use of body belts for fall arrest and on fall protection amendments to several existing general industry standards.


OSHA is seeking comments on these specific issues and on the costs of compliance, especially for small employers. In the future, OSHA will publish a revised economic analysis for public comment. The agency will use the information from the two reopenings to determine how best to proceed with these rulemakings. Those wishing to comment should send three copies of their comments, postmarked no later than July 31, to: Docket Office, Docket S-029, Room N2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. Comments of 10 pages or less may be faxed by calling the Docket Office at 202/693-2350.


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