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||Final Rule on Abatement Verification
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B. Scope. This instruction applies OSHA-wide.
C. Reference. 29 CFR 1903.19, Abatement Verification.
D. Federal Program Change. This instruction describes a Federal
Program Change which impacts State programs.
1. The Regional Administrator (RA) shall ensure that this change is
promptly forwarded to each State designee using a format consistent with
the Plan Change Two-way Memorandum in Appendix A, Part I, State Plan
Policies and Procedures Manual (SPM).
2. The RA shall explain the content of this change to the State
designee as required and shall provide a copy of the Federal
Register notice at 62 FR 15324, Abatement Verification, published
March 31, 1997, to the State designee upon request.
3. Inform each State designee that States will need to adopt an
abatement verification regulation or other equivalent mechanism that can
be enforced with citations and penalties and that is at least as effective
as the new Federal provisions at 29 CFR 1903.19, as published on March
31, 1997. States that already have an abatement verification requirement
similar to the new Federal rule will only need to reissue it as a
regulation or other enforceable mechanism.
4. The State shall respond to this change within 70 days in
accordance with paragraph I.1.a.(2)(a) and (b), Chapter III of the SPM.
5. The State's acknowledgment shall include (a) the State's
plan to promulgate an enforceable abatement verification regulation;
(b) the State's plan to develop an enforceable alternative, which is as
effective; or (c) the reasons why no change is necessary to maintain a
program which is as effective. States with an existing similar abatement
verification requirement may decide to simply reissue it as an
enforceable regulation. If a State believes that its procedures are
enforceable without the need for adoption of a formal regulation, it
should submit appropriate documentation, such as an Attorney General's
opinion. The State shall submit a plan supplement within 6 months in
accordance with I.1.a.(3)(c), Chapter III of the SPM.
6. The RA shall review policies, instructions and guidelines
issued by the State to determine that this change has been communicated
to State compliance personnel.
1. This regulation, published March 31, 1997, effective May
30, 1997, amends 29 CFR 1903 by adding a new section 1903.19, which
requires employers to certify abatement of hazards cited by OSHA, unless
the hazard is abated immediately while the CSHO is present. A simple form
letter describing the completed abatement actions meets the requirement
for most violations. Employers must also provide evidence of abatement
actions for willful, repeat, failure-to-abate, and any serious violation
for which the citation indicates that such abatement documentation is
required. Abatement plans and progress reports may be required only for
abatement periods that exceed 90 days. (Examples are provided in the
rule of the documents and documentary evidence required.) Affected
employees and their reps must be notified about abatement activities,
and must be informed of their right to examine and copy all
abatement documents submitted to OSHA. Except for other-than-serious
violations, a warning tag or copy of the citation must be placed on all
cited movable equipment to alert affected employees that a hazardous
condition exists while abatement is being accomplished. Violation of
this regulation will result in civil penalties as prescribed by
section 17 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
2. This regulation was developed in response to a
recommendation in a 1991 General Accounting Office report. OSHA
previously had asked employers to notify the Area Director by letter
of abatement of violations, but had no legal authority to enforce this
Acting Assistant Secretary
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