Federal Registers - Table of Contents Federal Registers - Table of Contents
• Publication Date: 12/21/2006
• Publication Type: Proposed Rules
• Fed Register #: 71:76623-76630
• Standard Number: 1910; 1915; 1917; 1918; 1919; 1926
• Title: Standards Improvement Project, Phase III

[Federal Register: December 21, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 245)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 76623-76630]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr21de06-15]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR Parts 1910, 1915, 1917, 1918, 1919 and 1926

[Docket No. S-778B]
RIN 1218-AC19
 
Standards Improvement Project, Phase III

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

ACTION: Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM).

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SUMMARY: OSHA routinely conducts reviews of its existing safety and 
health standards to improve and update them. As part of this ongoing 
process, OSHA is issuing this ANPRM to initiate Phase III of the 
Standards Improvement Project (SIPs III). SIPs III is the third in a 
series of rulemaking actions intended to improve and streamline OSHA 
standards by removing or revising individual requirements within rules 
that are confusing, outdated, duplicative, or inconsistent. These 
revisions maintain or enhance employees' safety and health, while 
reducing regulatory burdens where possible.
    OSHA has already identified a number of provisions that are 
potential candidates for inclusion in SIPs III. These candidates 
include recommendations received from the public in other rulemakings. 
The purpose of this notice is to invite comment on these 
recommendations, as well as provide an opportunity for commenters to 
suggest other candidates that might be appropriate for inclusion in 
this rulemaking. OSHA will use the information received in response to 
this notice to help determine the scope of SIPs III.

DATES: Comments must be submitted by the following dates:
    Hardcopy: Your comments must be submitted (postmarked or sent) by 
February 20, 2007.
    Facsimile and electronic transmission: Your comments must be sent 
by February 20, 2007.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments and additional material, identified 
by OSHA Docket No. S-778B, by any of the following methods:
    Electronically: You may submit comments, and attachments 
electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.
 Follow the instructions online for making electronic submissions.
    Facsimile (FAX): If your comments, including any attachments, are 
10 pages or fewer, you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 
693-1648.
    Mail, hand delivery, express mail, and messenger or courier 
service: You must submit three copies of your comments and attachments 
to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. S-778B, Room N-2625, U.S. 
Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 
20210; telephone (202) 693-2350 (OSHA's TTY number is (877) 889-5627). 
OSHA Docket Office and Department of Labor hours of operations are 8:15 
a.m. to 4:45 p.m., e.t.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Agency name 
and OSHA docket number (S-778B) for this rulemaking. Submissions, 
including any personal information you provide, are placed in the 
public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov.
 For further information on submitting comments plus additional information 
on the rulemaking process, see the ``Public Participation'' heading of the
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read or download submissions, 
comments, or other material, go to http://www.regulations.gov, or the 
OSHA Docket Office at the address above. All documents in the docket 
are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index, however, some 
information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to 
read or download through the Web site. All submissions, including 
copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the 
OSHA Docket Office.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Press inquiries: Kevin Ropp, OSHA 
Office of Communications, Room N-3647, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 
Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-
1999. General and technical information: Michael Seymour, Office of 
Physical Hazards, OSHA Directorate of Standards and Guidance, Room N-
3718, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., 
Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-1950.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Background
II. Request for Information, Data, and Comments
    A. Compliance with NFPA 101-2000, Life Safety Codes (Sec.  
1910.35)
    B. Subpart H--Hazardous Materials--Flammable and Combustible 
Liquids (Sec.  1910.106) and Spray Finishing Using Flammable and 
Combustible Materials (Sec.  1910.107)
    C. Subpart I--Personal Protective Equipment (Sec.  1910.132 and 
Sec.  1915.152)
    D. Respiratory Protection (Sec.  1910.134)
    E. Subpart J--General Environmental Controls--Sanitation 
Standard (Sec.  1910.141)
    F. Carcinogens (4-Nitrobiphenyl, etc.) (Sec.  1910.1003)
    G. Lead (Sec.  1910.1025 and Sec.  1926.62)
    H. 1,3-Butadiene (Sec.  1910.1051)
    I. Asbestos (Sec.  1915.1001)
    J. General Modifications to Medical Examinations and Industrial 
Hygiene Sampling Provisions
    K. General Modifications to Training Provisions
    L. Miscellaneous Items Under Consideration
    M. General Solicitation for Recommendations
III. Public Participation
IV. Authority and Signature

