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• Publication Date: 08/31/2007
• Publication Type: Proposed Rules
• Fed Register #: 72:50302-50303
• Standard Number: 1910; 1915; 1917; 1918
• Title: Updating OSHA Standards Based on National Consensus Standards; Personal Protective Equipment; Notice of Informal Public Hearing

[Federal Register: August 31, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 169)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 50302-50303]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr31au07-27]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR Parts 1910, 1915, 1917 and 1918

[Docket No. OSHA-2007-0044]
RIN 1218-AC08

Updating OSHA Standards Based on National Consensus Standards; 
Personal Protective Equipment; Notice of Informal Public Hearing

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

ACTION: Proposal; notice of informal public hearing.

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SUMMARY: This notice schedules an informal public hearing on OSHA's 
proposed rule updating its personal protective equipment (PPE) design 
standards, which was published on May 17, 2007. It also establishes a 
date to file notices of intention to appear at the informal public 
hearing and sets requirements for submitting hearing testimony and 
documentary evidence in advance of the hearing.

DATES: Informal public hearing. OSHA will hold an informal public 
hearing in Washington, DC, beginning at 9 a.m. on December 4, 2007.
    Notices of intention to appear. Parties who intend to present 
testimony at the informal public hearing must notify OSHA in writing of 
their intention to do so no later than October 1, 2007.
    Hearing testimony and documentary evidence. Parties who request 
more than 10 minutes for their presentations at the informal public 
hearing and parties who will submit documentary evidence at the hearing 
must submit the full text of their testimony and all documentary 
evidence no later than November 1, 2007.

ADDRESSES: You may submit notices of intention to appear, hearing 
testimony, and documentary evidence--identified by docket number (OSHA-
2007-0044) or RIN number (1218-AC08)--by any of the following methods.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: If your written submission is 10 pages or fewer, you 
may fax it to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648.
     Regular mail, express delivery, hand delivery, and courier 
service: Submit three copies to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. 
OSHA-2007-0044, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., 
Room N2625, Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2350. (OSHA's TTY 
number is (877) 889-5627.) OSHA Docket Office hours of operation are 
8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., e.t.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this 
rulemaking. All submissions received will be posted without change to 
http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided. For additional information on submitting notices of intention 
to appear, the text of testimony, and documentary evidence, see the 
Informal Public Hearing heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION 
section of this document.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read comments and background 
documents that can be posted go to http://www.regulations.gov. Written 
comments received, notices of intention to appear, and all other 
material related to the development of the proposed standard will be 
available for inspection and copying in the public record in the Docket 
Office at the address listed previously.
    Hearing: The hearing will be held in the auditorium of the U.S. 
Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 
20210.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: General information and press 
inquiries: Mr. Kevin Ropp, Director, Office of Communications, Room 
N3647, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., 
Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-1999. Technical information: 
Mr. Ted Twardowski, Office of Systems Safety, Room N3609, OSHA, U.S. 
Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 
20210; telephone (202) 693-2070 or fax (202) 693-1663. Hearings: Ms. 
Veneta Chatmon, Office of Communications, Room N3647; OSHA, U.S. 
Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 
20210; telephone (202) 693-1999.
    Electronic copies of this Federal Register notice, as well as news, 
are available at OSHA's Web page on the Internet at http://www.osha.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On May 17, 2007, OSHA published a proposal 
that would update OSHA standards related to certain types of personal 
protective equipment (72 FR 27771). Interested parties were given until 
July 16, 2007, to submit comments on the proposal. The 3M Company, the 
American National Standards Institute (ANSI), ASTM International, and 
the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) all requested an 
informal public hearing on the proposal.

1. Issues

    OSHA has proposed to update its standards requiring that certain 
types of personal protective equipment (PPE) meet specifically 
identified ANSI standards. OSHA proposed deleting the references to the 
ANSI standards from the regulatory text, replacing them with a 
requirement to use PPE constructed in accordance with good design 
standards, and adding criteria for determining what constitutes a good 
design standard within the meaning of the proposed standard. The 
proposed rule also included a non-mandatory appendix listing those 
national consensus standards that OSHA has determined meet the criteria 
of a good design standard.
    ISEA has objected to OSHA's proposal because they believe that 
modifying the PPE design standards in this way would eliminate baseline 
performance requirements for PPE, potentially reducing employee 
protection and making compliance more difficult for employers. The 3M 
Company, ANSI and ASTM International also requested an informal public 
hearing.

