News Release USDL: 96-222
Friday, June 7, 1996
Contact: Susan Hall Fleming (202) 219-8151
OSHA To Form Negotiated Rulemaking Commitee To Develop
Shipyard Fire Protection Rule
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) today announced plans to establish a
negotiated rulemaking advisory committee to
address fire protection in shipyard employment.
"The strong support and encouragement we have
received from stakeholders within the shipyard
employment industry for a consensual approach
have convinced me that negotiated rulemaking is
the best way to develop an effective fire
protection standard," said Assistant Secretary
Joseph A. Dear.
Dear praised the cooperative and collaborative
give-and-take of negotiated rulemaking and said
that OSHA had gained valuable experience in the
process through the negotiated rulemaking advisory
committee for steel erection. "Getting interested
parties together in a collegial atmosphere under
the guidance of a trained facilitator can be an
excellent way to develop a proposal. For
appropriate issues and constituencies like
shipyard employment, we believe this common
sense approach to developing standards and
eliminating red tape that President Clinton
has endorsed will prove effective," Dear said.
Nominations for membership on the advisory
committee are due to OSHA by July 8. The
committee will include about 15 members
representing such "significantly affected" interests
as shipyard owners; contractors; labor organizations
representing employees who perform fire protection
work; fire fighters, including both in-yard/plant
and municipal; government entities, particularly
the Navy and the Coast Guard; professional associations;
and manufacturers and suppliers of fire protection
equipment. OSHA is also seeking public comment on
whether additional interests should be included.
Current OSHA fire protection standards address
hazards of landside operations but not on-board
risks. Key issues that OSHA expects the advisory
committee to consider include the scope of the
fire protection standard, training for firefighters,
other regulations and consensus standards that
can provide guidance for the OSHA proposal
and the use of fire brigades at shipyards.
The agency also wants the committee to evaluate
the need for written fire plans, changes in
technology since OSHA's 1978 general industry
fire protection standards were adopted, costs
and/or savings created by new fire protection
provisions and the need for advisory or mandatory
appendices. OSHA expects to use the draft standard
developed by consensus as the basis for a proposed
rule to be published in the Federal Register.
The Shipyard Employment Standards Advisory Committee,
formed in 1991, submitted a draft fire protection
standard for the maritime industry to OSHA in 1991.
OSHA believes the draft will serve as an excellent
starting point even though some provisions must be
recast in regulatory language and some issues remain
to be addressed.
Nominations for the negotiated rulemaking advisory
committee should include the applicant's name and
the interest that he or she is to represent, evidence
that the individual is authorized to represent the
parties and a written commitment that the nominee
will actively participate in good faith in developing
the shipyard employment fire protection rule.