I. Background

    OSHA wants to improve confusing, outdated, duplicative, or 
inconsistent requirements in its standards. Improving OSHA standards 
will help employers better understand their obligations, which will 
lead to increased compliance, ensure greater safety and health for 
employees, and reduce compliance costs. In addition, this action will 
allow OSHA to recognize newer and more flexible ways of achieving the 
intent of the standards.
    OSHA's effort to improve standards began in the 1970s, not long 
after the first set of standards was issued. In 1973, OSHA issued 
proposals to clarify and update rules that had originally been adopted 
by the Agency as ``initial'' standards. In 1978, OSHA published the 
Selected General and Special (Cooperage and Laundry Machinery, and 
Bakery Equipment) Industry Safety and Health Standards: Revocation (43 
FR 9831). Commonly known as the Standards Deletion Project, this was a 
comprehensive final rule revoking hundreds of unnecessary and 
duplicative requirements in the General Industry Standards (part 1910). 
Another rulemaking in 1984 titled the Revocation of Advisory and 
Repetitive Standards (49 FR 5318) resulted in the removal of many 
repetitive and unenforceable requirements. These rulemaking actions 
were primarily directed at removing standards that were: (1) Not 
relevant to employee safety; that is, the standards addressed public 
safety issues; (2) duplicative of other standards found elsewhere in 
the general industry standards; (3) otherwise considered a ``nuisance'' 
standard; that is, one having no merit or employee safety and health 
benefits; or (4) unenforceable due to legal considerations.
    In 1996, in response to a Presidential Memorandum on Improving 
Government Regulations, OSHA began another series of rulemaking 
improvement actions. Patterned after the earlier rulemaking actions, 
the new effort was designed to identify and then revise or eliminate 
standards that were confusing, outdated, duplicative, or inconsistent. 
This effort also included standards that could be rewritten in plain 
language. In the first action, Miscellaneous Changes to General 
Industry and Construction Standards (61 FR 37849), otherwise known as 
the Standards Improvement Project (SIPs I), OSHA focused on revising 
standards that were out of date, duplicative, or inconsistent.
    The final rule on SIPs I was published on June 18, 1998 (63 FR 
33450). Changes made in SIPs I included reducing the frequency of a 
medical testing requirement and eliminating an unnecessary or obsolete 
medical test required in both the coke oven and inorganic arsenic 
standards; changing the emergency-response provisions of the vinyl 
chloride standard; eliminating the public safety provisions of the 
temporary labor camp standard; and eliminating unnecessary cross-
references in the textile industry standards. All of these improvements 
were made without reducing employee safety and health protection.
    In 2002, OSHA published a proposed rule for Phase II of the 
Standards Improvement Project (SIPs II) (67 FR 66494). In that notice, 
OSHA proposed to revise a number of provisions in health and safety 
standards that had been identified by commenters during SIPs I or that 
the Agency had identified as standards in need of improvement.
    In the final rule on SIPs II, published on January 5, 2005 (70 FR 
1111), the Agency revised a number of health standards to reduce 
regulatory burden, facilitate compliance, and eliminate unnecessary 
paperwork without reducing health protections. The improvements made by 
SIPs II addressed issues such as employee notification of the use of 
chemicals in the workplace, frequency of exposure monitoring, and 
medical surveillance.
    In addition to the SIPs initiatives, OSHA has a related but 
separate rulemaking process, the Consensus Update Project initiated on 
November 24, 2004 (69 FR 68283), to update OSHA standards that are 
based on, or reference national consensus standards. Many of OSHA's 
rules were adopted under a two-year statutory authority that allowed 
the new Agency to incorporate existing national consensus standards 
into its body of regulations without notice and comment rulemaking. 
National consensus standards are generally updated on a regular cycle, 
and thus the rules initially adopted by OSHA are often out-of-date. To 
update these rules based on the updated consensus standards requires 
rulemaking. OSHA is using a number of different rulemaking approaches 
to update as many of these rules as possible.
    The rules that are addressed in SIPs rulemakings are not simply 
consensus standards updates. Some of the suggestions that were received 
in previous SIPs rulemakings are currently being addressed in either 
specific rulemaking projects for updating of the rule involved (e.g., a 
complete revision of the explosives standard is currently on the 
regulatory agenda), or will be addressed in the consensus standards 
update process. Therefore, it is likely that any comments or 
suggestions related exclusively to consensus standards that are 
submitted in response to this request will be considered under the 
consensus standards update project rather than the SIPs rulemaking.
    OSHA has identified numerous standards as potential candidates for 
improvement in SIPs III based on the Agency's review of its standards, 
suggestions and comments from the public, or recommendations from the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The OMB recommendations were 
based on comments they received on Regulatory Reform of the U.S. 
Manufacturing Sector (2005).\1\ Many commenters during the SIPs II
rulemaking process applauded the SIPs process and OSHA for its 
``efforts to streamline and improve its health standards by removing or 
revising requirements that are outdated, duplicative, or inconsistent'' 
(Ex. 3-5, 3-10, 3-11, and 3-13 to Docket S-778A).
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    \1\ To view the full Regulatory Reform report, please visit: 
http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/inforeg/reports/manufacturing_initiative.pdf.

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    Because the Agency has identified numerous candidate standards for 
improvement and stakeholders have encouraged the Agency to continue 
this effort, OSHA has determined to proceed with Phase III of SIPs. As 
already noted, SIPs III will proceed at the same time that the Agency 
updates consensus standards in a separate project. In SIPs III, OSHA's 
objective is to modify individual provisions of standards by removing 
or revising requirements of standards that are confusing, outdated, 
duplicative, or inconsistent without reducing employees' safety and 
health or imposing any additional economic burden. As in the earlier 
rulemakings, the Agency seeks help from the public to identify 
standards that are in need of improvement based on this objective. 
While commenters may suggest extensive changes or major reorganization 
of some standards, suggestions that require a large-scale revision of a 
standard may not be appropriate for this rulemaking. The Agency will 
determine whether such large-scale changes are addressed in SIPs III, 
in the Consensus Update Project, or in a future rulemaking dedicated to 
the specific issues raised by commenters.

II. Request for Information, Data, and Comments

    OSHA requests the public to identify standards that are in need of 
improvement because they are confusing, outdated, duplicative, or 
inconsistent. In addition, the agency is considering the following 
changes in SIPs III. When commenting on the issues below, OSHA requests 
that you reference the issue number, explain your rationale, and 
provide, if possible, data and information to support your comments.

