• Publication Date:
  • Publication Type:
    Proposed Rule
  • Fed Register #:
  • Standard Number:
  • Title:
    Occupational Exposure to Asbestos, Tremolite, Anthophyllite and Actinolite - Proposed Rulemaking (Supplemental) and Notice of Hearing

OSHA is conducting supplemental rulemaking on its standards issued 6/7/86 (51 FR 22512, 6/20/86) for occupational exposure to asbestos, tremolite, anthophyllite and actinolite in general industry (1910.1001) and in the construction industry (1926.58). These standards revised the 1972 asbestos standard, reduced the permissible exposure limit (PEL) from 2.0 to 0.2 fibers per cubic centimeter (f/cc) time-weighted average (TWA) and updated other requirements. On 2/2/88 the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld most aspects of the standard but remanded the case to OSHA on several issues. As a part of its response to this decision, on 9/14/88 OSHA issued a short term excursion limit (STEL) for asbestos of 1.0 f/cc averaged over a 30 minute sampling period (53 FR 35610). On 10/ 30/89 the court ordered OSHA to take action on 3 remand issues by 12/ 14/ 89, 3 others by 1/28/90, and the remaining issues by 2/27/90. OSHA issued its response to the first 6 issues on 12/14/89 and 2/5/90, but has determined that four remanded issues cannot be resolved on the existing record and that their resolution will require new rulemaking. These are: The establishment of operation-specific permissible exposure limits; extension of reporting and information transfer requirements; expansion of the competent person requirement to all workers engaged in any kind of construction work; and clarification of the exemption for "small-scale, short duration operations". OSHA is proposing the following regulatory approaches to resolve these issues: Lowering the PEL to 0.1 f/cc for all employees, specifying work practices to reduce exposures in brake and clutch repair and service; requiring additional communication of asbestos hazards among building owners, employers and employees and requiring notification of OSHA prior to removal, demolition, or renovation operations; requiring oversight of all construction operations by a competent person and of small-scale, short duration operations by a specifically trained competent person; and more explicitly defining the small=scale, short duration and other exemptions from the negative-pressure enclosure requirement. A public hearing will be held in Washington, D.C. on 10/23/90. Deadline for comments concerning this notice, and for notices of intention to appear at the hearing is 9/25/90. Contact: Tom Hall 523-8615.