NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and no longer represents OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

Building Blocks and Out of Date Standards

Action: To develop standards which make real sense to real people, OSHA will focus on key building block rules and eliminate or fix out of date or confusing standards

Description: A Logical Framework of Basic Building Blocks OSHA is working together with business and labor to develop an approach for employer safety and health programs which will set minimum requirements for finding and fixing workplace hazards in order to reduce injuries and illnesses on the job and that will supplement specific rules governing specific hazards. For the first time OSHA will provide employers who want to understand and comply with OSHA regulations a clear starting place and a roadmap. It will be a flexible, performance-based approach developed through partnership with business and labor. Requirements will, however, be sufficiently specific so that employers will understand OSHA's basic expectations and will know how to meet them.

For instance, the basic building blocks which comprise a comprehensive safety and health program include hazard identification and exposure assessment, hazard control and abatement, training and education, accident investigation and emergency response, medical screening and surveillance, employee participation, and recordkeeping. Some of these building blocks of comprehensive safety and health programs are now scattered throughout many standards in an uncoordinated and inconsistent fashion and need to be consolidated, particularly the requirements for training, maintenance of records, and medical surveillance. In addition to consolidating such provisions in its safety and health program, OSHA will undertake a general consolidation of duplicative elements across current standards.

This high priority initiative can only be successfully accomplished if OSHA works in a collaborative manner with business and labor to find maximum consensus where possible. OSHA hopes to benefit from the facilitation skills of the Keystone Center which is currently assessing the possibility of a systematic dialogue to explore fully the issues of greatest concern to all the stakeholders.

Description: Improve, Update, and Eliminate on Confusing and Out of Date Standards. At the request of the President, OSHA is in the process of reviewing all of its 695 separate rules to identify those which need to be revoked or revised because they are obsolete, confusing, inconsistent or duplicative. While the full report will be not be ready until June 1, several promising actions can be announced at this time.

Repair of Problem Rules: OSHA will act to fix numerous regulatory provisions that are most obviously in need of repair and can be handled relatively quickly. For example, plastic gas cans are allowed in manufacturing worksites but are not allowed on construction sites, even if they have been approved by local fire marshalls. OSHA only allows radiation signs with purple letters on a yellow background while DOT only allows those that are black on yellow. OSHA requires that worksite first aid kits be approved by a physician. OSHA requires posting of an emergency phone number even in areas where the well known 911 service is well established. Certain medical requirements for coke oven workers are outdated and probably unnecessary.

Implementation Plan: OSHA will proceed immediately to work with stakeholders on development of the building block rules. OSHA will identify out-of-date, duplicative, and problem standards by June 1, 1995, and will publish a Federal Register notice seeking public input on changes within six months.

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and no longer represents OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.