[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 215 (Wednesday, November 6, 2013)][Rules and Regulations][Pages 66642-66643]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-26336]



Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR Parts 1910 and 1926

[Docket No. OSHA-2013-0005]
RIN 1218-AC77

Updating OSHA Standards Based on National Consensus Standards; 

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 
Department of Labor.

ACTION: Final rule; confirmation of effective date.


SUMMARY: On June 13, 2013, OSHA published in the Federal Register (78 
FR 35559) a direct final rule that revised its signage standards for 
general industry and construction by updating the references to 
national consensus standards approved by the American National 
Standards Institute, a clearinghouse that verifies that the criteria 
for approval of consensus standards have been met. OSHA stated in that 
Federal Register notice that it would withdraw the companion proposed 
rule and confirm the effective date of the direct final rule if the 
Agency received no significant adverse comments on the direct final 
rule. Since OSHA received no such significant adverse comments, the 
Agency now confirms that the direct final rule became effective as a 
final rule on September 11, 2013.

DATES: The direct final rule published on June 13, 2013 (78 FR 35559), 
became effective as a final rule on September 11, 2013. For the 
purposes of judicial review, OSHA considers November 6, 2013, the date 
of issuance of the final rule.

ADDRESSES: In compliance with 28 U.S.C. 2112(a), OSHA designates the 
Associate Solicitor of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health as the 
recipient of petitions for review of the final standard. Contact Joseph 
M. Woodward, Associate Solicitor, at the Office of the Solicitor, Room 
S-4004, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-5445; email: 

    General information and press inquiries: Frank Meilinger, Director, 
OSHA Office of Communications, Room N-3647, U.S. Department of Labor, 
200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 
693-1999; email: meilinger.francis2@dol.gov.
    Technical information: Ken Stevanus, Directorate of Standards and 
Guidance, Room N-3609, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution 
Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-2260; fax: (202) 
693-1663; email: stevanus.ken@dol.gov.

    Copies of this Federal Register notice: Electronic copies of this 
Federal Register notice are available at http://www.regulations.gov. 
This Federal Register notice, as well as news releases and other 
relevant information, also are available at OSHA's Web page at http://www.osha.gov.
    Confirmation of the effective date: On June 13, 2013, OSHA 
published a direct final rule (DFR) in the Federal Register that 
revised its signage standards for general industry at 29 CFR 1910.97, 
1910.145, and 1910.261, and construction at 29 CFR 1926.200, by 
updating references to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 
signage protection standards (see 78 FR 35559). Specifically, the DFR 
updated the signage references in OSHA's existing general industry and 
construction standards, including references to ANSI Z53.1-1967 (Safety 
Color Code for Marking Physical Hazards), Z35.1-1968 (Specifications 
for Accident Prevention Signs), and Z35.2-1968 (Specifications for 
Accident Prevention Tags), by adding references to the latest ANSI 
standards, including ANSI Z535.1-2006 (R2011) (Safety Colors), Z535.2-
2011 (Environmental and Facility Safety Signs), and Z535.5-2011 (Safety 
Tags and Barricade Tapes (for Temporary Hazards)). Thus, the DFR 
allowed employers to follow either the updated ANSI standards or the 
older ANSI signage standards already referenced in OSHA's existing 
general industry and construction standards.
    The DFR also incorporated by reference Part VI of the Manual of 
Uniform Traffic Control Devices, 1988 Edition, Revision 3, into 29 CFR 
1926.6, and amended citations in two provisions of the construction standards 
to show the correct incorporation-by-reference section.
    In the DFR, OSHA stated that it would confirm the effective date of 
the DFR if it received no significant adverse comments. OSHA received 
eight favorable and no adverse comments on the DFR (see ID: OSHA-2013-
0005-0008 thru -0015 in the docket for this rulemaking). Accordingly, 
OSHA is confirming the effective date of the final rule.
    In addition to explicitly supporting the DFR, several of the 
commenters provided supplemental information. Mr. Charles Johnson of 
AltairStrickland stated that as a result of "[OSHA's] incorporating 
both the 1968 and the [2011] versions of the ANSI Z535 standard by 
reference[,] both manufacturers and employers will likely migrate to 
the newer versions and the older versions will likely fade away as 
demand declines" (ID: OSHA-2013-0005-0011). Mr. Johnson also commented 
that "[h]ad OSHA deleted the reference to the ANSI Z35.1-1968 
language, these signs would require replacement at considerable and 
unnecessary cost to employers." Id.
    A second commenter, Mr. Blair Brewster of MySafetySign.com, 
described several advantages and limitations of the updated ANSI 
signage standards, concluding that "[i]t would be arrogant to assume 
that a single standard is best. The ANSI Z535 designs, the traditional 
safety sign and tag designs, as well as the countless other designs to 
come, will all have their place and will all coexist" (ID: OSHA-2013-
    A third commenter, Mr. Kyle Pitsor of the National Electrical 
Manufacturers Association (NEMA) stated that "[w]hile we would have 
preferred that the references to the outdated standards be removed 
entirely from OSHA's regulations, NEMA agrees that giving employers the 
option of using signs and tags that meet either the 1967-1968 or the 
most recent versions of the standards will provide the greatest 
flexibility without imposing additional costs" (ID: OSHA-2013-0005-
0013). Mr. Pitsor also helpfully noted that, contrary to proposed 
Sec. Sec.  1910.6(e)(66) and (e)(67) and 1926.6(h)(28)-(h)(30), the 
International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) is not authorized to 
sell the ANSI Z535 standards proposed for incorporation by reference, 
and these standards are not sold on the ISEA Web site, 
www.safetyequipment.org. In response to Mr. Pitsor's comment, OSHA is 
correcting the incorporation-by-reference provisions in question in 29 
CFR 1910.6 and 1926.6 in a separate Federal Register notice identifying 
the three locations where the public can purchase the updated ANSI Z535 
    Finally, OSHA received an email from Jonathan Stewart, Manager, 
Government Relations, NEMA, after the comment period ended (ID: OSHA-
2013-0005-0015). In his email, Mr. Stewart mentioned NEMA's earlier 
comments to the docket (ID: OSHA-2013-0005-0013), and stated that 
"[w]hile reflective of NEMA's position, those comments did not include 
a clarification regarding the language that the NRPM used in Sec. 
1926.200 Accident prevention signs and tags." He further indicated 
that "[t]he language, while not inaccurate, was unclear regarding 
which figure(s) it intended to reference in the ANSI Z535.2-2011 
standard." Although this comment was late, OSHA considered it because 
it was a purely technical comment, pointing out an ambiguity in the 
cited provision's reference to figures in the updated version of the 
national consensus standard, ANSI Z535.2-2011. OSHA finds that the 
comment has merit, and accordingly is clarifying the language in 29 CFR 
1926.200(b) and (c) specifying which figures employers must follow in 
ANSI Z535.2-2011.

List of Subjects in 29 CFR Parts 1910 and 1926

    Signage, Incorporation by reference, Occupational safety and 
health, Safety.

Authority and Signature

    David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for 
Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 
Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210, authorized the 
preparation of this final rule. OSHA is issuing this final rule 
pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 653, 655, and 657, 5 U.S.C. 553, Secretary of 
Labor's Order 1-2012 (77 FR 3912), and 29 CFR part 1911.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on October 30, 2013.
David Michaels,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2013-26336 Filed 11-5-13; 8:45 am]