A. Compliance with NFPA 101-2000, Life Safety Codes (Sec.  1910.35)

    On May 19, 2004, OSHA received a petition from the International 
Code Council (ICC) to revise Subpart E--Exit Routes. This standards 
development organization proposed that OSHA consider allowing employers 
to demonstrate compliance with the egress provisions of Subpart E by 
following its International Building Code (IBC) and International Fire 
Code (IFC), just as OSHA currently permits employers to demonstrate 
compliance by following the egress provisions of the National Fire 
Protection Association (NFPA) 101, Life Safety Code (2000 edition). The 
IBC and IFC are not currently referenced by OSHA.
    The preamble to OSHA's 2002 plain language update of Subpart E (67 
FR 67949-67965) explains that OSHA declined to extend recognition to 
the building codes \2\ at that time because there were three different 
model building codes used in the country. That situation has changed 
significantly. First, the three former building codes have evolved into 
a single code, the IBC. Secondly, OSHA has made a preliminary 
determination that the egress provisions of the IBC and IFC, when 
applied together, offer employee protection equal to the Subpart E 
provisions.
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    \2\ Uniform, Southern, and BOCA Building Codes.
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    Some jurisdictions in the country adopt the ICC codes for building 
construction and fire prevention purposes, while NFPA codes are used in 
other jurisdictions. OSHA believes employees, employers, the building 
industry, and code officials may all benefit from OSHA allowing either 
alternative. Therefore, OSHA is considering the recognition of the 
combined egress provisions of the IBC and IFC as an alternative 
equivalent to Subpart E.
    1. Do the combined egress provisions of the IBC and IFC offer 
equivalent protection to OSHA's Subpart E?
    2. Are there other alternative national building codes that OSHA 
should consider?
    3. Would allowing the use of the IBC and IFC as an equivalent to 
Subpart E help employers reduce cost?

B. Subpart H--Hazardous Materials--Flammable and Combustible Liquids 
(Sec.  1910.106) and Spray Finishing Using Flammable or Combustible 
Materials (Sec.  1910.107)

    On December 1, 2001, the National Marine Manufacturers Association 
petitioned OSHA to update Sec.  1910.107 to reference portions of the 
1995 edition of NFPA 33-Standard for Spray Application Using Flammable 
or Combustible Materials. This edition of NFPA 33 was the first to 
include a composites manufacturing chapter. This chapter includes less 
stringent provisions than previous editions of NFPA 33 that formed the 
basis for Sec.  1910.107. These less stringent 1995 provisions presumed 
a lower degree of hazard in the process of composites spraying. 
Subsequently, OSHA staff witnessed field tests at the request of the 
industry to demonstrate the hazard level; these tests were 
inconclusive.
    OSHA received a second petition on August 17, 2004, from the 
American Composite Manufacturers Association (ACMA). ACMA petitioned 
OSHA to adopt certain sections of the ``current'' versions of NFPA 33 
as well as NFPA 30--Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code. At that 
time, the current versions of those NFPA standards were the 2003 
editions. NFPA 33 retained the specific provisions for composites 
spraying through its 2003 edition. ACMA noted in their petition, that 
the newer NFPA standards ``* * * reflect significant advances in 
understanding the hazards presented by many of the covered 
operations.'' They further noted ``* * * NFPA 33 now contains fire 
protection standards specifically designed for composites manufacturing 
operations which recognize the inherently lower degree of hazard 
inherent in these operations.''
    On June 17, 2004, ACMA testified on this issue to the Subcommittee 
on Regulatory Reform and Oversight of the Small Business Committee, 
U.S. House of Representatives. Additionally, the National Association 
of Manufacturers and the National Marine Manufacturers Association 
subsequently submitted a reform nomination \3\ to OMB. Both the 
testimony and the reform nomination requested recognition of the more 
``current'' NFPA 33 provisions, but did not request recognition of NFPA 
30. The 2003 editions of NFPA 30 and 33 remain the most current, 
however, NFPA is in the process of revising both these standards, with 
the next anticipated editions being 2007.
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    \3\ In OMB's draft 2004 Report to Congress on the Costs and 
Benefits of Federal Regulation, OMB requested public nominations of 
specific regulations, guidance documents and paperwork requirements 
that, if reformed, could result in lower costs, greater 
effectiveness, enhanced competitiveness, more regulatory certainty 
and increased flexibility. See Reference Number 153 addressing 
flammable liquids in the Regulatory Reform report at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/inforeg/reports/manufacturing_initiative.pdf.

