Federal Registers - Table of Contents Federal Registers - Table of Contents
• Publication Date: 10/29/1997
• Publication Type: Unified Agenda
• Fed Register #: 62:57714-57759
• Title: Semiannual Agenda of Regulations

NOTE: This section for the Department of Labor (OSHA)
is on pages 57719-57721

Occupational Safety and Health Administration -- Prerule Stage


Sequence
Number

Title
Regulation
Identifier
Number
2095Standards Advisory Committee on Metalworking Fluids (Reg Plan Seq. No. 81)1218-AB58
2096Control of Hazardous Energy Sources (Lockout/Tagout) (Section 610 Review)1218-AB59
2097Occupational Exposure to Ethylene Oxide (Section 610 Review)1218-AB60
2098Fire Brigades1218-AB64
2099Grain Handling Facilities (Section 610 Review)1218-AB73
2100Cotton Dust (Section 610 Review)1218-AB74
References in boldface appear in the Regulatory Plan in Part II of this issue of the Federal Register.



Occupational Safety and Health Administration -- Proposed Rule Stage


Sequence
Number

Title
Regulation
Identifier
Number
2101Steel Erection (Part 1926) (Safety Protection for Ironworkers) (Reg Plan Seq. No. 82)1218-AA65
2102Prevention of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (Reg Plan Seq. No. 83)1218-AB36
2103Safety and Health Programs (for General Industry) (Reg Plan Seq. No. 84)1218-AB41
2104Occupational Exposure to Tuberculosis (Reg Plan Seq. No. 85)1218-AB46
2105Confined Spaces in Construction (Part 1926) (Construction: Preventing Suffocation/Explosions in Confined Spaces)1218-AB47
2106General Working Conditions in Shipyards (Part 1915, Subpart F) (Phase II) (Shipyards: General Working Conditions)1218-AB50
2107Fire Protection in Shipyard Employment (Part 1915, Subpart P) (Phase II) (Shipyards: Fire Safety)1218-AB51
2108Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) for Air Contaminants (Reg Plan Seq. No. 86)1218-AB54
2109Plain English Revision of Existing Standards (Reg Plan Seq. No. 87)1218-AB55
2110Nationally Recognized Testing Labs Programs: Fees1218-AB57
2111Flammable and Combustible Liquids1218-AB61
2112Fall Protection in the Construction Industry1218-AB62
2113Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals1218-AB63
2114Revocation of Certification Records for Tests, Inspections, and Training1218-AB65
2115Plain English Revision of Existing Standards (Phase II)1218-AB66
2116Electric Power Transmission and Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment1218-AB67
2117Safety Standards for Scaffolds Used in the Construction Industry -- Part II1218-AB68
2118Safety and Health Programs for Construction1218-AB69
2119Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout) in Construction (Part 1926) (Preventing Construction Injuries/Fatalities; Lockout)1218-AB71
References in boldface appear in the Regulatory Plan in Part II of this issue of the Federal Register.



Occupational Safety and Health Administration -- Final Rule Stage


Sequence
Number

Title
Regulation
Identifier
Number
2120Respiratory Protection (Proper Use of Modern Respirators)1218-AA05
2121Longshoring and Marine Terminals (Parts 1917 and 1918) -- Reopening of the Record1218-AA56
2122Access and Egress in Shipyards (Part 1915, Subpart E) (Phase I) (Shipyards: Emergency Exits and Aisles)1218-AA70
2123Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (Simplified Injury/ Illness Recordkeeping Requirements) (Reg Plan Seq. No. 88)1218-AB24
2124Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training (Industrial Truck Safety Training)1218-AB33
2125Permit Required Confined Spaces (General Industry: Preventing Suffocation/Explosions in Confined Spaces)1218-AB52
2126Standards Improvement Project1218-AB53
References in boldface appear in the Regulatory Plan in Part II of this issue of the Federal Register.



Occupational Safety and Health Administration -- Long-Term Actions


Sequence
Number

Title
Regulation
Identifier
Number
2127Scaffolds in Shipyards (Part 1915 -- Subpart N) (Phase I) (Shipyards: Safer Scaffolds)1218-AA68
2128Glycol Ethers: 2-Methoxyethanol, 2-Ethoxyethanol, and Their Acetates: Protecting Reproductive Health1218-AA84
2129Walking Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems (Part 1910) (Slips, Trips, and Fall Prevention)1218-AB04
2130Accreditation of Training Programs for Hazardous Waste Operations (Part 1910)1218-AB27
2131Indoor Air Quality in the Workplace1218-AB37
2132Occupational Exposure to Hexavalent Chromium (Preventing Occupational Illness: Chromium)1218-AB45
2133Occupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica1218-AB70




Occupational Safety and Health Administration -- Completed Actions


Sequence
Number

Title
Regulation
Identifier
Number
2134Abatement Verification (Hazard Correction)1218-AB40




NOTE: This section for the Department of Labor (OSHA)
is on pages 57746-57759

NOTE: Sequence numbers 81-88 are found on pages 57103-57113 of
Federal Register Vol. 62, No. 231 Part II




DEPARTMENT OF LABOR (DOL)Prerule Stage
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)


2095. STANDARDS ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON METALWORKING FLUIDS

Regulatory Plan: This entry is Seq. No. 81 in Part II of this issue of the Federal Register.

81. STANDARDS ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON METALWORKING FLUIDS

Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 USC 801.

Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b)(1); 29 USC 656(b)

CFR Citation: Not yet determined

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: In December 1993, the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) petitioned OSHA to take emergency regulatory action to protect workers from the risks of occupational cancers and respiratory illnesses due to exposure to metalworking fluids. OSHA sent an interim response to the UAW stating that the decision to proceed with rulemaking would depend on the results of the OSHA Priority Planning Process. Following the Priority Planning Process report, which identified metalworking fluids as an issue worthy of Agency action, the Assistant Secretary asked the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) for a recommendation about how to proceed with a rulemaking for metalworking fluids. NACOSH unanimously recommended that OSHA form a Standards Advisory Committee (SAC) to address the health risks caused by occupational exposure to metalworking fluids. The Assistant Secretary accepted the recommendation of NACOSH; OSHA has established a 15-member SAC to make recommendations regarding a standard, a guideline, or other appropriate response to the dangers of occupational exposures to metalworking fluids. The Committee has a balanced membership, including individuals appointed to represent the following affected interests: industry; labor; federal and state safety and health organizations; professional organizations; and national standards-setting groups.

Statement of Need: Under Table Z-1 of the 1971 air contaminants rule, OSHA enforces a permissible exposure limit of 5 mg/m3 for mineral oil mists, but evidence suggests this level is outdated and that exposure to metalworking fluids can lead to cancer, non-malignant lung disease and dermatitis. Giving a SAC the opportunity to examine and comment upon current studies and data concerning the risks associated with all metalworking fluid mixtures (straight oils, synthetic, and semisynthetic) will provide valuable information the Agency can use to develop a proposed rule for metalworking fluids or other appropriate response to hazards posed by occupational exposure to metalworking fluids. The SAC will also report on related issues such as fluid management, engineering controls, medical surveillance, and economic and technological feasibility.

Alternatives: The Agency recognizes the complex and difficult nature of the issues surrounding the regulation of metalworking fluids and believes a SAC can best alleviate some areas of confusion. The Committee has a unique opportunity to provide needed data and academic and professional expertise, as well as large and small industry and labor perspectives. Through OSHA's exhaustive Priority Planning Process and NACOSH recommendation, metalworking fluids were identified as a regulatory candidate that could be handled most successfully through a SAC. The option of going directly to 6(b) rulemaking has been bypassed in favor of a SAC which will give beneficial input to the agency as to how best to deal with the problems, and the opportunity to build some consensus before a proposal is issued.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: Because the SAC has only recently begun to meet, the form of the Committee's recommendations is unknown at the present time. However, once the SAC report is written, the scope of the proposed rule will be determined. Quantitative estimates of costs and benefits will be made only after the proposed rule has been drafted.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

Appointed Names07/11/97
Charter Approved08/15/97
First Meeting of Committee09/02/97
Recommendations00/00/00

Small Entities Affected: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: Undetermined

Additional Information: The Agency is particularly concerned with the potential impact a metalworking fluids rule would have on small businesses. OSHA has been working closely with the Small Business Administration to reach small employers to involve them in the process at the earliest possible time. At least 30 small business interests have been identified to date. The Agency is required to have balanced committee representation, and small business will be represented on the SAC.

Agency Contact:
Adam M. Finkel
Director, Directorate of Health Standards Programs
Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
200 Constitution Avenue NW.
Room N-3718, FP Building
Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-7075

RIN: 1218-AB58


2096. CONTROL OF HAZARDOUS ENERGY SOURCES (LOCKOUT/TAGOUT) (SECTION 610 REVIEW)

Priority: Other Significant

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); 5 USC 553; 5 USC 610

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.147

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: As required by Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Order 12866, OSHA has reviewd the Agency's standard for the protection of employees from exposure to lookout/tagout hazards, 29 CFR 1910.147, to determine whether the rule should be continued without change or should be amended or rescinded, consistent with the objectives of the rule and of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, to minimize any significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. After a thorough review of the Agency's experience in enforcing this standard, the available literature, and comments received in connection with this review, OSHA has determined that there is a continued need for the rule, that the rule does not appear to overlap, duplicate, or conflict with other Federal rules or with other State and local rules, and that no technologcal, economic, or other factors have arisen since the rule was published that would necessitate amendment or recission of the rule at this time. OSHA has also concluded that no change that is consistent with the objectives of the OSHA Act can be made to the rule that will further minimize any significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. OSHA will be responding to comments received during this review of standard by preparing materials to assist employers in complying with the rule.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

Begin Review10/01/96

End Review10/00/97


Small Entities Affected: None

Government Levels Affected: None

Agency Contact: Marthe Kent, Director, Office of Regulatory Analysis, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-3627, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-4690
Fax: 202 219-4383

RIN: 1218-AB59


2097. OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO ETHYLENE OXIDE (SECTION 610 REVIEW)

Priority: Other Significant

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); 5 USC 553; 5 USC 610

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.1047

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: As required by Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Order 12866, OSHA has reviewed the Agency's standards for the protection of employees from exposure to ethylene oxide, 29 CFR 1910.1047, to determine whether the rule should be continued without change or should be amended or rescinded, consistent with the objectives of the rule and the Occupational Safety and Health Act, to minimize any significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. After a thorough review of the Agency's experience in enforcing this standard, the available literature, and comments received in connection with this review, OSHA has determined that there is a continued need for the rule, that the rule does not appear to overlap, duplicate or conflict with other Federal rules or with other State and local rules, and that no technological, economic or other factors have arisen since the rule was published that would necessitate amendment or rescission of the rule at this time. OSHA has also concluded that no change that is consistent with the objectives of the OSH Act can be made to the rule that will further minimize any significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

End Review10/00/97


Small Entities Affected: None

Government Levels Affected: None

Agency Contact: Marthe Kent, Director, Office of Regulatory Analysis, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-3718, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-4690
Fax: 202 219-4383

RIN: 1218-AB60


2098. FIRE BRIGADES

Priority: Other Significant. Major status under 5 USC 801 is undetermined.

Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined

Legal Authority: 29 USC 653; 29 USC 655; 29 USC 657

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.156

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: Fighting fires as members of fire brigades presents a significant risk of harm to employees. To mitigate these risks, OSHA promulgated a standard for fire brigades in 1980. However, the standard is now more than 16 years old and does not reflect current advances in technology and safety. Consequently, under this action the existing fire brigade standard would be revised to reflect the latest technology in safety, particularly with respect to personal protective equipment and emergency procedures. Gaps in coverage would also be addressed since the existing fire brigade standard does not cover wildland fire fighting or crash-rescue type fire fighting. Additionally, the fire brigade standard would be revised to better interface with the OSHA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard. The revision to the fire brigade standard would be implemented using the Negotiated Rulemaking process, and the States will be heavily involved in that process.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

Notice of Intent to form
Negotiated Rulemaking Committee
    for Fire Brigades
10/00/97
Appointment of Members06/00/98
Approval of Charter06/00/98

Small Entities Affected: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: None

Agency Contact: John F. Martonik, Acting Director, Directorate of Safety Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3605, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8061
Fax: 202 219-7477
Email: jmartonik@dol.gov

RIN: 1218-AB64


2099. * GRAIN HANDLING FACILITIES (SECTION 610 REVIEW)

Priority: Other Significant. Major status under 5 USC 801 is undetermined.

Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); 5 USC 553; 5 USC 610

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.272

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: The standard (29 CFR 1910.272) will be reviewed to determine impacts on small entities in accordance with the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and EO 12866. The review will cover the continued need for the rule; the nature of complaints or comments received from the public concerning the rule; the complexity of the rule; the extent to which the rule overlaps, duplicates or conflicts with other Federal rules and, to the extent feasible, with State and local rules; and the degree to which technology, economic conditions, or other factors have changed in the industries affected by the rule.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

Begin Review10/00/97
End Review09/00/98


Small Entities Affected: None

Government Levels Affected: None

Agency Contact: Marthe B. Kent, Director, Office of Regulatory Analysis, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room 3627, Washinton, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-4690
Fax: 202 219-4383

RIN: 1218-AB73


2100. * COTTON DUST (SECTION 610 REVIEW)

Priority: Other Significant

Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655 (b); 5 USC 553; 5 USC 610

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.1043

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: The standard (29 CFR 1910.1043) will be reviewed to determine impacts on small entities in accordance with the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and EO 12866. The review will cover the continued need for the rule; the nature of complaints or comments received from the public concerning the rule; the complexity of the rule; the extent to which the rule overlaps, duplicates or conflicts with other Federal rules and, to the extent feasible, with State and local rules; and the degree to which technology, economic conditions, or other factors have changed in the industries affected by the rule.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

Begin Review10/00/97
End Review09/00/98


Small Entities Affected: Businesses

Government Levels Affected: Undetermined

Agency Contact: Marthe B. Kent, Director, Office of Regulatory Analysis, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room N3627, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-4690
Fax: 202 219-4383

RIN: 1218-AB74



DEPARTMENT OF LABOR (DOL)Proposed Rule Stage
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

2101. STEEL ERECTION (PART 1926) (SAFETY PROTECTION FOR IRONWORKERS)

Regulatory Plan: This entry is Seq. No. 82 in Part II of this issue of the Federal Register.

82. STEEL ERECTION (PART 1926) (SAFETY PROTECTION FOR IRONWORKERS)

Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 USC 801.

Reinventing Government: This rulemaking is part of the Reinventing Government effort. It will revise text in the CFR to reduce burden or duplication, or streamline requirements.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655; 40 USC 333

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1926.750 (Revision); 29 CFR 1926.751 (Revision); 29 CFR 1926.752 (Revision)

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: On December 29, 1992, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced its intention to form a negotiated rulemaking advisory committee to negotiate issues associated with a revision of the existing steel erection standard. The Steel Erection Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Committee (SENRAC), a 20-member committee, was established, and the SENRAC charter was signed by Secretary Reich on May 26, 1994, and was recently re-chartered for a 2-year period. Four of the primary issues the committee negotiated include the need to expand the scope and application of the existing standard, construction specifications and work practices, written construction safety erection plans, and fall protection. The Committee met 11 times over an 18-month period and completed work on the draft regulatory text for the proposed steel erection standard on December 1, 1995.

The negotiated rulemaking process has been successful in bringing together the interested parties that will be affected by the proposed revision to the steel erection rule to work out contrasting positions, find common ground on the major issues, and develop language for a proposed rule. The use of this process and a neutral facilitator allowed the stakeholders to develop an ownership stake in the proposal that they would not have had without the use of this process.

The process has led to a proposed revision to subpart R of 29 CFR 1926 that contains innovative provisions that will help to minimize the major causes of steel erection injuries and fatalities. Many of these provisions could not have been developed without this process, which has brought together industry experts, via face-to-face negotiations, to discuss different approaches to resolving the issues. This process has proved mutually beneficial to all the parties involved (including OSHA), with each Committee member participating in resolving the issues and developing practical and effective rules to make the steel erection industry safer.

Statement of Need: In 1989, OSHA was petitioned by the Iron Workers Union and National Erectors Association to revise its construction safety standard for steel erection through the negotiated rulemaking process. OSHA asked an independent consultant to review the issues involved in a steel erection revision, render an independent opinion, and recommend a course of action to revise the standard. The consultant recommended that OSHA address the issues by using the negotiated rulemaking process. Based on the consultant's findings and the continued requests for negotiated rulemaking, OSHA decided to use the negotiated rulemaking process to develop a proposed revision of subpart R. The use of negotiated rulemaking was thought to be the best approach to resolving steel erection safety issues, some of which have proven intractable in the past.

Alternatives: An alternative to using the negotiated rulemaking process is to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking developed by Agency staff and consider the concerns of the affected interests through the public comment and public hearing process. It is anticipated that using this alternative would result in an extremely long and contentious rulemaking proceeding, with subsequent challenge in the Court of Appeals. This alternative was therefore rejected. Another alternative would be not to revise the Agency's current steel erection rules for construction. This alternative was rejected because it would permit steel erection-related injuries and fatalities to continue.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: The estimated compliance costs of the proposal are approximately $50 million per year, and the Agency believes that the benefits of the standard would include the prevention of an estimated 14 fatalities and 824 lost workday injuries per year.

Risks: The magnitude of the risk associated with steel erection activities is great. It is estimated that 28 workers are killed every year during steel erection activities. Falls are currently the number one killer of construction workers, and since the erection of buildings necessarily involves high exposure to fall hazards, the central focus of this rule will be to eliminate or reduce the risks associated with falls.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

Notice of Committee
    Establishment
05/11/9459 FR 24389
NPRM12/00/97

Small Entities Affected: Businesses

Government Levels Affected: None

Agency Contact:
Russell B. Swanson
Director, Directorate of Construction
Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
200 Constitution Avenue NW.
Rm N3306, FP Building
Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8644

RIN: 1218-AA65


2102. PREVENTION OF WORK-RELATED MUSCULOSKELETAL DISORDERS

Regulatory Plan: This entry is Seq. No. 83 in Part II of this issue of the Federal Register.

83. PREVENTION OF WORK-RELATED MUSCULOSKELETAL DISORDERS

Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 USC 801.

Unfunded Mandates: This action may affect the private sector under PL 104-4.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 651; 29 USC 652; 29 USC 655; 29 USC 657; 33 USC 941; 40 USC 333

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910; 29 CFR 1915; 29 CFR 1917; 29 CFR 1918; 29 CFR 1926; 29 CFR 1928

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are a leading cause of pain, suffering, and disability in American workplaces. Since the 1980's, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has had a number of initiatives related to addressing these problems, including enforcement under the general duty clause, issuance of guidelines for the meatpacking industry, and development of other compliance-assistance materials.

Ultimately, the Agency decided that, given the increasing magnitude of the problem, a regulatory approach should be explored to ensure that the largest possible number of employers and employees become aware of the problems and ways of preventing work-related musculoskeletal disorders. An open process to develop and consider regulatory alternatives was initiated with the publication of an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on August 3, 1992 (57 FR 34192). About 300 comments were received in response to that request. In addition to the public comments, OSHA has examined and analyzed the extensive scientific literature documenting the problem of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, the causes of the problem, and effective solutions; conducted a telephone survey of over 3,000 establishments regarding their current practices to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders; and completed a number of site visits to facilities with existing programs. The Agency has also held numerous stakeholder meetings to solicit input from individuals regarding the possible contents of a standard to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders, and on a draft proposed regulatory text and supporting documents. Agency representatives have delivered numerous outreach presentations to people who are interested in this subject; consulted professionals in the field to obtain expert opinions on various aspects of the options considered by the Agency; and field-tested certain requirements under consideration for the standard. Information obtained from these activities is undergoing Agency review. Options for regulatory action are being considered.

The Agency believes that the scientific evidence supports the need for a standard and that the availability of effective and reasonable means to control these hazards has been demonstrated. The criteria that have been developed for setting OSHA priorities support the Agency's determination that action is needed now to stop the occurrence of work- related musculoskeletal disorders. The Agency is currently considering options to develop a proposed rule for ergonomics. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has recently issued a report evaluating the scientific basis for the relationship of workplace stressors to MSDs. The report concludes that such a relationship exists for many stressors.

Statement of Need: OSHA estimates that the occurrence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the United States ranges from more than 700,000 lost workday injuries and illnesses (30 % of all lost workdays reported to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)) to more than 2.7 million annually awarded workers' compensation claims. These disorders now account for one out of every three dollars spent on workers' compensation. It is estimated that employers spend $20 billion a year on direct costs for workers' compensation, and up to five times that much for indirect costs, such as those associated with hiring and training replacement workers. In addition to these monetary effects, these disorders often impose a substantial personal toll on workers who experience their effects, and as a result are no longer able to work or to perform simple personal tasks like buttoning their clothes or brushing their hair.

Scientific evidence associates these disorders with stresses to various body parts caused by the way certain tasks are performed. The positioning of the body and the type of physical work that must be done to complete the tasks of a job may cause persistent pain and lead over time to deterioration of the affected joints, tissues, and muscles. The longer the time the worker must maintain a fixed or awkward posture, exert force, repeat the same movements, experience vibration, or handle heavy items, the greater the chance that such a disorder will occur. These job-related stresses are referred to as "workplace risk factors," and the scientific literature demonstrates that exposure to these risk factors, particularly in combination with each other, significantly increases an employee's risk of developing a work-related musculoskeletal disorder. Jobs involving exposure to workplace risk factors appear in all types of industries and in all sizes of facilities.

Musculoskeletal disorders occur in all parts of the body -- the upper extremity, the lower extremity, and the back. An example of the increasing magnitude of the problem involves repeated trauma to the upper extremity, or that portion of the body above the waist, in forms such as carpal tunnel syndrome and shoulder tendinitis. In 1995, employers reported 302,000 upper extremity repeated trauma cases to the BLS. As a point of comparison, the number of reported cases in this category was only 22,700 in 1981. Adjusting the data to reflect changes in the size of the employee population indicates that there has been a greater than 7-fold increase in such cases in the last ten years. In industries such as meatpacking, more than 10 out of every 100 workers report a work related musculoskeletal disorder from repeated trauma each year. In automotive assembly, approximately 10 out 100 workers are affected. The number of work-related back injuries occurring each year is even larger than the number of upper extremity disorders. Industries reporting a large number of cases of back injuries include hospitals and personal care facilities.

The evidence OSHA has assembled and analyzed indicates that there are technologically and economically feasible measures available that can significantly reduce exposures to workplace risk factors and the risk of developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Many companies that have voluntarily implemented ergonomics programs have demonstrated that effective ergonomic interventions are available and implementation of them is beneficial to the employer and the employee. Many of these interventions are simple and inexpensive, but nevertheless have a significant effect on the occurrence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Substantial savings in workers' compensation costs, increased productivity, and decreased turnover are among the benefits found.

Alternatives: OSHA has considered many different regulatory alternatives since initiating the rulemaking process. These include variations in the scope of coverage, particularly with regard to industrial sectors, work processes, and degree of hazard. Various phasing options related to the size of facility have also been considered. The agency is still in the process of developing and refining a number of regulatory alternatives.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: Implementation costs associated with a regulatory approach would include those related to identifying and correcting problem jobs using engineering and administrative controls. Benefits expected include reduced pain and suffering, both from prevented disorders as well as reduced severity in those disorders that do occur, fewer workers' compensation claims and lower associated costs, and reduced lost work time. Secondary benefits may accrue from improved quality and productivity due to better designed work systems.

Risks: The data OSHA has obtained and analyzed indicate that employees are at a significant risk of developing or aggravating musculoskeletal disorders due to exposure to risk factors in the workplace. In addition, information OSHA has obtained from site visits, scientific literature, compliance experience, and other sources indicates that there are economically and technologically feasible means of addressing and reducing these risks to prevent the development or aggravation of such disorders, or to reduce their severity. These data and analyses will be presented in the preamble to any proposed standard published in the Federal Register.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

ANPRM08/03/9257 FR 34192
ANPRM Comment
    Period End
02/01/93
NPRM00/00/00

Small Entities Affected: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: Undetermined

Agency Contact:
Adam Finkel
Director, Health Standards Programs
Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
200 Constitution Avenue NW.
Room N3718, FP Building
Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-7075

RIN: 1218-AB36


2103. SAFETY AND HEALTH PROGRAMS (FOR GENERAL INDUSTRY)

Regulatory Plan: This entry is Seq. No. 84 in Part II of this issue of the Federal Register.

