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  • Title:
    Notice of Public Meeting on OSHA's Standards Planning Process


Occupational Safety and Health Administration

[Docket No. C-04]

Notice of Public Meeting on OSHA's Standards Planning Process

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting.

SUMMARY: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a new standards planning process for standards setting and other agency activities. This new system will ensure that the agency's limited resources are directed appropriately and result in the promulgation of standards and other appropriate agency actions that have the maximum public health impact.

One of the early steps in this process is the solicitation of suggestions from interested individuals for workplace hazards or issues that might warrant appropriate OSHA action.

This notice requests such written comments, and announces a public meeting to provide an opportunity for interested individuals to informally discuss the workplace hazards or issues included on a preliminary list of suggestions. Also, in accordance with Executive Order 12866, OSHA requests written comments from the public regarding how existing OSHA standards can be improved.

DATES: The public meeting will be held on Monday, November 21, 1994, in room C5515, Seminar Rooms 1A-B of the Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20210. The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. and is scheduled to end at 4:45 p.m.

Requests to Appear: OSHA requests that any person wishing to appear at the public meeting notify OSHA in writing. To assume that time is provided for oral comments, the request should be received by OSHA no later than Monday, November 7, 1994, and should identify the person and/or organization intending to appear, address and phone/fax number, the amount of time requested, and a brief summary of the comments. OSHA also requests that any suggestions for hazards or issues which should be included on the OSHA Action List, including comments on existing OSHA standards, be submitted to OSHA in writing no later than Monday, November 7, 1994. To facilitate discussion at the public meeting, all persons who notify OSHA of their intention to appear will receive a package of material containing a preliminary list of suggestions, along with additional background material prior to the meeting.

Please send written requests to appear, and any written comments, to Sue Andrei at the address listed below. All comments received from interested parties will be included in Docket C-04, and available for public review in the OSHA Docket Office, Room N2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20210, telephone (202) 219-7894.

Persons with disabilities, who need special accommodations, should contact Sue Andrei, by November 16, 1994, at the address indicated below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sue Andrei, Directorate of Policy, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Room N3641, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210, Telephone (202) 219- 8055, extension 113, FAX (202) 219-4383.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Assistant Secretary has assigned the development of priorities under the agency's new standards planning process to an internal committee, the Standards Planning Committee. The committee will be assisted by experts from other governmental agencies, and will seek public input in its decisions. The Assistant Secretary retains authority over all decisions for agency action.

The primary task of the committee is to develop a list of up to 50 workplace hazards or issues that warrant appropriate OSHA action (the "OSHA Action List"). For all of the items on the OSHA Action List, the committee will recommend appropriate agency action (e.g., rulemaking, revision of existing standards, issuance of a hazard alert, enforcement emphasis, consultation, etc.) to the Assistant Secretary and the Director of NIOSH, including a subset of up to 20 items (the "Regulatory Intent List") intended for rulemaking.

The committee sent letters to a broad range of readily identifiable stakeholders, including labor and industry groups, professional organizations, academia, Occupational Safety and Health State Plan Designees, Federal government agencies, and others, soliciting suggestions of possible workplace hazards or issues for inclusion on the OSHA Action List. Continuing this search for additional stakeholder suggestions, the Standards Planning Committee invites all interested parties who have not yet been contacted individually to provide written comments for the committee's consideration.

The committee will review all suggestions submitted by the November 7, 1994, due date and prepare a preliminary list for discussion at the public meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to give equal opportunity for interested parties to discuss their particular views with OSHA concerning which hazards or issues should be included on the OSHA Action List.

When submitting suggestions for hazards or issues to OSHA, please include (1) the name of the hazard/issue (these include chemical, biological or physical hazards such as chromium, tuberculosis, or noise; safety hazards such as unguarded machines; program needs such as exposure assessment or medical surveillance); and (2) a brief description of the hazard/issue. In making suggestions, the following criteria should be considered. (1) How serious is the hazard/issue (i.e., what are the possible consequences to exposed employees? Death? Loss of limb? Cancer? How likely is it that exposed workers would be affected?)? (2) How many workers are exposed? What is the number of workers experiencing injury, illness or death due to the hazard (please indicate if these numbers are estimates, and if not, the source of the data)? What types of workplaces and industries are affected? (3) How reliable and accurate is available risk information? (4) What is the risk reduction potential of OSHA action (i.e., can agency action be reasonably expected to reduce or eliminate exposure to the hazard? What risk reduction technologies are available and are technologically and economically feasible? Could regulation of the hazard/issue potentially force or stimulate technological change?)? In making recommendations for which hazards or issues should be included on the OSHA Action List, the committee will consider a number of factors, including: (1) The seriousness of the hazard; (2) the number of exposed workers; (3) the quality of available risk information; and (4) risk reduction potential, among others. The committee will also consider additional factors in recommending specific agency actions, such as: (1) administrative efficiency or feasibility; (2) legal feasibility; and (3) other public policy considerations. The Regulatory Intent List is a source from which OSHA will draw items for its Regulatory Calendar. As final standards are published, items from the Regulatory Intent List will be moved up to the Regulatory Calendar for rulemaking.

Persons making timely written requests to speak at the public meeting will be given priority for oral comments, as time permits. Other persons wishing to speak should register at the meeting from 8:45-9:15. The Standards Planning Committee will make every effort to accommodate individuals wishing to speak at the public meeting.

Authority: This document was prepared under the direction of Joseph A. Dear, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210.

Signed at Washington, D.C., this 12th day of October, 1994.

Joseph A. Dear,
Assistant Secretary of Labor.

[FR Doc. 94-25764 Filed 10-17-94; 8:45 am]