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    OSHA is considering whether or not NFPA 30 and NFPA 33 are 
equivalent to the existing provisions in Sec.  1910.106 and Sec.  
1910.107. As mentioned above, OSHA had attended a presentation to 
demonstrate that the new NFPA provisions were equivalent, however the 
demonstration did not prove to be conclusive. In addition, there is a 
lack of data that OSHA can rely on to draw conclusions. With this, OSHA 
cannot conclude at this time that NFPA 30 and NFPA 33 provide 
protection for employees equivalent to Sec.  1910.106 and Sec.  
1910.107. OSHA hopes that commenters can provide data to help
the Agency determine what course of action to take.
    As mentioned above, OSHA intends to update its standards that 
reference outdated consensus standards. As part of that process, it is 
anticipated that Sec.  1910.106 and Sec.  1910.107 will be updated in 
their entirety sometime in the future. In this ANPRM, however, OSHA is 
exploring the idea of amending Sec.  1910.106 and Sec.  1910.107, at 
this time, to allow employers to comply with the 2003 editions of NFPA 
30 and 33 until the more extensive revision is completed. Making this 
change now, as part of the SIPs III effort, would allow employers 
engaged in composites manufacturing operations to follow the newer 
provisions of the NFPA 33. However, the Agency is concerned that the 
new NFPA 33 may not provide employee protection equivalent to the 
existing standard. OSHA believes additional information regarding the 
equivalency of the employee protection afforded by the newer 
requirements for composite spraying is needed. While OSHA's de minimis 
policy would allow employers to comply with the more current versions 
of consensus standards applicable to their work, employers must be able 
to demonstrate that complying with the consensus standard is as 
protective as following the OSHA standard. In the case of composite 
sprayings, ACMA noted that they were aware of the de minimis policy but 
that, in their experience, they have had problems demonstrating that 
the newer standard provides equivalent protection. ACMA stated that ``* 
* * some of our member companies have been able to successfully appeal 
citations to OSHA supervisors, but such appeals are time consuming and 
expensive, and are often intimidating to small business owners'' [ACMA 
2004 petition]. Updating the OSHA standard to reference the newer NFPA 
standards would eliminate any confusion or inconsistency as to the 
employer's obligation. OSHA is particularly interested in comment on 
the following:
    4. Are the provisions in the 2003 edition of NFPA 30 as protective 
or more protective of employees' safety and health than the equivalent 
provisions in Sec.  1910.106? Should OSHA revise Sec.  1910.106 to be 
consistent with these provisions? Please submit specific available 
information or data supporting your comments.
    5. Are the provisions in the 2003 edition of NFPA 33 as protective 
or more protective of employees' safety and health than the equivalent 
provisions in Sec.  1910.107? Should OSHA revise Sec.  1910.107 to be 
more consistent with these provisions? Please submit specific available 
information or data supporting your comments.

C. Subpart I--Personal Protective Equipment--General Requirements 
(Sec.  1910.132 and Sec.  1915.152)

    In 1994, OSHA revised the general industry safety standards 
regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) ``to be more consistent 
with the current consensus regarding good industry practices, as 
reflected by the latest editions of the pertinent American National 
Standards Institute (ANSI) standards'' (59 FR 16334). The revision 
includes a requirement for employers to perform a hazard assessment 
that would provide the information necessary for the employer to select 
the appropriate PPE for employees and to verify compliance by way of a 
written certification. As part of this revision the Agency added 
paragraphs Sec.  1910.132(d), (e), and (f) as well as non-mandatory 
appendices A and B to Subpart I--Personal Protective Equipment. 
Appendix A contains a list of references and is provided for 
information purposes. Appendix B--Guidelines for Hazard Assessment and 
Personal Protective Equipment Selection was added to the subpart to 
provide specific guidance to employers and employees regarding eye, 
face, head, foot, and hand hazards.
    In the final rule, OSHA determined that it was not necessary for 
employers to prepare and retain a formal written hazard assessment. 
However, in order to verify compliance the employer is required to 
prepare a written certification that would include the following: The 
person certifying that the evaluation had been performed; the dates of 
the hazard assessment; and a statement identifying the document as the 
certification of the hazard assessment required by the standard.
    The ship repair, shipbuilding, and shipbreaking (i.e. shipyards) 
standard requires a similar hazard assessment. The final rule for 
Shipyards Sec.  1915.152, published in 1996 (61 FR 26321), revised the 
PPE section requiring employers to do a hazard assessment, equipment 
(PPE) selection, and to verify the required assessment through a 
``document,'' rather than a certification as required for general 
industry employees in Sec.  1910.132. The document must contain the 
date of the hazard assessment and the name of the person performing the 
hazard assessment. The comments from the Shipyard industry argued 
against a written certification, stating that it would create a burden. 
OSHA agreed and changed the word from ``certification'' to 
``document'', which OSHA judged to be an equally effective way to 
verify compliance.
    OSHA is concerned that the hazard assessment provisions in Sec.  
1910.132(d) and Sec.  1915.152 lack specific documentation of the 
hazard assessment required to be performed by the employer, and are 
thus not sufficiently protective of employees' safety and health. 
Currently, employers in both industries are not required to document or 
post the results of the hazard assessment. Employers are only required 
to include the name of the person certifying, the date(s) of the hazard 
assessment, and in the General Industry standard Sec.  1910.132, a 
statement that the document is a certification that the hazard 
assessment has been performed.
    The Agency is interested in making the hazard assessment process 
more effective. One method the Agency is considering is to require 
employers to include the results of the hazard assessment (the hazards 
identified and the PPE needed to address those hazards) in a 
certification and to post the certification for review by employees. 
Another method being considered to increase effectiveness of the hazard 
assessment in Sec.  1910.132 and Sec.  1915.152 is to revise the 
respective Appendices and make them mandatory, adding a requirement to 
post the results of the assessment.
    OSHA believes that all industries could benefit from doing a hazard 
assessment and in the interest of making rules consistent across all 
industries, we have included some questions on Construction (part 
1926), Marine Terminals (part 1917), and Longshoring (part 1918) 
standards where there is no explicit requirement for a written PPE 
hazard assessment. There may be ways to revise these standards, such as 
a performance-based assessment, that are both feasible and not overly 
burdensome. OSHA is seeking answers to these questions and suggestions 
for effective alternatives.
    OSHA is seeking comments on other options that the Agency should 
consider that would assure that employers conduct thorough hazard 
assessments and select the appropriate equipment to protect employees.
    6. OSHA has identified posting requirements in many other standards 
to ensure employee notification. Are there other methods to inform 
employees of the hazard assessment results, such as additional training 
to inform employees of the findings, that are equally as effective or 
more effective?
    7. Would adding a posting requirement to Sec.  1910.132 and Sec.  
1915.152 be more or less protective than the protection currently provided? 
Please provide any rationale or data to support your answer.
    8. Are there other approaches to conducting hazard assessments for 
PPE that are more effective than Appendix B in Sec.  1910.132 and 
Appendix A in Sec.  1915.152?
    9. Should similar revisions be considered for Construction (Part 
1926), Marine Terminals (Part 1917), and Longshoring (Part 1918) 
standards?