84. SAFETY AND HEALTH PROGRAMS (FOR GENERAL INDUSTRY)

Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 USC 801.

Unfunded Mandates: This action may affect the private sector under PL 104-4.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655; 29 USC 652; 29 USC 654; 29 USC 657

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910; 29 CFR 1915; 29 CFR 1918; 29 CFR 1926

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), many of the States, members of the safety and health community, insurance companies, professional organizations, companies participating in the Agency's Voluntary Protection Program, and many proactive employers in all industries have recognized the value of worksite-specific safety and health programs in preventing job-related injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. The effectiveness of these programs is seen most dramatically in the reductions in job-related injuries and illnesses, workers' compensation costs, and absenteeism that occur after employers implement such programs. To assist employers in establishing safety and health programs, OSHA in 1989 (54 FR 3904) published nonmandatory guidelines that were based on a distillation of the best safety and health management practices observed by OSHA in the years since the Agency was established. OSHA's decision to expand on these guidelines by developing a safety and health programs rule is based on the Agency's recognition that occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities are continuing to occur at an unacceptably high rate; for example, an average of 17 workers were killed each day in 1995 in occupational fatalities.

Although the precise scope of the standard (e.g., what industries will be covered, what sizes of firms will be covered) has not yet been determined, the safety and health programs contained in the proposed rule will include at least the following elements: management leadership of the program; active employee participation in the program; analysis of the worksite to identify serious safety and health hazards of all types; and requirements that employers eliminate or control those hazards in an effective and timely way. In addition, in response to extensive stakeholder involvement, OSHA has, among other things, focused the rule on serious hazards, deleted required medical surveillance, and reduced burdens on small business.

Statement of Need: Worksite-specific safety and health programs are increasingly being recognized as the most effective way of reducing job-related accidents, injuries, and illnesses. Many States have to date passed legislation and/or regulations mandating such programs for some or all employers, and insurance companies have also been encouraging their client companies to implement these programs, because the results they have achieved have been so dramatic. In addition, all of the companies in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program have established such programs and are reporting injury and illness rates that are sometimes only 20 percent of the average for other establishments in their industry. Safety and health programs apparently achieve these results by actively engaging front-line employees, who are closest to operations in the workplace and have the highest stake in preventing job-related accidents, in the process of identifying and correcting occupational hazards. Finding and fixing workplace hazards is a cost-effective process, both in terms of the avoidance of pain and suffering and the prevention of the expenditure of large sums of money to pay for the direct and indirect costs of these injuries and illnesses. For example, many employers report that these programs return between $5 and $9 for every dollar invested in the program, and almost all employers with such programs experience substantial reductions in their workers' compensation premiums. OSHA believes that having employers evaluate the job-related safety and health hazards in their workplace and address any hazards identified before they cause occupational injuries, illnesses, or deaths is an excellent example of "regulating smarter," because all parties will benefit: workers will avoid the injuries and illnesses they are currently experiencing; employers will save substantial sums of money and increase their productivity and competitiveness; and OSHA's scarce resources will be leveraged as employers and employees join together to identify, correct, and prevent job-related safety and health hazards.

Alternatives: In the last few years, OSHA has considered both nonregulatory and regulatory alternatives in the area of safety and health program management. First, OSHA published, in 1989, a set of voluntary management guidelines designed to assist employers to establish and maintain programs such as the one envisioned by the proposed safety and health programs rule. Although these guidelines have received widespread praise from many employers and professional safety and health associations, they have not been effective in reducing job- related deaths, injuries, and illnesses, which have continued to occur at unacceptably high levels. Many of the States have also recognized the value of these programs and have mandated that some or all covered employers establish them; however, this has led to inconsistent coverage from State to State, with many States having no coverage and others imposing stringent program requirements.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: The scope and nature of the proposed rule are currently under development, and thus estimates of costs and benefits have not been determined at this time.

Risks: Workers in all major industry sectors in the United States continue to experience an unacceptably high rate of occupational fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. In 1994 the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 6.8 million injuries and illnesses occurred within private industry, and in 1995, 6,210 workers lost their lives on the job. There is increasing evidence that addressing hazards in a piecemeal fashion, as employers tend to do in the absence of a comprehensive safety and health program, is considerably less effective in reducing accidents than a systematic approach. Dramatic evidence of the seriousness of this problem can be found in the staggering workers' compensation bill paid by America's employers and employees: $54 billion annually. These risks can be reduced by the implementation of safety and health programs, as evidenced by the experience of OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program participants, who regularly achieve injury and illness rates averaging one-fifth to one-third those of competing firms in their industries. Other benefits of reducing accidents include enhanced productivity, improved employee morale, and reduced absenteeism. Because these programs address all serious job-related hazards -- including those that are covered by OSHA standards as well as those not currently addressed by these standards -- the proposed rule will be effective in ensuring a systematic approach to the control of long- recognized hazards, such as lead, and emerging hazards, such as lasers and heat stress.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM06/00/98

Small Entities Affected: Businesses

Government Levels Affected: State

Additional Information: Separate standards are being developed for the construction (29 CFR 1926) and the maritime (29 CFR 1915, 1917 and 1918) industries, which are being coordinated with this standard.

Agency Contact:
John Martonik
Acting Director, Safety Standards Programs
Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
200 Constitution Avenue NW.
Room N3605, FP Building
Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8061

RIN: 1218-AB41


2104. OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO TUBERCULOSIS

Regulatory Plan: This entry is Seq. No. 85 in Part II of this issue of the Federal Register.

85. OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO TUBERCULOSIS

Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 USC 801.

Unfunded Mandates: This action may affect the private sector under PL 104-4.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b)

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.1035

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: On August 25, 1993, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was petitioned by the Labor Coalition to Fight TB in the Workplace to initiate rulemaking for a permanent standard to protect workers against occupational transmission of tuberculosis (TB). Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have developed recommendations for controlling the spread of TB in several work settings (e.g., correctional institutions, health-care facilities, and homeless shelters), the petitioners stated that in every recent TB outbreak investigated by the CDC, noncompliance with CDC's TB control guidelines was evident. After reviewing the available information, OSHA has preliminarily concluded that significant risk of occupational transmission of TB does exist for some workers and has initiated a 6(b) standard rulemaking. The Agency is currently developing a proposed rule that would require certain employers to take steps to eliminate or minimize employee exposure to TB. OSHA already regulates the biological hazard of bloodborne pathogens (e.g., HIV, hepatitis B) under 29 CFR 1910.1030 and believes that development of a TB standard is consistent with the Agency's mission and previous activity.

OSHA has consulted with parties outside of the Agency with regard to the developing proposal. The draft preliminary Risk Assessment has been peer-reviewed by four individuals with specific knowledge in the areas of tuberculosis and risk assessment. One reviewer is from the CDC and three are from academia. In addition, OSHA has conducted stakeholder meetings with representatives of relevant professional organizations, trade associations, labor unions, and other groups. These meetings provided the opportunity for both general and frontline stakeholder representatives to present OSHA with their individual comments, observations, and concerns about the contents of the draft proposal. The draft proposal has also been reviewed and commented on by affected small business entities under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA). In addition, the draft proposed standard and preamble have been reviewed by the office of Management and Budget. In response to the consultations and reviews, OSHA has made changes to improve the proposed standard.

Statement of Need: For centuries, TB has been responsible for the deaths of millions of people throughout the world. TB is a contagious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Infection is generally acquired by the inhalation of airborne particles carrying the bacterium. These airborne particles, called droplet nuclei, can be generated when persons with pulmonary or laryngeal tuberculosis in the infectious state of the disease cough, sneeze, speak, or sing. In some individuals exposed to droplet nuclei, TB bacilli enter the alveoli and establish an infection. In most cases, the bacilli are contained by the individual's immune response. However, in some cases, the bacilli are not contained by the immune system and continue to grow and invade the tissue, leading to the progressive destruction of the organ involved. While in most cases this organ is the lung (i.e., pulmonary tuberculosis), other organs outside of the lung may also be infected and become diseased (i.e., extrapulmonary tuberculosis).

From 1953, when active cases began to be reported in the United States, until 1984, the number of annual reported cases declined 74 percent, from 84,304 to 22,255. However, this steady decline in TB cases has not continued. Instead, from 1985 through 1992, the number of reported TB cases increased 20.1 percent. In 1992, more than 26,000 new cases of active TB were reported in the United States. In New York City alone, 3,700 cases of active TB were reported in 1991. While a decrease in active cases has been observed recently, there were still 22,813 reported cases in 1995. A large portion of the decrease occurred in high incidence areas where intervention efforts have been focused. However, over twenty states showed an increase or no change in the number of reported cases. In addition, the factors that led to the recent resurgence of TB (e.g., increases in homelessness, HIV infection, immigration from countries with high rates of infection) still exist and the job duties of certain workers require them to be exposed to patients and clients with suspected or confirmed infectious TB. In addition, strains of tuberculosis have emerged that are resistant to several of the first-line anti-TB drugs. This multidrug- resistant TB (MDR-TB) is often fatal due to the difficulty of halting the progression of the disease. Individuals with MDR-TB often remain infectious for longer periods of time due to delays in diagnosing resistance patterns and initiating proper treatment. This lengthened period of infectiousness increases the risk that the organism will be transmitted to other persons coming in contact with such individuals.

Providing health care for individuals with the disease increases the risk of occupational exposure to TB among health care workers. In fact, several outbreaks of tuberculosis, including MDR-TB, have recently occurred in health care facilities, resulting in transmission to both patients and health care workers. CDC found that factors contributing to these outbreaks included delayed diagnosis of TB, delayed recognition of drug resistance, delayed initiation of effective therapy, delayed initiation and inadequate duration of TB isolation, inadequate ventilation in TB isolation rooms, lapses in TB isolation practices, inadequate precautions for cough-inducing procedures, and lack of adequate respiratory protection. CDC's analysis of data collected from three of the health care facilities involved in the outbreaks indicated that transmission of TB decreased significantly or ceased entirely in areas where recommended TB control measures were implemented. In addition, workers outside of health care may provide services to patient or client populations that have an increased rate of TB. For example, occupational transmission of TB has been documented in correctional facilities.

Summary of the Legal Basis: The legal basis for the proposed TB standard is a preliminary finding by the Secretary of Labor that workers in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, correctional facilities, homeless shelters and certain other work settings are at significant risk of incurring TB infection while caring for their patients and clients or performing certain procedures.

Alternatives: Prior to a decision to publish a proposal, OSHA considered a number of options, including whether or not to develop an emergency temporary standard, publish an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, or to enforce existing regulations.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: Costs will be incurred by employers for engineering controls, respiratory protection, medical surveillance, training, exposure control, recordkeeping, and work practice controls. Benefits will include the prevention of occupationally-related TB transmissions and infections, and a corresponding reduced risk of exposure among the general population. The scope and nature of the proposed rule are currently under development and thus estimates of costs and benefits have not been determined at this time.

Risks: From 1985 to 1992, the number of reported cases of TB in the U.S. increased, reversing a previous 30-year downward trend. While there has been a recent decrease in the reported number of cases of TB in the general population, a large part of this decrease can be attributed to focused intervention efforts in areas of high incidence of TB. Over 20 states showed an increase or no change in the number of reported TB cases and the factors that contributed to the resurgence continue to exist, along with exposure of certain workers to patient and client populations with an increased rate of TB. In addition, strains of multidrug-resistant TB have emerged which are more often fatal. Therefore, employees in work settings such as health care or correctional facilities, who have contact with infectious individuals, retain a risk of occupational transmission. TB is a contagious disease spread by airborne particles known as droplet nuclei. Active disease can cause signs and symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, fever, night sweats, loss of appetite, persistent cough, and shortness of breath, and may possibly result in serious respiratory illness or death.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

SBREFA Panel09/10/96
NPRM10/00/97

Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions, Organizations

Government Levels Affected: State, Local, Tribal, Federal

Additional Information: During the rulemaking, OSHA will meet with small business stakeholders to discuss their concerns, and will conduct an initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis to identify any significant impacts on a substantial number of small entities. In addition, OSHA will conduct a special study of homeless shelters and will designate certain hearing dates for persons who wish to testify on homeless shelter issues.

