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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.
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OSHA Trade Release
November 23, 2004
Contact: Frank Meilinger
Phone: (202) 693-1999


OSHA Takes First Steps to Update National Consensus Standards

WASHINGTON -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is seeking public comments on its overall project to update agency standards that reference or that are based on outdated national consensus standards. The agency is also seeking comments on the first rulemaking actions associated with the update project, a direct final rule and notice of proposed rulemaking to revoke five references to national consensus standards and industry standards that are outdated.

"It's important that we move forward to update OSHA standards that reference national consensus standards issued over 30 years ago," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "Our standards have to be amended so that they reflect the advances in technologies and work processes that have changed workplace safety."

OSHA is engaging in an overall effort to update OSHA standards that reference or include language taken directly from outdated consensus standards. This includes updating or revoking outdated consensus standards incorporated by reference, and updating regulatory text of current OSHA rules that were adopted directly from the language of outdated consensus standards.

The Agency will use a variety of regulatory approaches, including formal (notice and comment) rulemaking, direct final rulemaking, and technical amendments, for updating or revoking outdated consensus standards incorporated by reference, and updating regulatory text of current OSHA rules that were adopted directly from the language of outdated consensus standards.

In the first rulemaking action, OSHA is proposing to revoke references found in its standards on Temporary Labor Camps, Guarding of Portable Power Tools, Sawmills, Flammable and Combustible Liquids, and Arc Welding and Cutting, all of which reference outdated consensus or industry standards.

Revisions to the standards are being made through the direct final rule approach. This expedited approach saves regulatory resources over the more traditional rulemaking by streamlining one stage in the rulemaking process. In direct final rulemaking, OSHA publishes a final rule and proposed rule in the Federal Register at the same time. If no significant adverse comments are received on the direct final rule, it will become effective Feb. 22, 2005. However, if such comments are received, OSHA will withdraw the direct final rule and address the comments in a subsequent final rule document.

Public comments must be sent in triplicate by Dec. 27, 2004 to the Docket Office, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Room N-2625, Washington, D.C. 20210. Comments on the direct final rule and notice of proposed rulemaking should reference Docket No.S-023 A and comments on the overall project to update OSHA standards that are based on national consensus standards should reference Docket No. S-023.

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.


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U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7773 or TTY (202) 693-7755.


Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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