D. Respiratory Protection (Sec.  1910.134)

    Paragraph (o)(2) of this standard states ``Appendix D of this 
section is non-mandatory;'' however, paragraph (k)(6) of the standard 
specifies that the ``basic advisory information on respirators, as 
presented in Appendix D of this section, shall be provided by the 
employer * * * to employees who wear respirators when such use is not 
required by this section or by the employer''. [Emphasis added.] The 
phrase ``shall be provided'' in paragraph (k)(6) mandates the employer 
to provide the ``basic advisory information'' in the appendix to the 
designated employees. Appendix D is also marked as ``Mandatory'' in the 
standard. Therefore, OSHA is considering removing paragraph (o)(2) from 
the standard and revising the preceding paragraph (o)(1) to include 
Appendix D among the list of mandatory appendices, which was OSHA's 
original intent.
    10. Have employers understood that the requirement to provide 
Appendix D information to employees who voluntarily use respirators is 
a mandatory requirement?
    11. Is the information contained in Appendix D appropriate for 
alerting employees to considerations related to voluntary respirator 
use?
    12. To what extent, if any, would deleting paragraph (o)(2) and 
clarifying that Appendix D is mandatory increase the burden on 
employers?

E. Subpart J--General Environmental Controls--Sanitation Standard 
(Sec.  1910.141)

    The definition of potable drinking water in OSHA's current 
sanitation standard, Sec.  1910.141, makes reference to U.S. Public 
Health Service Drinking Water Standards published in 42 CFR part 72. 
There are other agencies that have provisions relating to safe drinking 
water, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at Title 21 of 
the CFR, referring to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 
Title 40, specifically the Office of Water.
    13. What is the appropriate updated reference that would provide an 
adequate definition for potable water? Are there other references or 
definitions for drinking water from other agencies or authoritative 
sources that OSHA should consider?
    14. Are there other instances where a citation to another Federal 
Standard referenced in an OSHA standard is no longer correct?

F. Carcinogens (4-Nitrobiphenyl, etc.) (Sec.  1910.1003)

    In 1996, OSHA consolidated 13 similar standards for regulating 
carcinogenic chemicals into a single standard, Sec.  1910.1003 (See 61 
FR 9228, March 7, 1996). OSHA did not intend to make substantive 
changes to any of the 13 standards under that action. Where language 
among the 13 standards differed, the Agency attempted to design the 
regulatory text of the single rule to maintain the same substantive 
requirements of each standard. Four of these 13 standards, covering 
employee exposures to methyl chloromethyl ether, bis-chloromethyl 
ether, ethyleneimine, and beta-propiolactone, had a provision in former 
paragraph (c)(4)(iv) of each standard that provided respirator 
requirements that differed from those provided in the other nine 
standards. Specifically, this provision required employers to ensure 
that employees involved in handling any of these four carcinogenic 
chemicals wear full-facepiece, supplied-air respirators of the 
continuous-flow or pressure-demand type rather than half-mask 
respirators permitted under the other nine standards. The Agency 
inadvertently omitted this provision from the consolidated standard, 
thereby appearing to change the respirator requirement for those four 
substances. That was not intended; therefore, OSHA is considering 
reinstating the former respirator-use requirement in paragraph 
(c)(4)(iv) of Sec.  1910.1003 for the four substances.
    15. What types of respirators are currently being used to protect 
employees from exposure to these four chemicals?
    16. If OSHA reinstates the requirements for full-facepiece air-
supplied respirators, does the respirator-use requirement conflict with 
OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard (Sec.  1910.134)?
    17. Would the reinstated respirator use requirement be more or less 
protective than the protection offered by OSHA's Respiratory Protection 
Standard? Please provide any data or rationale to support your answer.
    18. How would reinstating the respirator use requirement change the 
economic or paperwork burden?