2. Informal Public Hearing

    In response to the objections received, OSHA is convening an 
informal public hearing on the proposed rule. The hearing will convene 
at 9 a.m. on December 4, 2007. OSHA invites interested parties to 
provide oral testimony and documentary evidence at the informal public 
hearing. This section describes the procedures the public must use to 
participate in the hearing.
    The legislative history of section 6 of the OSH Act, as well as 
OSHA's regulation governing public hearings (29 CFR 1911.15), establish 
the purpose and procedures of informal public hearings. Although the 
presiding officer of such hearings is an ALJ, and questioning by 
interested parties is allowed on crucial issues, the proceeding is 
informal and legislative in purpose. Therefore, the hearing provides 
interested parties with an opportunity to make effective and 
expeditious oral presentations in the absence of procedural restraints 
or rigid procedures that could impede or protract the rulemaking 
process. In addition, the hearing is an informal administrative 
proceeding, rather than adjudicative one in which the technical rules 
of evidence would apply, because its primary purpose is to gather and 
clarify information. The regulations that govern public hearings, and 
the prehearing guidelines issued for this hearing, will ensure 
participants fairness and due process, and also will
facilitate the development of a clear, accurate, and complete record. 
Accordingly, application of these rules and guidelines will be such 
that questions of relevance, procedure, and participation generally 
will favor development of the record.
    Conduct of the hearing will conform to the provisions of 29 CFR 
part 1911, ``Rules of Procedure for Promulgating, Modifying, or 
Revoking Occupational Safety and Health Standards.'' The regulation at 
29 CFR 1911.4, ``Additional or Alternative Procedural Requirements,'' 
specifies that the Assistant Secretary may, on reasonable notice, issue 
alternative procedures to expedite proceedings or for other good cause. 
Although the ALJs who preside over these hearings make no decision or 
recommendation on the merits of OSHA's proposal, they do have the 
responsibility and authority to ensure that the hearing progresses at a 
reasonable pace and in an orderly manner.
    To ensure that interested parties receive a full and fair informal 
hearing as specified by 29 CFR part 1911, the ALJ has the authority and 
power to: Regulate the course of the proceedings; dispose of procedural 
requests, objections, and comparable matters; confine the presentations 
to matters pertinent to the issues raised; use appropriate means to 
regulate the conduct of the parties who are present at the hearing; 
question witnesses, and permit others to question witnesses; and limit 
the time for such questioning. At the close of the hearing, the ALJ 
will establish a post-hearing comment period for parties who 
participated in the hearing. During the first part of this period, the 
participants may submit additional data and information to OSHA; during 
the second part of this period, they may submit briefs, arguments, and 
summations.
    Notice of Intention to Appear to Provide Testimony at the Informal 
Public Hearing. Interested parties who intend to provide oral testimony 
at the informal public hearings must file a written notice of intention 
to appear by October 1, 2007. In addition to containing the information 
required by the ADDRESSES section above, this notice must also provide 
the: name, address, and telephone number of each individual who will 
provide testimony; capacity (for example, the name of the establishment 
or organization the individual is representing and the individual's 
occupational title and position) in which each individual will testify; 
approximate amount of time required for each individual's testimony; a 
brief statement of the position that the individual will take with 
respect to the issue identified in this Notice; and a brief summary of 
any documentary evidence the individual intends to present.
    OSHA emphasizes that the hearings are open to the public, and that 
interested parties are welcome to attend. However, only a party who 
files a complete notice of intention to appear may ask questions and 
participate fully at the hearing. If time permits and at the presiding 
ALJ's discretion, a party who did not file a notice of intention to 
appear may be allowed to testify at the hearing.
    Hearing Testimony and Documentary Evidence. Parties who request 
more than 10 minutes for their presentations at the informal public 
hearing and parties who will submit documentary evidence at the hearing 
must submit the full text of their testimony and all documentary 
evidence no later than November 1, 2007. The Agency will review each 
submission and determine if the information it contains warrants the 
amount of time requested. If OSHA believes the requested time is 
excessive, it will allocate an appropriate amount of time to the 
presentation, and will notify the participant of this action, and the 
reasons for the action, before the hearing. The Agency may limit to 10 
minutes the presentation of any participant who fails to comply 
substantially with these procedural requirements; in such instances, 
OSHA may request the participant to return for questioning at a later 
time.
    Certification of the Record and Final Determination after the 
Informal Public Hearing. Following the close of the hearing and post-
hearing comment period, the presiding ALJ will certify the record to 
the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health; 
the record will consist of all of the written comments, oral testimony, 
and documentary evidence received during the proceeding. However, the 
ALJ does not make or recommend any decisions as to the content of the 
final standard. Following certification of the record, OSHA will review 
the proposed provisions in light of all the evidence received as part 
of the record, and then will issue the final rule based on the entire 
record.

Authority and Signature

    This document was prepared under the direction of Edwin G. Foulke, 
Jr., Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, 
200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. This action is 
taken pursuant to sections 4, 6, and 8 of the Occupational Safety and 
Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657), Secretary of Labor's 
Order No. 5-2007 (72 FR 31160), and 29 CFR part 1911.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 27th day of August 2007.
Edwin G. Foulke, Jr.,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
 [FR Doc. E7-17183 Filed 8-30-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-26-P

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