Agency Contact:
Adam Finkel
Director, Health Standards Programs
Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
200 Constitution Avenue NW.
Room N3718, FP Building
Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-7075
Fax: 202 219-7125

RIN: 1218-AB46


2105. CONFINED SPACES IN CONSTRUCTION (PART 1926) (CONSTRUCTION: PREVENTING SUFFOCATION/EXPLOSIONS IN CONFINED SPACES)

Priority: Economically Significant. Major status under 5 USC 801 is undetermined.

Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b)

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1926.36

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: In January 1993, OSHA issued a general industry rule on preventing suffocation/explosions in confined spaces (58 FR 4462). This standard does not apply to the construction industry because of differences in the nature of the worksite. In discussions with the United Steel Workers of America on a settlement agreement for the general industry standard, OSHA agreed to issue a proposed rule to extend the protection to construction workers, appropriate to their work environment. 1,000,000 construction workers are exposed to this hazard annually. OSHA intends to issue a proposed rule addressing this construction industry hazard in the fall of 1998, after extensive discussion with the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health and other stakeholders.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM09/00/98

Small Entities Affected: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: Undetermined

Agency Contact: Russell B. Swanson, Director, Construction Standards, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3306, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8644

RIN: 1218-AB47


2106. GENERAL WORKING CONDITIONS IN SHIPYARDS (PART 1915, SUBPART F) (PHASE II) (SHIPYARDS: GENERAL WORKING CONDITIONS)

Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant

Reinventing Government: This rulemaking is part of the Reinventing Government effort. It will revise text in the CFR to reduce burden or duplication, or streamline requirements.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); 33 USC 941

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1915.1 et seq; 29 CFR 1915.31 et seq; 29 CFR 1915.91 et seq; 29 CFR 1915.111 et seq; 29 CFR 1915.131 et seq; 29 CFR 1915.161 et seq; 29 CFR 1915.171 et seq; 29 CFR 1915.181; 29 CFR 1910.13 et seq; 29 CFR 1910.14; 29 CFR 1910.15; 29 CFR 1910.95; 29 CFR 1910.96; 29 CFR 1910.97; 29 CFR 1910.141; ...

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: During the 1980s, OSHA embarked on a project to update and consolidate the various OSHA shipyard standards that were applied in the shipbuilding, shiprepair, and shipbreaking industry. Shipyard employers have been subject to both the "shipyard" standards and OSHA's general industry standards for landside operations. This has sometimes resulted in inconsistent and contradictory requirements for essentially the same operation. Phase 1 of this project aimed at establishing a truly vertical standard for shipyard employment and addressed six subparts of shipyard employment safety standards (Confined Spaces, Welding, Access/Egress, Personal Protective Equipment, Fall Protection and Scaffolding). Proposals on these hazards were issued in November 1988 (53 FR 48092). The remaining hazards were categorized as Phase II of the consolidation project (including general work practices and fire safety). This action was endorsed by the Shipyard Advisory Committee, which was chartered in 1989 to update and consolidate existing shipyard standards. The operations that are addressed in this rulemaking relate to housekeeping, illumination, sanitation, first aid, and lockout/tagout. About 75,000 workers are exposed annually to these hazards.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM03/00/98

Small Entities Affected: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: None

Agency Contact: John Martonik, Acting Director, Safety Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3605, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8061

RIN: 1218-AB50


2107. FIRE PROTECTION IN SHIPYARD EMPLOYMENT (PART 1915, SUBPART P) (PHASE II) (SHIPYARDS: FIRE SAFETY)

Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant

Reinventing Government: This rulemaking is part of the Reinventing Government effort. It will revise text in the CFR to reduce burden or duplication, or streamline requirements.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); 33 USC 941

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1915.1 et seq; 29 CFR 1915.31 et seq; 29 CFR 1915.91 et seq; 29 CFR 1915.111 et seq; 29 CFR 1915.131 et seq; 29 CFR 1915.161 et seq; 29 CFR 1915.171 et seq; 29 CFR 1915.181; 29 CFR 1910.13 et seq; 29 CFR 1910.14; 29 CFR 1910.15; 29 CFR 1910.95; 29 CFR 1910.96; 29 CFR 1910.97; 29 CFR 1910.141; ...

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: During the 1980s, OSHA embarked on a project to update and consolidate the various OSHA shipyard standards that were applied in the shipbuilding, ship repair, and shipbreaking industry. A shipyard employer is subject to both the "shipyard" standards and OSHA's general industry standards. This sometimes results in inconsistent and contradictory requirements for essentially the same operation. Phase 1 of this project aimed at establishing a truly vertical standard for shipyard employment and addressed six subparts of shipyard employment safety standards (Confined Spaces, Welding, Access/Egress, Personal Protective Equipment, Fall Protection and Scaffolding). Proposals on these hazards were issued in November 1988 (53 FR 48092). The remaining hazards were categorized as Phase II of the consolidation project (including general work practices and fire safety). This action was endorsed by the Shipyard Advisory Committee which was chartered in 1989 to update and consolidate existing shipyard standards. The operations that are addressed in this rulemaking relate to fire brigades, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, detection systems, alarm systems, fire watches, and emergency plans. 100,000 workers are potentially exposed to these hazards annually. This standard will be developed using the negotiated rulemaking process.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM09/00/98

Small Entities Affected: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: None

Agency Contact: John Martonik, Acting Director, Safety Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3605, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8061

RIN: 1218-AB51


2108. PERMISSIBLE EXPOSURE LIMITS (PELS) FOR AIR CONTAMINANTS

Regulatory Plan: This entry is Seq. No. 86 in Part II of this issue of the Federal Register.

86. PERMISSIBLE EXPOSURE LIMITS (PELS) FOR AIR CONTAMINANTS

Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 USC 801.

Unfunded Mandates: This action may affect the private sector under PL 104-4.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655 (b)

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.1000

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: OSHA enforces hundreds of permissible exposure limits (PELs) for toxic air contaminants found in U.S. workplaces. These PELs set OSHA- enforceable limits on the magnitude and duration of employee exposure to each contaminant. The amount of exposure permitted by a given PEL depends on the toxicity and other characteristics of the particular substance. OSHA's PELs for air contaminants are codified in 29 CFR 1910.1000, Tables Z-1, Z-2, and Z-3. The air contaminant limits were adopted by OSHA in 1971 from existing national consensus standards issued by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists and the American National Standards Institute. These PELs, which have not been updated since 1971, thus reflect the results of research conducted in the 1950s and 1960s. Since then, much new information has become available that indicates that, in most cases, these early limits are outdated and insufficiently protective of worker health. To correct this situation, OSHA published a proposal in 1988 updating the air contaminant limits in general industry. That proposal became a final rule in 1989 (54 FR 2332); it lowered the existing PEL for 212 toxic air contaminants and established PELs for 164 previously unregulated air contaminants. On June 12, 1992 (57 FR 26001), OSHA proposed a rule that would have extended these limits to workplaces in the construction, maritime, and agriculture industries. However, on July 10, 1992, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the 1989 final rule on the grounds that "(1) OSHA failed to establish that existing exposure limits in the workplace presented significant risk of material health impairment or that new standards eliminated or substantially lessened the risk; (2) OSHA did not meet its burden of establishing that its 428 new permissible exposure limits (PELs) were either economically or technologically feasible." The Court's decision to vacate the rule forced the Agency to return to the earlier, insufficiently protective limits.

OSHA continues to believe that establishing a rulemaking approach that will permit the Agency to update existing air contaminant limits and establish new ones as toxicological evidence of the need to do so becomes available is a high priority. The rulemaking described in this Regulatory Plan entry reflects OSHA's intention to move forward with this process. In determining how to proceed, OSHA is being guided by the OSH Act and the Eleventh District Court decision regarding the extent of the risk and feasibility analyses required to support revised and new air contaminant limits. The Agency will rely on a risk-based prioritization system to identify those air contaminants that present significant risks to exposed employees and for which technologically and economically feasible controls exist. State-of-the-art risk assessment methodologies will be utilized for both carcinogens and noncarcinogens, and the determinations of feasibility contained in the economic analysis accompanying the proposal will be extensive. OSHA published (61 FR 1947) the substances selected for proposed new PELs for the first update of the air contaminants rule: carbon disulfide, carbon monoxide, chloroform, dimethyl sulfate, epichlorohydrin, ethylene dichloride, glutaraldehyde, n-hexane, 2-hexanone, hydrazine, hydrogen sulfide, manganese and compounds, mercury and compounds, nitrogen dioxide, perchloroethylene, sulfur dioxide, toluene, toluene diisocyanate, trimellitic anhydride, and vinyl bromide. The specific hazards associated with the air contaminants preliminarily selected for regulation include cancer, neurotoxicity, respiratory sensitivity, etc. Using the same criteria as those used in the Priority Planning Process, OSHA evaluated each substance: severity of the health effect, the number of exposed workers, toxicity of the substance, uses and prevailing exposure levels of the substance, the potential risk reduction, availability and quality of information useful in quantitative risk assessment to ensure that significant risks are addressed and that workers will experience substantial benefits in the form of enhanced health and safety. Publication of the proposal will allow OSHA to institutionalize a mechanism for updating and extending its air contaminant limits, which will, at the same time, provide added protection to many workers who are currently being overexposed to toxic substances in the workplace. OSHA is also considering supplemental mechanisms proposed by stakeholders to increase the effectiveness of the process.

Statement of Need: OSHA's current Tables Z-1, Z-2, and Z-3 contain approximately 470 PELs for various forms (e.g., dust, fumes, vapors) of the regulated contaminants, many of which are widely used in industrial settings. These PELs, which were adopted wholesale by OSHA in 1971 and have not been revised since then, often lead to adverse effects when workers are exposed to them. In addition, new chemicals are constantly being introduced into the working environment, and exposure to these substances can result in both acute and chronic health effects. Acute effects include respiratory and sensory irritation, chemical burns, and ocular damage; chronic effects include cardiovascular disease, respiratory, liver and kidney disease, reproductive effects, neurological damage, and cancer. For these reasons, it is a high OSHA priority to establish an ongoing regular process that will allow OSHA routinely to update existing PELs and establish limits for previously unregulated substances. The first step in achieving this goal is to publish an air contaminants proposal for approximately 12 substances that will establish streamlined but scientifically sound and defensible procedures for conducting risk assessments and performing feasibility analyses that will permit regular updating and review of permissible exposure limits for air contaminants. The ability to lower existing limits and establish limits for new contaminants is an essential component of OSHA's mandate to protect the health and functional well- being of America's workers.

Summary of the Legal Basis: Section 6(b) of the OSH Act.

Alternatives: OSHA has considered a variety of nonregulatory approaches to address the problem of the Agency's outdated exposure limits for air contaminants. These include the issuance of nonmandatory guidelines, enforcing lower limits through the "general duty" clause of the OSH Act in cases where substantial evidence exists that exposure presents a recognized hazard of serious physical harm, and the issuance of hazard alerts. OSHA believes, however, that the problem of overexposure to hazardous air contaminants is so widespread, and the Agency's current limits are so out of date, that only a regulatory approach will achieve the necessary level of protection. The regulatory approach also has advantages for employers, because it gives them the information they need to establish appropriate control strategies to protect their workers and reduce the costs of job-related illnesses. This first phase of an ongoing air contaminants updating and revision process will begin to resolve a problem of long-standing and major occupational health import.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: The scope of the proposed rule is currently under development, and thus quantitative estimates of costs and benefits have not been determined at this time. Implementation costs associated with the proposed standard include primarily those related to identifying and correcting over-exposures using engineering controls and work practices. Additional costs may be incurred for the implementation of administrative controls and the purchase and use of personal protective equipment. Estimates of the magnitude of the problem of occupational illnesses, both acute and chronic, vary considerably. In 1989, OSHA concluded that its Air Contaminants rule in general industry, which lowered 212 exposure limits and added 164 where none had previously existed, would result in a reduction of approximately 700 deaths, 55,000 illnesses and over 23,300 lost-workday illnesses annually. Chronic effects include cardiovascular disease, respiratory, liver and kidney disease, reproductive effects, neurological damage, and cancer. Acute effects include respiratory and sensory irritation, chemical burns, and ocular effects.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM03/00/98

Small Entities Affected: Businesses

Government Levels Affected: State, Federal

Additional Information: During the rulemaking,OSHA will meet with small business stakeholders to discuss their concerns, and will conduct an initial Regulatory Flexibility Screening Analysis to identify any significant impacts on a substantial number of small entities.