G. Lead (Sec.  1910.1025 and Sec.  1926.62)

    The Agency's substance-specific standards usually require that 
employers initiate or implement protective actions, including exposure 
monitoring, medical surveillance, and exposure controls, at specific 
airborne concentrations of a toxic substance.
    In several provisions of the lead standards (Sec.  1910.1025 and 
Sec.  1926.62), the airborne concentrations at which protective actions 
must occur vary slightly. A number of provisions in the lead standards 
trigger actions at airborne concentrations, which are ``above the AL,'' 
and ``at or above the PEL.'' The terminology in the lead standards for 
these airborne concentrations is inconsistent and can be confusing. For 
example, Sec.  1910.1025(d)(6)(iii) currently states that ``[t]he 
employer shall continue monitoring at the required frequency until at 
least two consecutive measurements, taken at least 7 days apart, are 
below the PEL but at or above the action level[.]'' OSHA is considering 
revising this to state ``[t]he employer shall continue monitoring at 
the required frequency until at least two consecutive measurements, 
taken at least 7 days apart, are at or below the PEL but at or above 
the action level[.]'' [Emphasis added.]
    Similar issues arise with respect to the blood lead levels that 
trigger medical removal protection or return to work in the lead 
standards. OSHA is considering changing these terminologies in the lead 
standard(s) to make these internally consistent and consistent with 
each other. Table 1 describes the revisions being considered.
     Table 1.--Recommended Revisions to the AL, PEL, and Numerical-Criteria Provisions of the Lead Standards
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Provision                         Existing language                     Revised language
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sec.   1910.1025 (Lead in General
 Industry):
(d)(6)(ii)............................  ``at or above the action level but   ``at or above the action level but
                                         below the permissible exposure       at or below the permissible
                                         limit''.                             exposure limit''

[[Page 76628]]


(d)(6)(iii)...........................  ``are below the PEL but at or above  ``are at or below the PEL but at or
                                         the action level''.                  above the action level''
(d)(8)(ii)............................  ``exceeds the permissible exposure   ``is above the permissible exposure
                                         limit''.                             limit''
(j)(1)(i).............................  ``above the action level''.........  ``at or above the action level''
(j)(2)(ii)............................  ``exceeds the numerical criterion''  ``is at or above the numerical
                                                                              criterion''
(j)(2)(iv)............................  ``exceeds 40 [mu]g/100 g'' and       ``is at or above 40 [mu]g/100 g''
                                         ``exceeds the numerical              and ``is at or above the numerical
                                         criterion''.                         criterion''
(k)(1)(i)(B)..........................  ``at or below 40 [mu]g/100 g''.....  ``below 40 [mu]g/100 g''
(k)(1)(iii)(A)(1).....................  ``at or below 40 [mu]g/100 g''.....  ``below 40 [mu]g/100 g''
Sec.   1926.62 (Lead in Construction):
(d)(8)(ii)............................  ``at or above the PEL'' and ``at or  ``above the PEL'' and ``above that
                                         above that level''.                  level''
(j)(2)(ii)............................  ``exceeds the numerical criterion''  ``is at or above the numerical
                                                                              criterion''
(j)(2)(iv)(B).........................  ``exceeds 40 [mu]g/dl''............  ``is at or above 40 [mu]g/dl''
(k)(1)(iii)(A)(1).....................  ``at or below 40 [mu]g/dl''........  ``below 40 [mu]g/dl''
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    19. Would making the provisions of the lead standards more 
consistent with each other assist employers in complying with these 
standards?
    20. Are there any increases to the economic or paperwork burden as 
a result of making the suggested changes? If increases are identified, 
please explain the impact.
    21. Are there similar changes needed in other standards that would 
increase their consistency? Please explain the rationale for your 
suggestions.

H. 1,3-Butadiene (Sec.  1910.1051)

    Paragraph (m)(3) of the 1,3-butadiene standard (Sec.  1910.1051) 
for general industry requires employers to establish and maintain fit-
testing records for employees who use respirators to reduce toxic 
exposures. However, paragraph (h)(2)(i) states that ``employers must 
implement a respiratory protection program in accordance with OSHA's 
respiratory-protection standard Sec.  1910.134 (b) through (d) * * * 
and (f) through (m).'' The requirements to establish and maintain fit-
testing records specified in paragraph (m)(2) of the respiratory-
protection standard are essentially the same as the applicable 
recordkeeping requirements in paragraph (m)(3) of the 1,3-butadiene 
standard.
    The Agency inadvertently failed to delete the recordkeeping 
provision in the 1,3-butadiene standard when it replaced many of the 
respiratory-protection requirements of health standards with the 
reference to the respiratory-protection standard in Sec.  1910.134 (see 
63 FR 1293-1294). OSHA believes that having two similar recordkeeping 
provisions is redundant and confusing. Therefore, the Agency is 
considering removing paragraph (m)(3) from the 1,3-butadiene standard 
for general industry.
    22. To what extent, in any, does removing paragraph (m)(3) from 
1,3-butadiene standard reduce protection?
    23. Does removing this paragraph reduce employers' and employees' 
understanding of their obligations to keep respirator fit-test records?
    24. Are there similar changes that can be made in other standards 
that would increase their consistency? Please explain the rationale for 
your suggestions.

