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OSHA Trade Release

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Trade News Release
March 29, 2007
Contact: OSHA Office of Communications
Phone: (202) 693-1999

OSHA makes Regulatory Flexibility Act Review available

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has made available the "look-back" study for OSHA's construction Standard on excavations. The summary was published in today's Federal Register.

"Our regulatory review found that the 1989 Excavations Standard has reduced deaths from approximately 90 per year to 70 per year. In addition, overall construction industry activity when adjusted for inflation has increased 20 percent," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. "As a result, the OSHA Standard will remain in effect, although we will be looking to issue some improved guidance and training materials to help employers keep their employees safe."

In 1989, OSHA issued a final, revised Excavations Standard to reduce deaths and injuries from excavation and trenching activities in the construction industry. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 directs OSHA to review and evaluate the effectiveness of its standards and the impact those standards have had on lowering injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the workplace. The agency undertook the Regulatory Flexibility Act review of the Excavations Standard to determine whether the rule should be continued without change or should be amended or revoked.

Copies of the entire report may be obtained from OSHA's Office of Publications, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3101, 200 Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. The telephone number is (202) 693-1888. The full report, comments and referenced documents are available for review at the OSHA Docket Office, new Docket Number 2007-0012, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. The phone number is (202) 693-2350.

Copies of the report are also available at and on the OSHA Web site at

Further information can be obtained from Joanna Dizikes Friedrich, OSHA Directorate of Evaluation and Analysis, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3641, 200 Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. The phone number is (202) 693-1939.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit








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