Sept. 11, 2007
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: (202) 693-1999
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Labor¿s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a Request for Information seeking input from the public to determine what action, if any, the Agency should take to further address emergency response and preparedness. The Request for Information was published in today¿s Federal Register and OSHA is accepting comments from the public until Dec. 10, 2007.
"Elements of the health and safety for emergency responder are currently regulated by OSHA, primarily under six standards," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. "Some of these standards were promulgated decades ago and none were designed as a comprehensive emergency response standard. Emergency responders often encounter significant hazards while on the job, and this Agency wants to ensure it is doing everything possible to keep these vital employees safe and healthy while at work."
Current OSHA standards do not reflect all of the major improvements in safety and health practices that have already been accepted by the emergency response community and incorporated into industry consensus standards. This Request for Information is intended to gather information about current thinking and practices relative to emergency responders and skilled support employees.
The public may submit comments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal; or by sending or hand delivering three copies to the OSHA Docket Office, Room N-2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20210. Submissions that are less than ten pages may be sent by FAX to (202) 693-1648. Comments must include the Agency name and the docket number for this Request for information, Docket No. S-023B. See the Federal Register notice for more information on submitting comments.
For more information, contact Carol Jones, acting director, Office of Biological Hazards, OSHA Directorate of Standards and Guidance, Room N-3718, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington DC, 20210, telephone (202) 693-2299.
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 www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.