I. Asbestos (Sec.  1915.1001)

    The introductory paragraph to OSHA's respiratory-protection 
standard (Sec.  1910.134) specifies that the standard applies to ship 
repair, shipbuilding, and ship breaking (i.e. shipyards) (Part 1915), 
general industry (Part 1910), marine terminals (Part 1917), longshoring 
(Part 1918), and construction (Part 1926). Three of these parts, 
general industry, shipyards, and construction, contain standards 
regulating employee exposure to asbestos, with each of these standards 
having a paragraph entitled ``Respirator program.'' These paragraphs 
specify the requirements for an employer's respirator program with 
respect to asbestos exposure. In the final rulemaking for the 
respiratory-protection standard, the Agency updated these paragraphs in 
the asbestos standards for general industry and construction \4\ so 
that the program requirements would be consistent with the provisions 
of the newly revised respiratory-protection standard (see 63 FR 1285 
and 1298). However, the Agency inadvertently omitted revising the 
respirator program requirements specified in paragraph (h)(3)(i) of the 
asbestos standard for shipyards (Sec.  1915.1001). OSHA is considering 
correcting this oversight and revising paragraph (h)(3)(i) of the 
asbestos standard for shipyards to read the same as paragraphs 
(g)(2)(i) of the asbestos standard for general industry (Sec.  
1910.1001) and (h)(2)(i) of the asbestos standard for construction 
(Sec.  1926.1101) which state ``[t]he employer must implement a 
respiratory protection program in accordance with Sec.  1910.134 (b) 
through (d) (except (d)(1)(iii)), and (f) through (m).''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Paragraphs (g)(2)(i) and (h)(2)(i) of the asbestos standard 
for general industry (Sec.  1910.1001) and the asbestos standard for 
construction (Sec.  1926.1101), respectively, specify the provisions 
of the updated respiratory-protection standard that apply to 
employers covered by these standards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Similarly, the Agency is considering removing paragraphs 
(h)(3)(ii), (h)(3)(iii), and the entirety of paragraph (h)(4) from the 
shipyard standard, which address filter changes, washing faces and 
facepieces to prevent skin irritation, and fit testing, respectively. 
OSHA believes this is appropriate because the continuing-use provisions 
specified in paragraph (g)(2)(ii) duplicate paragraphs (h)(3)(ii) and 
(h)(3)(iii) of the asbestos standard for shipyards. Also, the fit-
testing requirements provided in paragraph (f) of the respiratory-
protection standard either meet or exceed the provisions specified in 
(h)(4) of the shipyard asbestos standard except that the frequency of 
fit-testing is different. The current Shipyard asbestos standard at 
Sec.  1915.1001 (4)(i) requires quantitative and qualitative fit-
testing be performed initially and at least every six months 
thereafter. The Respirator standard at Sec.  1910.134 (f)(2) requires 
employees wearing a tight-fitting respirator be fit-tested prior to 
initial use, whenever a different facepiece is used and at least 
annually thereafter.
    By adding the reference to Sec.  1910.134 (respirator standard) in 
Sec.  1915.1001(h)(3)(i) of the shipyard asbestos standard, OSHA would 
incorporate the fit testing requirements of Sec.  1910.134(f), which 
include the requirement to use the OSHA-accepted qualitative fit testing
and quantitative fit testing protocols and procedures contained in Appendix A. 
Accordingly, the fit testing requirements of Sec.  1915.1001, Appendix C 
would be duplicative. Therefore, OSHA is considering deleting this Appendix.
    25. Would revising Sec.  1915.1001(h)(3)(i) to be consistent with 
similar provisions in the asbestos standard for general industry and 
construction create additional compliance requirements?
    26. Does this change maintain the same level of employee 
protection? Would making the recommended changes increase the economic 
or paperwork burden?
    27. Besides altering the frequency of fit testing, how would making 
the recommended change to delete paragraphs (h)(3)(ii) through 
(h)(4)(ii) affect the requirements of the standard?

J. General Modifications to Medical Examinations and Industrial Hygiene 
Sampling Provisions

    Many of OSHA's health standards are over 20 years old. Since their 
promulgation, there have been many technological advances, including 
changes in medical testing and industrial hygiene sampling. The Agency 
is interested in determining whether any of these new medical tests or 
industrial hygiene sampling technologies should be permitted for use in 
its health standards. The Agency is also interested in determining 
whether these tests or technologies would accomplish the identified 
task required by the standard as well as or better than the 
technologies identified in the current medical and sampling 
requirements.
    28. Are there newer medical tests that would provide equivalent or 
better diagnostic results than the tests contained in OSHA's standards? 
For example, are there updated medical tests that could replace chest 
x-rays for diagnosing asbestos related diseases or Beta-2 microglobulin 
in urine for diagnosing kidney disease related to cadmium exposure?
    29. Are there newer methods to determine personal exposures to 
hazards? For example, are there newer methods using passive sampling 
for different chemical exposures or an updated method to determine 
exposure to cotton dust better than the vertical elutriator cotton dust 
sampler?

K. General Modifications to Training Provisions

    Training is an essential part of every employer's safety and health 
program for protecting employees from injury and illness. Many OSHA 
standards specifically require that employers train employees in the 
safety and health aspects of their jobs. Other OSHA standards establish 
employers' responsibility to limit certain job assignments to employees 
who are ``competent'' or ``qualified,'' meaning that they have had 
specialized training.
    In SIPs II, OSHA changed the notification and timing requirements 
in some health standards to make them more consistent across different 
health standards (67 FR 66493). OSHA did this to reduce regulatory 
confusion and facilitate compliance but without diminishing employee 
protection. Similarly, the Agency believes bringing consistency to its 
training requirements would achieve the same goals.
    30. How could the Agency modify the training requirements in 
various OSHA safety and health standards to promote compliance with the 
training requirements?
    31. How should training content and frequency of retraining be 
addressed to improve employees' safety and health? Please identify 
changes that could be made to improve the training process.
    32. Would making training requirements uniform among various 
standards facilitate employers' compliance with OSHA regulations? 
Please explain.
    33. To what extent, if any, do other agencies' training 
requirements overlap with OSHA's?