Agency Contact:
Adam Finkel
Director, Health Standards Programs
Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
200 Constitution Avenue NW.
Room N3718, FP Building
Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-7075
Fax: 202 219-7125
Email: afinkel@dol.gov

RIN: 1218-AB54


2109. PLAIN ENGLISH REVISION OF EXISTING STANDARDS

Regulatory Plan: This entry is Seq. No. 87 in Part II of this issue of the Federal Register.

87. PLAIN ENGLISH REVISION OF EXISTING STANDARDS

Priority: Other Significant

Reinventing Government: This rulemaking is part of the Reinventing Government effort. It will revise text in the CFR to reduce burden or duplication, or streamline requirements.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); 5 USC 553

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.107; 29 CFR 1910.108; 29 CFR 1910.94(c); 29 CFR 1910.94(d); 29 CFR 1910.35; 29 CFR 1910.36; 29 CFR 1910.37; 29 CFR 1910.38

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) adopted its initial package of workplace safety and health standards in the 1970's from various nationally recognized consensus standards and from standards that had already been promulgated by other Federal agencies. Section 6(a) of the Act permitted OSHA to adopt nationally recognized consensus standards, developed by groups such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and existing Federal standards for use as OSHA standards without public participation or public comment. Many of these 6(a) standards have been identified by the regulated community as being overly complex, difficult to read and follow, and out of date with current technology.

This project is part of a Presidential initiative to respond to the general criticism concerning the complexity and obsolescence of certain Federal regulations. OSHA believes that some of the Agency's section 6(a) standards in subpart E and subpart H of part 1910 meet the criteria for critical review set forth in the Presidential initiative. OSHA is initiating three separate rulemakings that will revise three of OSHA's most complex and out-of-date section 6(a) standards. These specific standards address means of egress (exit routes), spray finishing using flammable and combustible liquids; and dip tanks containing flammable and combustible liquids. 29 CFR 1910.107 and 1910.108, (spray finishing using flammable and combustible liquids and dip tanks, respectively) also contain substantive ventilation requirements that are duplicative with ventilation requirements contained in 29 CFR 1910.94, paragraphs (c) and (d). The purpose of these rulemakings is to simplify and clarify these standards and to write them in "plain English," as directed by the President's report.

Statement of Need: These three OSHA safety standards are being revised as part of the President's initiative on Federal regulations discussed in the U.S. Department of Labor report of June 15, 1995. The Department of Labor report was issued in response to the President's Regulatory Reform Initiative dated April 24, 1995.

Fire hazards in the workplace associated with exposure to flammable and combustible liquids create a variety of safety and health problems, including thermal burns, chemical burns, smoke inhalation, respiratory inflammations, nausea, dizziness, other serious physical injuries and death. Overexposure to vapors, fumes, and mists created during spray applications or dipping processes involving flammable or combustible liquids create a variety of health problems, including respiratory infections, nausea, dizziness, respiratory allergies, heart disease, lung cancer, decreases in pulmonary function, other serious illnesses, and death.

In case of an emergency, proper exit routes are needed to protect employees from being trapped in hazardous work areas and lead them to safety.

Alternatives: OSHA has considered several alternative approaches to controlling these hazards, including issuing guidelines, using the "general duty clause" of the OSHA Act to cite serious and unsafe work practices not regulated by the existing standards, issuing hazard alerts, issuing program directives, and revising and updating the current OSHA standards to reflect the updated national consensus standards. OSHA believes that, in this case, revising and updating these standards is the most appropriate way to proceed. It is the only approach that will assure public participation in the revision of outdated, complex, and obsolete rules.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: Because these plain English revisions are not substantively changing these rules, no cost impacts will be associated with these revisions.

Risks: Because these revisions are designed to simplify and clarify these standards, no assessment of risks is required.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM Exit Routes
    (Means of Egress)
09/10/9661 FR 47712
Hearing on Exit
    Routes
04/29/9762 FR 9402
NPRM Dip Tanks10/00/97
NPRM Spray
    Finishing
12/00/97
Final Action Exit
    Routes
12/00/97

Small Entities Affected: None

Government Levels Affected: Undetermined

Additional Information: Means of Egress, 29 CFR 1910 subpart E, Spray Finishing Using Flammable and Combustible Materials, 29 CFR 1910.107, Dip Tanks Containing Flammable and Combustible Liquids, 29 CFR 1910.108 are three standards selected for revision under a Presidential Initiative to revise outdated, duplicative, or obsolete Federal regulations. They will also be formatted to make them easier to read. 29 CFR 1910.94(c) will be combined with 29 CFR 1910.107 to eliminate duplicative standards, as will 29 CFR 1910.94(d) and 29 CFR 1910.108. Flammable and Combustible Liquids, 1910.106, has been moved to RIN 1218-AB61.

Agency Contact:
John Martonik
Acting Director, Safety Standards Programs
Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
200 Constitution Avenue NW.
Room N3605, FP Building
Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8061
Fax: 202 219-7477

RIN: 1218-AB55


2110. NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED TESTING LABS PROGRAMS: FEES

Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant

Legal Authority: 31 USC 9701; 29 USC 653; 29 USC 655; 29 USC 657

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.7

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: A number of OSHA standards require that certain products and equipment used in the workplace be tested and certified by a laboratory that has been recognized and accredited by OSHA. Through the Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) Program to date, OSHA has recognized 14 laboratories operating approximately 36 sites in the U.S. and Canada as NRTLs. OSHA is proposing to revise 29 CFR 1910.7 to allow OSHA to charge fees to NRTLs for services that are provided to the NRTLs. The fees will be computed on the basis of the cost of the services to the Government. In determining the amount of such fees, OSHA will follow the guidelines established by the Office of Management and Budget as stated in Circular Number A-25.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM12/00/97

Small Entities Affected: None

Government Levels Affected: None

Agency Contact: Steve Witt, Directorate of Technical Support, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constituion Avenue NW., Room N-3653, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-7056

RIN: 1218-AB57


2111. FLAMMABLE AND COMBUSTIBLE LIQUIDS

Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant

Reinventing Government: This rulemaking is part of the Reinventing Government effort. It will revise text in the CFR to reduce burden or duplication, or streamline requirements.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); 5 USC 553

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.106

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: This project is part of a presidential initiative to respond to the general criticism concerning the complexity and obsolescence of certain Federal regulations. With this project, OSHA is initiating rulemaking that will revise and update the regulations contained in 29 CFR 1910.106 addressing flammable and combustible liquid storage. The purpose of this rulemaking will be to solicit public participation in the revision of this standard. It is also the purpose of the rulemaking to eliminate the complexity, duplicative nature, and obsolescence of the current standard and to write it in "plain language," as directed by the President's report.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM12/00/97

Small Entities Affected: None

Government Levels Affected: None

Additional Information: The Flammable and Combustible Liquids Plain Language Revision Project 29 CFR 1910.106 was originally one of four projects listed under RIN 1218-AB55.

Agency Contact: John Martonik, Acting Director, Safety Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-3605, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8061
Fax: 202 219-7477

RIN: 1218-AB61


2112. FALL PROTECTION IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

Priority: Other Significant

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b)

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1926

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: OSHA is considering a revision of its existing standards for fall protection in construction to expand coverage to telecommunication towers and tanks and other construction operations; to eliminate certain paperwork requirements and to make editorial revisions. OSHA is also considering raising a number of issues that may lead to further changes to the fall protection rules as they now apply to roofing work, residential construction operations, climbing reinforcement steel and to vendors delivering materials (for example, roofing materials). Such a revision would bring to the attention of the public issues that have arisen since promulgation of the most recent fall protection standard for construction workers that was issued in August 1994.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM03/00/98

Small Entities Affected: None

Government Levels Affected: None

Agency Contact: Russell B. Swanson, Director, Directorate of Construction, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3306, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8644
Fax: 202 219-6599

RIN: 1218-AB62


2113. PROCESS SAFETY MANAGEMENT OF HIGHLY HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS

Priority: Other Significant

Legal Authority: 29 USC 653; 29 USC 655; 29 USC 657

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.119

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: The notice will propose to make corrections and technical amendments to the final rule on Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals, published in the Federal Register on February 24, 1992, at 57 FR 6356. In addition, it will propose to modify the final rule by adding certain chemicals included in the Environmental Protection Agency's Risk Management Program but not in the OSHA final rule. OSHA has been requested to bring its chemical list into closer alignment with the Environmental Protection Agency's program. The notice also will request information from the public regarding certain issues that have arisen since the standard became effective in 1992.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM12/00/97

Small Entities Affected: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: Undetermined

Agency Contact: Chappell D. Pierce, Director, Office of Fire Protection Engineering, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3609, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-7216

RIN: 1218-AB63


2114. REVOCATION OF CERTIFICATION RECORDS FOR TESTS, INSPECTIONS, AND TRAINING

Priority: Other Significant

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); 40 USC 333

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910; 29 CFR 1915; 29 CFR 1928

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: OSHA is proposing to revoke certain requirements for employers to prepare and maintain records (certification records) which certify that employers have performed certain tests or inspections of equipment or machinery or that the employer has conducted certain training specified in the standards. The purpose of proposing to revoke these certification records is to minimize the paperwork burdens imposed on employers. OSHA does not believe there will be any reduction in employee safety and health as a result of reducing requirements to fill out paperwork.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM06/00/98

Small Entities Affected: None

Government Levels Affected: Undetermined

Agency Contact: John F. Martonik, Acting Director, Directorate of Safety Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3605, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8061
Fax: 202 219-7477
Email: jmartonik@dol.gov

RIN: 1218-AB65


2115. PLAIN ENGLISH REVISION OF EXISTING STANDARDS (PHASE II)

Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant

Reinventing Government: This rulemaking is part of the Reinventing Government effort. It will eliminate existing text in the CFR.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); 5 USC 553

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.219

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: OSHA has identified two standards from part 1910 that need to be revised as part of the President's initiative on Federal regulations discussed in the U.S. Department Labor Report of June 15, 1995. These standards include 29 CFR 1910.219, Mechanical Power-Transmission Apparatus and 29 CFR 1910, subpart P, Hand and Portable Powered Tools and Other Hand-Held Equipment. OSHA intends to issue two separate rules that will address the following specific sections: Mechanical power- transmission apparatus guarding and maintenance and hand and portable powered tools guarding, use and maintenance. OSHA is developing plain language versions of each of these standards.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM Hand and
    Portable Tools and
    Other Hand-Held
    Equipment
10/00/97
NPRM Mechanical
    Power-Transmission
    Apparatus
00/00/00

Small Entities Affected: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: None

Agency Contact: John F. Martonik, Acting Director, Directorate of Safety Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3605, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8061
Fax: 202 219-7477
Email: jmartonik@dol.gov

RIN: 1218-AB66


2116. * ELECTRIC POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION; ELECTRICAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant. Major status under 5 USC 801 is undetermined.

Reinventing Government: This rulemaking is part of the Reinventing Government effort. It will revise text in the CFR to reduce burden or duplication, or streamline requirements.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b)

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.136; 29 CFR 1910.137; 29 CFR 1910.269; 29 CFR 1926.97; 29 CFR 1926.950 to 968

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: The annual fatality rate for power line workers is over 50 deaths per 100,000 employees. The standard addressing the safety of these workers during the construction of electric power transmission and distribution lines is over 20 years old. OSHA is developing a revision of this standard that will prevent many of these fatalities, that will add flexibility to the standard, and that will update and streamline the standard. In addition, the corresponding standard for general industry will be revised so that requirements for similar work performed during maintenance of electric power transmission and distribution installations are the same as those for construction.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM02/00/98

Small Entities Affected: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: Undetermined

Agency Contact: John Martonik, Acting Director, Safety Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3605, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8061
Fax: 202 219-7477

RIN: 1218-AB67


2117. * SAFETY STANDARDS FOR SCAFFOLDS USED IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY -- PART II

Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant. Major status under 5 USC 801 is undetermined.

Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); 40 USC 333

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1926.450; 29 CFR 1926.451; 29 CFR 1926.452; 29 CFR 1926.453; 29 CFR 1926.454

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: Since the promulgation of a final rule for scaffolds used in construction in August 1996, several issues have been raised that require reevaluation of certain requirements and the possible need to add new requirements to address concerns not addressed in the present standard. These issues include: (1) access to platforms where decking extends past the ends of the scaffold; (2) changing the minimum width for roof brackets to less than 12 inches; (3) changing the grounding requirements during welding operations; (4) requiring the use of scaffold grade planks. This rulemaking action will address these issues.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM09/00/98

Small Entities Affected: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: Undetermined

Agency Contact: Russell B. Swanson, Director, Directorate of Construction, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3306, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8644
Fax: 202 219-6599
Email: bswanson@dol.gov

RIN: 1218-AB68


2118. * SAFETY AND HEALTH PROGRAMS FOR CONSTRUCTION

Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 USC 801.

Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1926

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: In response to industry requests and OSHA's Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) recommendation, OSHA has determined that the current safety and health program standards contained in subpart C of the construction standards, 29 CFR 1926, need to be revised to provide construction employers with a more comprehensive set of requirements to assist them in establishing safety and health programs. Safety and Health Programs have proven to be an effective, systematic method of identifying and correcting existing workplace safety and health hazards, as well as preventing those that might arise in the future.

The ACCSH has been working to revise the existing construction standards for safety and health programs and training since 1986. After the April 1996 meeting, ACCSH began in earnest to develop language and concepts to submit to OSHA for consideration as the proposed rule. Over 130 stakeholders representing small, medium and large contractors and host employers (such as petroleum producers; contractor associations; labor unions; other governmental agencies; and non-profit institutions) have participated in these ACCSH discussions.

Although the details of a new safety and health standard are still being worked out, the safety and health program requirements will require employers to set up a program for managing workplace safety and health in order to reduce the incidence of occupational deaths, injuries, and illnesses. The standard will not impose duties on employers to control hazards that they are not already required to control. Instead, the standard will provide a basic framework for systematically identifying and controlling workplace hazards already covered by the OSH Act under section 5(a)(1) and current OSHA standards.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM09/00/98

Small Entities Affected: Businesses

Government Levels Affected: Undetermined

Additional Information: Separate standards are being developed for general industry (29 CFR 1910) and the maritime (29 CFR 1915, 1917 and 1918) industries.

Agency Contact: Russell B. Swanson, Director, Directorate of Construction, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3306, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8644

RIN: 1218-AB69


2119. * CONTROL OF HAZARDOUS ENERGY (LOCKOUT) IN CONSTRUCTION (PART 1926) (PREVENTING CONSTRUCTION INJURIES/FATALITIES; LOCKOUT)

Priority: Economically Significant. Major status under 5 USC 801 is undetermined.

Unfunded Mandates: This action may affect the private sector under PL 104-4.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b)

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1926

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: OSHA issued a general industry rule on September 1, 1989 (54 FR 36644) to address the hazards posed to workers by the failure to control hazardous energy (i.e., the failure to properly lock out or tag out machines and equipment) during repair and servicing activities. OSHA has not yet issued a standard to prevent these accidents during equipment repair and maintenance activities in the construction industry. Four million workers annually may be exposed to this hazard in construction workplaces. As a result, OSHA intends to issue a proposal to address this hazard in this industry.

Hazards at construction sites resulting from the absence of effective lockout/tagout procedures to control hazardous energy appear to be caused by several factors, all associated with the nature of the construction industry. These factors basically relate to the types of machines and equipment found in construction; the makeup of the industry (i.e., employment is relatively "short term," lasting only as long as the length of the current project); multiple employers having different employer/employee relationships are present at the same site; and "in-the-field" maintenance activity is usually temporary.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM09/00/98

Small Entities Affected: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: Undetermined

Agency Contact: Russell B. Swanson, Director, Directorate of Construction, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3306, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8644
Fax: 202 219-6599

RIN: 1218-AB71



DEPARTMENT OF LABOR (DOL)Final Rule Stage
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

2120. RESPIRATORY PROTECTION (PROPER USE OF MODERN RESPIRATORS)

Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 USC 801.

Unfunded Mandates: This action may affect the private sector under PL 104-4.

Reinventing Government: This rulemaking is part of the Reinventing Government effort. It will revise text in the CFR to reduce burden or duplication, or streamline requirements.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b)

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.134; 29 CFR 1915.152; 29 CFR 1918.102; 29 CFR 1926.103

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: In 1982, OSHA issued an ANPRM on respirators to address 6,850-11,000 cancer fatalities and 66,500 illnesses occurring annually.

Existing standards had been in place for more than 20 years and did not take into consideration the current state-of-the-art for respiratory protection. In addition, the general industry standard for respirators contains redundancies and includes several advisory provisions which should be eliminated or changed. OSHA reviewed the current standards and issued a proposal to modernize the requirements on November 15, 1994 (59 FR 58884). In developing the proposal, OSHA worked closely with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). On April 17, 1995 (60 FR 19162), OSHA extended the comment period until May 15, 1995. On May 25, 1995 (60 FR 27707), OSHA published a notice to schedule a technical panel discussion on assigned protection factors as part of the pending rulemaking hearing. Hearings began on June 6, 1995 and ended on June 20, 1995. The post-hearing comment period ended on September 20, 1995. On November 7, 1995 OSHA reopened the record of the rulemaking (60 FR 56127) for the purpose of receiving comments on OSHA's scientific methodology for the development of Assigned Protection Factors (APF), referred to as the "Nicas Report". OSHA extended the comment period on the Nicas Report (61 FR 1725) to January 29, 1996.

In December 1997 OSHA anticipates publishing the final respiratory protection standard, except for the reserved provision on assigned protection factors, which are numbers that estimate the degree of performance of the various classes of respirators. OSHA has developed a statistical model for analyzing available data to be used to derive APFs. Accordingly, OSHA will request further public comment on the analyses conducted using that model, the ANSI Z88.2-1992 APFs, the NIOSH Respirator Decision Logic APFs, and other relevant methodologies for deriving APFs to make certain that public input is received and fully considered before final APFs are incorporated.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

ANPRM05/14/8247 FR 20803
ANPRM Comment
    Period End
09/13/82
Public Comment
    Period on
    Preproposal Draft
    Ends
11/29/85
NPRM11/15/9459 FR 58884
Final Action12/00/97

Small Entities Affected: None

Government Levels Affected: State, Local, Tribal, Federal

Agency Contact: Adam Finkel, Director, Health Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., Rm N3718, FP Bldg., Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-7075

RIN: 1218-AA05


2121. LONGSHORING AND MARINE TERMINALS (PARTS 1917 AND 1918) -- REOPENING OF THE RECORD

Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant

Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined

Reinventing Government: This rulemaking is part of the Reinventing Government effort. It will revise text in the CFR to reduce burden or duplication, or streamline requirements.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 651; 29 USC 655

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1918.11

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: OSHA issued a final rule on Longshoring on July 25, 1997 (62 FR 40142). However, OSHA is reopening the record to address the issue of "lifting appliances." In the preamble to the proposed Longshoring rule, the Agency discussed differences between International Labor Organization Conventions 32 and 152, including the requirements in the latter convention to certify lifting appliances under ILO Convention 152, when a container used to lift another container, the top container would fall within the definition of "lifting appliance." Because some commenters to the record questioned the safety of allowing such double lifts and the record does not combine adequate information to allow the Agency to address this issue, OSHA is reopening the rulemaking record to address this issue only.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM06/06/9459 FR 28594
NPRM Comment
    Period End
09/23/94
Final Rule07/25/9762 FR 40142
Re-opening the
    Record
10/00/97
Final Action Effective01/21/9862 FR 40142
Final Rule02/00/98

Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions, Organizations

Government Levels Affected: Federal

Sectors Affected: 44 Water Transportation

Agency Contact: John Martonik, Acting Director, Safety Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Rm N3605 FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8061
Fax: 202 219-7477

RIN: 1218-AA56


2122. ACCESS AND EGRESS IN SHIPYARDS (PART 1915, SUBPART E) (PHASE I) (SHIPYARDS: EMERGENCY EXITS AND AISLES)

Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant

Reinventing Government: This rulemaking is part of the Reinventing Government effort. It will revise text in the CFR to reduce burden or duplication, or streamline requirements.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); 33 USC 941

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1915.72; 29 CFR 1915.74; 29 CFR 1915.75; 29 CFR 1915.76

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: In the 1980s, OSHA embarked on a project to update and consolidate OSHA standards that applied to the shipbuilding, shiprepair, and shipbreaking industry. Shipyard employers have been subject to both the "shipyard" standards and OSHA's general industry standards. This has sometimes resulted in inconsistent, and sometimes contradictory, requirements for essentially the same operation.

Phase 1 of this project aimed at establishing a truly vertical standard for shipyard employment and addressed six subparts (Confined Spaces, Welding, Access/Egress, Personal Protective Equipment, Fall Protection and Scaffolding). Proposals on these hazards were issued in November 1988 (53 FR 48092). The remaining hazards were categorized as Phase II of the consolidation project (including general work practices and fire safety). This action was endorsed by the Shipyard Advisory Committee which was chartered in 1989 to update and consolidate existing shipyard standards.

This particular standard will revise the existing shipyard employment standards covering access and egress and will consolidate all related and applicable 29 CFR part 1910 provisions into 29 CFR part 1915. The revision will develop, in part, performance-oriented standards, address current gaps in coverage, address new technology, and eliminate outmoded and redundant provisions. 75,000 workers are potentially exposed to these hazards annually.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM11/29/8853 FR 48130
NPRM Comment
    Period End
02/27/89
Final Action08/00/98

Small Entities Affected: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: Undetermined

Agency Contact: John Martonik, Acting Director, Safety Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Rm N3605, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8061

RIN: 1218-AA70


2123. RECORDING AND REPORTING OCCUPATIONAL INJURIES AND ILLNESSES (SIMPLIFIED INJURY/ILLNESS RECORDKEEPING REQUIREMENTS)

Regulatory Plan: This entry is Seq. No. 88 in Part II of this issue of the Federal Register.

88. RECORDING AND REPORTING OCCUPATIONAL INJURIES AND ILLNESSES (SIMPLIFIED INJURY/ILLNESS RECORDKEEPING REQUIREMENTS)

Priority: Other Significant

Reinventing Government: This rulemaking is part of the Reinventing Government effort. It will revise text in the CFR to reduce burden or duplication, or streamline requirements.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 657; 29 USC 673

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1904; 29 CFR 1952.4

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: Over the years, concerns about the reliability and utility of injury and illness data derived from the employer-maintained OSHA records have been raised by Congress, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the National Academy of Sciences, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the General Accounting Office, business, and labor, as well as OSHA. In the late 1980s, to facilitate national policy dialogues, OSHA contracted with Keystone Center to bring together representatives of industry, labor, government, and academia in a year-long effort to discuss problems with OSHA's injury and illness recordkeeping system. Keystone issued a report with specific recommendations on how to improve the system. Early in 1996, OSHA held several meetings with stakeholders from business, labor, and government in order to obtain feedback on a draft OSHA recordkeeping proposal and to gather related information. As a result of these efforts, OSHA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the February 2, 1996 Federal Register that contained revised recordkeeping requirements, new recordkeeping forms, and new interpretive material. The stated goals of the NPRM were to improve the Nation's injury and illness statistics, simplify the injury and illness recordkeeping system, and reduce the burden of the new rule on employers. Benefits will include: (1) a system that is more compatible with modern computer technology and is easier for employers, employees and government to use; (2) more reliable and useful records; (3) for the first time, comprehensive injury and illness records for construction sites; and (4) greater employee involvement in and awareness of safety and health matters. The original 90-day public comment period was extended another 60 days and ended July 1, 1996. In addition, two public meetings were held in Washington, DC (March 26-29 and April 30-May 1). Over 450 sets of comments were entered into Docket R-02, along with 1200 pages of input derived from nearly 60 presentations given at the public meetings.

