OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Promised goal surpassed
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today canceled outdated and duplicative regulations, resulting in savings of almost $10 million annually and elimination of thousands of hours of paperwork for employers.
Today's reductions are the latest of several under OSHA's standards improvement project, which has eliminated 1,081 pages of OSHA regulations from the Code of Federal Regulations.
"We now have removed even more pages of regulations than we promised President Clinton we would eliminate," said OSHA Administrator Charles N. Jeffress. "This is part of the New OSHA's focus on common sense regulation. At the same time, we are making it easier for employers to protect their workers."
The reduction in OSHA regulations stems from a 1995 Presidential directive that federal agencies review all standards and update or eliminate any as needed. OSHA committed to eliminate 1,049 pages from the Code of Federal Regulations by removing obsolete and outdated information, revoking duplicative and repetitive standards, and revising standards that do not apply to current industry practices.
Today's final rule on standards improvement is the latest of five OSHA has issued. This latest action eliminates several standards that cover hazards outside of OSHA's jurisdiction, such as transportation of certain chemicals and explosives, which are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation. The new rule also changes or removes some medical tests required by standards covering arsenic and coke oven emissions to reflect current practice.
Changes are being made to:
Emergency response provisions of the vinyl chloride standard. They now conform to the standard on hazardous waste operations and emergency response;
Rules for safety measures workers must take when they enter confined spaces in pulp and paper mills. They are now the same as the more performance-oriented "permit-required confined spaces" standard, which requires the use of attendants and lifelines.
Temporary labor camp standards. Public safety measures in the standard that do not fall within OSHA's jurisdiction are eliminated; and
Textile industry and other standards. Unnecessary cross-references are eliminated.
The new rule also eliminates provisions in OSHA's standards for first aid and medical services that require a consulting physician's approval for certain first aid supplies. This requirement applied only in cases where no infirmary, clinic or hospital was near the worksite, and OSHA estimated that only 10 percent of establishments were affected by the requirement.
In March of 1996, the agency eliminated 275 pages when it made corrections, deleted redundant provisions and reorganized other provisions in its standards. In June of 1996, the agency eliminated 645 pages by consolidating standards in its general industry volume that were repeated for the shipyard employment and construction standards. In June 25, 1997, another 48 pages were deleted when OSHA updated longshoring and marine terminal standards. In January 1998, OSHA cut 100 pages by updating the respiratory protection standard, omitting respiratory provisions in other standards that duplicated those requirements and revising others to make them consistent.
The new final rule becomes effective Aug. 17, 1998.
Notice of the rule was published Thursday, June 18, 1998, in the Federal Register.
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