L. Miscellaneous Items Under Consideration

a. Recordkeeping Requirements--Commercial Diving Operations (Sec.  
1910.440)
    The original Commercial Diving Operations standard included a 
requirement in paragraph Sec.  1910.411 that employers provide medical 
exams to dive team members. This paragraph was removed by a 1979 court 
decision [Taylor Diving and Salvage vs. U.S. Department of Labor (599 
F.2d 622)(5th Cir., 1979)]. However, the current standard still 
includes a reference to paragraph Sec.  1910.411 in paragraph (b)(3)(i) 
of Sec.  1910.440, which requires employers to keep dive team medical 
records for five years. Since there is no longer a requirement for team 
medical exams, the requirement to keep such records for five years 
makes no sense. Therefore, OSHA intends to propose removing paragraph 
(b)(3)(i) of Sec.  1910.440.
    34. Is there any reason why this paragraph should not be deleted? 
Please explain.
    35. Are there references in other standards that need to be 
updated?
b. Definitions (Sec. Sec.  1917.2, 1918.2, and 1919.2)
    Hazardous Ships' Stores (46 CFR 147) contains the following 
definition for ships' stores:

Materials which are aboard a vessel for the upkeep, maintenance, 
safety, operation, or navigation of the vessel, or for the safety or 
comfort of the vessel's passengers or crew.

    A definition of ships' stores is not contained in Marine Terminals 
(29 CFR 1917.2), Safety and Health Regulations for Longshoring (29 CFR 
1918.2), and Gear Certification (29 CFR 1919.2), even though these OSHA 
standards contain the term. OSHA is considering adding the definition 
of ships' stores in 47 CFR 147 to these OSHA standards.
    36. Is there any reason why this definition should not be added to 
the OSHA standards listed? If so, please explain your rationale for why 
this definition should not be added. Is there an alternative definition 
that OSHA should consider?
    37. Are there other definitions that could be added to these or 
other standards to improve consistency?

M. General Solicitation for Recommendations

    In addition to solicitation of comment on the specific 
recommendations noted above, OSHA invites comment on other standards 
that are in need of improvement because they are confusing, outdated, 
duplicative, or inconsistent with similar standards. It would be 
helpful if you could provide information supporting your recommended 
changes. Please describe the reasons why you believe these regulations 
are confusing, outdated, duplicative or inconsistent and provide 
specific language that you believe will improve the standard.
    38. Are there any standards that can be updated to make them more 
protective of employees' safety or health and at the same time reduce 
the compliance burden on employers?
    39. Are there any standards that can be updated to be more 
protective of employees' safety or health without imposing any 
additional compliance burden on the employer?
    40. Are there any other standards that need to be changed to reduce 
or eliminate inconsistencies between standards?

III. Public Participation

Submission of Comments and Access to the Docket

    OSHA invites comments on all aspects of this advance notice of 
proposed rulemaking (ANPRM). Throughout this document, OSHA has invited 
comment on specific issues and requested information and data about 
practices at your establishment and in your industry. OSHA will 
carefully review and evaluate these comments, information and data, as 
well as all other information in the rulemaking record, to determine 
how to proceed.
    You may submit comments and additional materials (1) electronically 
at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal; 
(2) by facsimile (FAX); or (3) by hard copy. All submissions must 
identify the Agency name and the OSHA docket number for this rulemaking 
(S-778B). You may supplement electronic submissions by uploading 
document attachments and files electronically. If, instead, you wish to 
mail additional materials in reference to an electronic or fax 
submission, you must submit three copies to the OSHA Docket Office (see 
ADDRESSES section). The additional materials must clearly identify your 
electronic submissions by name, date, and docket number so OSHA can 
attach them to your submissions.
    Because of security-related procedures, the use of regular mail may 
cause a significant delay in the receipt of submissions. For 
information about security procedures concerning the delivery of 
materials by hand, express delivery, messenger or courier service, 
please contact the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-2350 (TTY (877) 889-
5627).
    Submissions are posted without change at: http://www.regulations.gov.
Therefore, OSHA cautions commenters about submitting personal information 
such as social security numbers and dates of birth. Although all submissions
are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index, some information (e.g., copyrighted 
material) is not publicly available to read or download through http://www.regulations.gov.
 All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection 
and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. Information on using the 
http://www.regulations.gov Web site to submit 
comments, and attachments, and to access the docket, is available at 
the Web site's User Tips link. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for 
information about materials not available through the Web site and for 
assistance in using the Internet to locate docket submissions.
    Electronic copies of this Federal Register document are available 
at http://www.regulations.gov. This document, as well as news releases 
and other relevant information, also is available at OSHA's Webpage at: 
http://www.osha.gov.

IV. Authority and Signature

    This document was prepared under the direction of Edwin G. Foulke, 
Jr., Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. 
Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 
20210. It is issued pursuant to sections 4, 6, and 8 of the 
Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657), 
29 CFR 1911, and Secretary's Order 5-2002 (67 FR 65008).

Edwin G. Foulke, Jr.,
Assistant Secretary of Labor.
 [FR Doc. E6-21799 Filed 12-20-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-26-P

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