OSHA is now planning to issue a final rule that incorporates changes based upon an analysis of the comments and testimony received during the public comment period discussed above.

Statement of Need: A revision to OSHA's outdated recordkeeping system has been contemplated for some time. The process of revision originated in BLS in 1987 and moved in 1990 to OSHA, when the recordkeeping function was transferred to the Agency.

The proposed rule reflects the input of many stakeholders, including OSHA field and national office staff, the participants in the 1987 Keystone policy dialogue, staff from other government agencies (BLS, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), NIOSH and the States), and members of OSHA's advisory committees. OSHA has discussed the proposed revision with thousands of employers and representatives of the safety/health community in over 100 presentations for employer groups, trade associations, safety councils, and union groups.

The occupational injury and illness records maintained by employers are an important component of OSHA's program. The records are used by employers and employees to discover and evaluate workplace safety and health hazards, and they provide OSHA personnel with necessary information during workplace inspections. The records also provide the source data for the Annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses conducted by the BLS.

The records have their greatest value when they are used by employers and employees to manage and develop workplace safety and health programs. These records are an effective way to quantify a firm's injury and illness experience. When problems are quantified and presented to employers and employees, they are much more likely to be solved. Hazardous conditions, departments and jobs also can be identified by reviewing injury and illness records. Once hazards are discovered and corrective actions are taken, the records can be used to monitor the effectiveness of control approaches taken. Employers and employees can also use injury and illness records to develop and operate safety and health programs. When information on workplace injuries and illnesses is not available or is incorrect, the ability to identify problems and take corrective action is diminished.

The Government also has several uses for injury and illness records. These records are used by OSHA safety and health inspectors during worksite visits to highlight potential problems that require additional scrutiny. The records are the source documents for the Bureau of Labor Statistics Annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, the nation's primary source of information on workplace injury and illness. The resulting statistics on the frequency, rate, and factors contributing to job-related injury and illness are used to measure the performance of the Nation's safety and health policies, determine regulatory actions, and provide a point of comparison for an individual company's safety and health performance. The statistics are also used by NIOSH, academia, and other safety and health researchers to determine trends, discover emerging occupational conditions, and evaluate occupational safety and health policies.

The records are also the source documents for OSHA's data collection initiative. This program will allow OSHA to use limited resources to focus intervention efforts (e.g., consultation, training, outreach, and enforcement) on worksites with the highest injury and illness rates. The data collection initiative also provides OSHA with a means for measuring its performance in terms of outcomes -- changes in workplace injuries and illnesses -- rather than activities.

Alternatives: One alternative to publication of a final rule is to take no action and continue to administer the injury and illness recordkeeping system using the current regulation, forms and guidelines. Another alternative is to revise the current rule without changing the coverage and scope of the rule (i.e., continue the current rule's small employer and Standard Industrial Classification exemptions).

The first alternative is unacceptable because it does not address the recognized problems of the current system. The second alternative is also unacceptable. Evaluation of the most current injury and illness data available shows that modification of the existing coverage (of small employers and employers in certain Standard Industrial Classification Codes) will lead to the collection of more injury and illness information and reduce the paperwork burden on employers with smaller-sized establishments and those operating in less hazardous private industry sectors.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: The average establishment affected by the proposed changes to the recordkeeping requirements would incur a net reduction in recordkeeping costs. Thus the proposed rule would not impose adverse economic impacts on firms in the regulated community. The proposed exemption from the regulation of all nonconstruction establishments with fewer than 20 employees would mean that small entities are likely to experience the greatest cost savings.

Risks: Benefits of the proposal would include: (a) a system that is more compatible with and easier for government to use; (b) more reliable and useful records; (c) information for entire construction sites; and (d) greater employee involvement.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM02/02/9661 FR 4030
NPRM Comment
    Period End
07/02/96
Final Action06/00/98
Final Action Effective01/01/99

Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Organizations

Government Levels Affected: None

Sectors Affected: All

Agency Contact:
Stephen A. Newell
Director, Office of Statistics
Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
200 Constitution Avenue NW.
Room N3507, FP Building
Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-6463

RIN: 1218-AB24


2124. POWERED INDUSTRIAL TRUCK OPERATOR TRAINING (INDUSTRIAL TRUCK SAFETY TRAINING)

Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b)

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.178; 29 CFR 1915.120; 29 CFR 1917.43; 29 CFR 1918.77; 29 CFR 1926.602

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: Operation of powered industrial trucks, such as forklifts, is the second leading cause of fatalities in the private sector, second only to highway vehicle fatalities. On average, there are 107 fatalities and 38,330 injuries annually in the workplace.

The present standard has proven to be ineffective in reducing the number of accidents involving powered industrial trucks. As a result, there has been strong Congressional interest that OSHA issue a new standard to more effectively address this hazard. OSHA intends to revise the present standard to increase its effectiveness by requiring, in performance language, initial and refresher training as necessary. The frequency of the refresher training will be based upon the vehicle operator's knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the job safely. OSHA will also give guidance as to what information the instruction should include. There will also be other amendments to the standard to increase its effectiveness. This proposal, if adopted, would apply to general industry, the maritime industries and construction.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM03/14/9560 FR 13782
NPRM Second and
    Hearing
01/30/9661 FR 3092
NPRM Comment
    Period End
08/15/96
Final Action12/00/97

Small Entities Affected: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: Undetermined

Agency Contact: John Martonik, Acting Director, Safety Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3605, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8061

RIN: 1218-AB33


2125. PERMIT REQUIRED CONFINED SPACES (GENERAL INDUSTRY: PREVENTING SUFFOCATION/EXPLOSIONS IN CONFINED SPACES)

Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant

Reinventing Government: This rulemaking is part of the Reinventing Government effort. It will revise text in the CFR to reduce burden or duplication, or streamline requirements.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b)

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.146

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: OSHA issued a final standard on preventing suffocations/ explosions in confined spaces in general industry on January 14, 1993 (58 FR 4462). OSHA reached a settlement agreement with the United Steelworkers of America in June 1994. As part of this settlement agreement, OSHA issued a proposal on November 28, 1994 (59 FR 60735) proposing revisions to paragraph (k) of the existing rule, Rescue and Emergency Services, to clarify the standard. OSHA also proposed to allow more flexibility in the point of retrieval line attachment. OSHA also asked whether the standard should have provisions to provide affected employees or their representatives with the opportunity to observe the evaluation of confined spaces, including atmospheric testing, and to have access to evaluation results. Hearings were held September 27-28, 1995. The post hearing comment period ended on December 20, 1995. In February 1996, the record was closed. The final rule is expected to be issued in October 1997.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM 11/28/9459 FR 60735
NPRM Comment
    Period End
02/27/95
Final Action11/00/97

Small Entities Affected: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: None

Agency Contact: John Martonik, Acting Director, Safety Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3605, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8061

RIN: 1218-AB52


2126. STANDARDS IMPROVEMENT PROJECT

Priority: Other Significant

Reinventing Government: This rulemaking is part of the Reinventing Government effort. It will eliminate existing text in the CFR.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 653; 29 USC 655; 29 USC 657; 40 USC 333

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910; 29 CFR 1926

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: OSHA has made a continuing effort to eliminate confusing, outdated, and duplicative regulations. In 1978 and again in 1984, the Agency conducted comprehensive revocation and revision projects that resulted in the elimination of hundreds of unnecessary rules. In 1995, OSHA developed a list of standards it proposed to revoke or revise. These standards were deemed to be out of date, duplicative, inconsistent with other OSHA standards, or preempted by the regulations of other Federal agencies. The agency began this process in March 1996 by revoking various non-substantive provisions that the Agency believed were unnecessary or ineffective in protecting worker health or safety. The Agency followed up this effort by issuing a final and a proposed rule addressing substantive changes. The first of these, issued on June 20, 1996, eliminated duplicative standards by replacing them with cross references to eliminate any possible confusion and to reduce the volume of the rules. The second one, published on July 22, 1996, proposed to reduce the burden imposed on employers by selected medical surveillance provisions of existing rules, change the emergency-response provisions of the vinyl chloride standard, and eliminate a number of duplicative or unnecessary provisions. A final rule addressing these proposed changes will be issued in 1997. This Standards Improvement Project has two other components: elimination of duplicative requirements and appendices associated with the Agency's Longshoring and Marine Terminals Standards (completed in July 1997) and revision and streamlining of the Agency's respirator standard and appendices, which will be completed in December 1997.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

Final - Miscellaneous
    Minor & Technical
    Amendments
03/07/9661 FR 9228
NPRM - Consolidation
    of Repetitive
    Provisions;
    Technical
    Amendments
06/20/9661 FR 31427
NPRM - Miscellaneous
    Changes to General
    Industry &
    Construction
    Standards
07/22/9661 FR 37849
Final - Longshoring07/25/9762 FR 40141
Final - Respirators12/00/97

Small Entities Affected: None

Government Levels Affected: None

Agency Contact: John Martonik, Acting Director, Safety Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3605, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8061

RIN: 1218-AB53



DEPARTMENT OF LABOR (DOL)Long-Term Actions
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

2127. SCAFFOLDS IN SHIPYARDS (PART 1915 -- SUBPART N) (PHASE I) (SHIPYARDS: SAFER SCAFFOLDS)

Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant

Reinventing Government: This rulemaking is part of the Reinventing Government effort. It will revise text in the CFR to reduce burden or duplication, or streamline requirements.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); 33 USC 941

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1915.71

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: During the 1980s, OSHA embarked on a project to update and consolidate the various OSHA standards that were applied in the shipbuilding, shiprepair, and shipbreaking industry. Shipyard employers have been subject to both shipyard and general industry standards. This sometimes resulted in inconsistent and contradictory requirements for essentially the same operation.

Phase 1 of this project aimed at establishing a truly vertical standard for shipyard employment and addressed six subparts of shipyard employment safety standards (Confined Spaces, Welding, Access/Egress, Personal Protective Equipment, Fall Protection and Scaffolding). Proposals on these hazards were issued in November 1988 (53 FR 48092). The remaining hazards were categorized as Phase II of the consolidation project (including general work practices and fire safety). This action was endorsed by the Shipyard Advisory Committee which was chartered in 1989 to update and consolidate existing shipyard standards.

This particular regulatory action will revise the existing shipyard employment standards covering scaffolds and will consolidate all related and applicable 29 CFR part 1910 provisions. It will develop, in part, performance-oriented standards, address current gaps in coverage, address new technology, and eliminate outmoded and redundant provisions.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM11/29/8853 FR 48182
NPRM Comment
    Period End
02/27/89
Reopened Record
    Comment Period
    Ended 6/13/94
04/12/9459 FR 17290
Final Action10/00/98

Small Entities Affected: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: Undetermined

Agency Contact: John Martonik, Acting Director, Safety Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Rm N3605, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8061

RIN: 1218-AA68


2128. GLYCOL ETHERS: 2-METHOXYETHANOL, 2-ETHOXYETHANOL, AND THEIR ACETATES: PROTECTING REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

Priority: Other Significant

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655; 29 USC 657

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.1000

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: On May 20, 1986, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a report to OSHA, under section 9(a) of the Toxic Substance Control Act, stating that EPA has reasonable basis to conclude that the risk of injury to worker health from exposure to four glycol ethers during their manufacture, processing and use is unreasonable, and that this risk may be prevented or reduced to a significant extent by OSHA regulatory action. EPA gave OSHA 180 days in which to respond to its report. OSHA published its response on December 11, 1986, stating that OSHA had preliminarily concluded that occupational exposures to the subject glycol ethers at the current OSHA permissible exposure limits may present significant risks to the health of workers. OSHA published an Advance Notice of Proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on April 2, 1987, (52 FR 10586). OSHA used the information received in response to the ANPRM, as well as other information and analysis, and published a proposal, March 23, 1993 (58 FR 15526), that would reduce the permissible exposure limits for four glycol ethers and provide protection for approximately 46,000 workers exposed to the substances. OSHA is working toward promulgation of a final rule in 1998.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

ANPRM04/02/8752 FR 10586
ANPRM Comment
    Period End
07/31/87
NPRM03/23/9358 FR 15526
NPRM Comment
    Period End
06/07/93
Final Action12/00/98

Small Entities Affected: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: Undetermined

Agency Contact: Adam Finkel, Director, Health Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Rm N3718, FP Bldg., Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-7075

RIN: 1218-AA84


2129. WALKING WORKING SURFACES AND PERSONAL FALL PROTECTION SYSTEMS (PART 1910) (SLIPS, TRIPS, AND FALL PREVENTION)

Priority: Other Significant. Major status under 5 USC 801 is undetermined.

Reinventing Government: This rulemaking is part of the Reinventing Government effort. It will revise text in the CFR to reduce burden or duplication, or streamline requirements.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b)

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.21; 29 CFR 1910.22; 29 CFR 1910.23; 29 CFR 1910.24; 29 CFR 1910.25; 29 CFR 1910.26; 29 CFR 1910.27; 29 CFR 1910.28; 29 CFR 1910.29; 29 CFR 1910.30; 29 CFR 1910.31; 29 CFR 1910.32; 29 CFR 1910.128; 29 CFR 1910.129; 29 CFR 1910.130; ...

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: Standards for walking and working surfaces and personal fall protection systems will be issued concurrently as a final rule. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) existing standards for walking and working surfaces need to be revised because they are out of date and limit technological innovation in the means employers can use to comply. The final rule is performance-oriented, written in plain language, and flexible in the means of compliance permitted. In addition, OSHA's existing standards do not contain criteria for personal fall protection systems. Consequently, requirements containing criteria for such systems will be added to 29 CFR part 1910, subpart I, Personal Protection Equipment, to enhance employee protection from injury and death due to falls from different elevations.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM04/10/9055 FR 13360
NPRM Comment
    Period End
08/22/90
Hearing09/11/9055 FR 29224
Final Action00/00/00

Small Entities Affected: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: None

Additional Information: Because RINs 1218-AB05 and 1218-AA48 will be issued concurrently, they have been combined under this RIN 1218-AB04.

Agency Contact: John Martonik, Acting Director, Safety Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Rm N3605, FP Bldg., Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8061

RIN: 1218-AB04


2130. ACCREDITATION OF TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR HAZARDOUS WASTE OPERATIONS (PART 1910)

Priority: Other Significant

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); PL 101-549 (November 15, 1990); 5 USC 552(a); 5 USC 553

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.121, subpart H

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-499) established the criteria under which OSHA should develop and promulgate the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response standard. OSHA issued an interim final standard on December 19, 1986 (51 FR 45654) to comply with the law's requirements. OSHA issued a permanent final rule for provisions on training to replace this interim rule on March 9, 1989 (29 CFR 1910.120).

On December 22, 1987, as part of an omnibus budget reconciliation bill (PL 100-202), section 126(d)(3) of SARA was amended to include accreditation of training programs for hazardous waste operations. OSHA issued a proposal on January 26, 1990 (55 FR 2776) addressing this issue. OSHA held a public comment period following the issuance of the proposal and held a limited reopening of the public record in June 1992 to allow additional public comment on an effectiveness of training study conducted by OSHA. OSHA has also developed nonmandatory guidelines to further address minimum training criteria.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM01/26/9055 FR 2776
NPRM Comment
    Period End
04/26/90
Final Action00/00/00

Small Entities Affected: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: None

Agency Contact: John Martonik, Acting Director, Safety Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3605, FP Bldg, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-8061

RIN: 1218-AB27


2131. INDOOR AIR QUALITY IN THE WORKPLACE

Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 USC 801.

Unfunded Mandates: This action may affect the private sector under PL 104-4.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.1033

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: OSHA was petitioned in March 1987 by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), Public Citizen, and the American Public Health Association to issue an emergency temporary standard on environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in the workplace. In March 1992, OSHA was petitioned by the AFL-CIO to establish workplace IAQ standards. In December 1992, ASH again petitioned for rulemaking on ETS. In January OSHA began rulemaking to address the hazards of exposure to ETS and IAQ issues.

Everyday, more than 20 million American workers face an unnecessary health threat because of indoor air pollution in the workplace. Thousands of heart disease deaths, hundreds of lung cancer deaths, respiratory disease, Legionnaire's disease, asthma, and other ailments are estimated to be linked to this occupational hazard. Further, America's workers are at risk of developing thousands of upper respiratory symptoms and headaches from poor indoor air quality (IAQ). EPA estimates that 20 to 35 percent of all workers in modern mechanically ventilated buildings may experience air-quality problems that could result in illnesses, absenteeism, lost productivity, and discomfort.

Surveys of companies have estimated that as many as 85 percent of them had some sort of smoking restriction in place, due to either concerns about production safety or employee health and safety. The fact that this is a national problem suggests that it should be solved at the Federal level.

OSHA published a Request for Information on September 20, 1991, to collect information to determine if a standard regulating indoor air quality is justified and feasible. Information was requested on the ventilation system performance necessary to optimize indoor air quality, techniques for improving ventilation, building maintenance programs, existing workplace indoor air policies, and local and State laws addressing indoor air quality.

After reviewing and analyzing available information, OSHA published a proposed rule on April 5, 1994. The proposal would require employers to write and implement indoor air quality compliance plans that would include inspection and maintenance of current building ventilation systems to ensure they are functioning as designed. In buildings where smoking is allowed, the proposal would require designated smoking areas that would be separate, enclosed rooms where the air would be exhausted directly to the outside. Other proposed provisions would require employers to maintain healthy air quality during renovation, remodeling and similar activities. The provisions for indoor air quality would apply to 70 million workers and more than 4.5 million nonindustrial indoor work environments, including schools and training centers, offices, commercial establishments, health care facilities, cafeterias and factory break rooms. ETS provisions would apply to all 6 million industrial and nonindustrial work environments under OSHA jurisdiction. OSHA preliminarily estimates that 5,583 to 32,502 cancer deaths and 97,700 to 577,818 coronary heart diseases related to occupational exposure to ETS will be prevented over the next 45 years. This represents 140 to 722 cancer deaths and 2,094 to 13,001 heart diseases each year. OSHA preliminarily estimates that the proposed standard will prevent 4.5 million upper respiratory problems over the next 45 years. This is approximately 105,000 upper respiratory symptoms per year. These estimates understate the prevalence of building-related symptoms since they only reflect excess risk in air conditioned buildings.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

Request for
    Information
09/20/9156 FR 47892
Comment Period End01/21/92
NPRM04/05/9459 FR 15968
NPRM Comment
    Period End
08/13/9459 FR 30560
Final Action00/00/00

Small Entities Affected: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: Undetermined

Agency Contact: Adam Finkel, Director, Health Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3718, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-7075

RIN: 1218-AB37


2132. OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO HEXAVALENT CHROMIUM (PREVENTING OCCUPATIONAL ILLNESS: CHROMIUM)

Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 USC 801.

Unfunded Mandates: This action may affect the private sector under PL 104-4.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); 29 USC 657

CFR Citation: Not yet determined

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: In July 1993, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was petitioned for an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to reduce the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for occupational exposures to hexavalent chromium. The Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers International Union (OCAW) and Public Citizen's Health Research Group (HRG) petitioned OSHA to promulgate an ETS to lower the PEL for chromium (CrVI) compounds to 0.5 micrograms per cubic meter of air (ug/m3) as an eight-hour, time-weighted average (TWA). This represents a significant reduction in the current PEL. The current PEL in general industries is found in 29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z and is a ceiling value of 100 ug/m3 for "Chromic acid and chromates (as CrO3)." These are measured as chromium (VI) and reported as chromic anhydride (CrO3). This equates to a PEL of 52 ug/m3 of chromium (VI) measured and reported as chromium (VI). This ceiling limit applies to all forms of hexavalent chromium (VI) including chromic acid and chromates, lead chromate, and zinc chromate. The current PEL for chromium (VI) in the construction industry is 100 ug/m3 as a TWA PEL.

The major illnesses associated with occupational exposures to hexavalent chromium are lung cancer and dermatoses. OSHA estimates that approximately one million workers are exposed to hexavalent chromium on a regular basis in all industries. The major uses of hexavalent chromium are: as a structural and anti-corrosive element in the production of stainless steel, ferrochromium, iron and steel, and in electroplating, welding, and painting. After reviewing the petition, OSHA denied the request for an ETS and initiated a section (6)(b) rulemaking. Work on a proposed rule continues.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM09/00/99

Small Entities Affected: Businesses

Government Levels Affected: Undetermined

Agency Contact: Adam Finkel, Director, Health Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3718, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-7075

RIN: 1218-AB45


2133. * OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO CRYSTALLINE SILICA

Priority: Economically Significant. Major status under 5 USC 801 is undetermined.

Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); 29 USC 657

CFR Citation: Not yet determined

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: In 1994, OSHA initiated the Priority Planning Process. This process was aimed at identifying the top priority safety and health hazards. Crystalline silica was one of the priorities designated by this process for rulemaking. OSHA stated that crystalline silica would be added to OSHA's regulatory calendar as other standards were completed and resources became available. Silica exposure remains a serious threat to nearly 2 million U.S. workers including more than 100,000 in high risk jobs, including sandblasters, foundry workers, stonecutters, rock drillers, quarry workers and tunnelers. The seriousness of the health hazard is indicated by continuing deaths from accelerated silicosis in sandblasters and rock drillers and by recent studies which demonstrate a statistically significant increase in lung cancer among silica-exposed workers. In October 1996, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified crystalline silica as "carcinogenic to humans." Exposure studies indicate that some workers are still exposed to very high levels. While OSHA currently has a permissible exposure limit for crystalline silica (10 mg/m3 divided by the percent of silica in the dust + 2, respirable and 30 mg/m3 divided by the percent of silica in the dust + 2, total dust), over 30 % of OSHA-collected silica samples from 1982 through 1991 exceeded it. Additionally, recent studies suggest that the current OSHA standard is insufficient to protect against silicosis. For example, a recent study concluded that a 45-year exposure under the current OSHA standard would lead to a lifetime risk of silicosis of 35 % to 47 %. OSHA plans to publish a proposed rule on crystalline silica because the agency has concluded that there will be no significant progress in the prevention of silica-related diseases without the adoption of a full and comprehensive silica standard, including provisions for product substitution, engineering controls, training and education, respiratory protection and medical screening and surveillance. A full standard will improve worker protection, ensure adequate prevention programs, and further reduce silica-related diseases.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM00/00/00

Small Entities Affected: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: Undetermined

Agency Contact: Adam Finkel, Director, Health Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3718, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-7075
Fax: 202 219-7125

RIN: 1218-AB70



DEPARTMENT OF LABOR (DOL)Completed Actions
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

2134. ABATEMENT VERIFICATION (HAZARD CORRECTION)

Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant

Legal Authority: 29 USC 657; 29 USC 658; 5 USC 553

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1903

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: A critical element of OSHA's comprehensive enforcement strategy under the Occupational Safety and Health Act is assurance that employers have abated cited hazards. A May 1991, General Accounting Office report entitled, "Options to Improve Hazard-Abatement Procedures in the Workplace," pointed out deficiencies in OSHA's abatement verification procedures and how they could be improved. The Department of Labor Inspector General, as well as OSHA's internal audits, also identified similar problems. Formerly, unless an employer voluntarily complied with OSHA's request to submit documentation, OSHA had no regulation to require employers to submit proof of hazard abatement. From 1972 to the present, OSHA had implemented several administrative measures to induce employers to provide abatement documentation, but at least 30 percent of cited employers still did not voluntarily do so. The final rule, published in March 1997, tailors the amount of abatement documentation required of employers to the seriousness of the violation and streamlines the abatement verification process. It reduces the amount of paperwork employers are required to complete and enhances employee participation is the process.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

NPRM04/19/9459 FR 18508
NPRM Comment
    Period End
07/18/94
Final Action03/31/9762 FR 15323
Final Action Effective01/01/99

Small Entities Affected: Businesses

Government Levels Affected: State, Federal

Agency Contact: John Miles, Director, Directorate of Compliance Assistance, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3468, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-9308

RIN: 1218-AB40


[FR Doc. 97-24743 Filed 10-28-97; 8:45 am)


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