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News Release USDL: 96-294
Monday, July 22, 1996
Contact: Frank Kane (202) 219-8151

OSHA Proposes To Eliminate Regulations In Move To Save Employers Millions Annually And Reduce Paperwork While Protecting Employees

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is continuing its reinvention efforts to provide common sense regulation. OSHA today proposed eliminating regulations including those that require some unnecessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical surveillance that duplicate rules of other federal agencies. The move could save employers millions of dollars annually and eliminate thousands of hours of paperwork while maintaining employee protection.

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Joseph A. Dear called the proposal "the result of OSHA's continuing line-by-line review of its rules and regulations." He said, "This proposal is a substantive change in agency regulations with the potential for significant industry savings. We need stakeholders' feedback."

OSHA is proposing to delete requirements for semi-annual chest X-rays and sputum examinations for exposed workers covered by the inorganic arsenic and coke oven emission standards. Large scale medical studies have demonstrated that annual chest X-rays are as protective to employees as semi-annual X-rays and sputum examinations.

OSHA also is proposing removal of regulations that duplicate or conflict with regulations of other federal agencies. For example, OSHA regulations on marking liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders, installing LPG systems in commercial vehicles, and ensuring the safety of ammonia-transporting trailers duplicate requirements of the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Among unnecessary provisions that the proposal would eliminate are some special industry requirements that duplicate the requirements for general industry as a whole.

For example, in OSHA's pulp, paper and paperboard industry provisions, regulations on personal protective equipment, electrical equipment, confined spaces and respiratory protection would be removed because the general industry requirements are equally protective and more performance oriented. In requirements for the textile and sawmill industries, regulations for slings, equipment guarding and power transmission would be removed because they duplicate provisions applying to all general industry employment.

For workers covered by the vinyl chloride standard, OSHA proposes to remove regulations on entry into unknown and hazardous vinyl chloride atmospheres. The agency believes that the hazardous waste and emergency response standard is more protective and provides greater flexibility than the vinyl chloride requirements.

The proposal also would remove requirements that are outdated as a result of recently published general industry standards. For example, in the telecommunications standard, OSHA requirements for rubber-insulating equipment (gloves and blankets) used at telecommunications centers are outdated. A new general industry standard on electrical protective equipment covers all rubber-insulating equipment and provides more comprehensive employee protection.

In March 1995, President Clinton directed federal agencies to undertake a line-by-line review of their rules and regulations to determine if they were still needed or if they should be revised or revoked. OSHA identified five rulemaking projects that together would eliminate at least 1,049 pages from the approximately 3,000 pages in the OSHA sections of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Two projects to eliminate more than 900 pages were completed earlier this year.

Written comments and requests for a hearing on this proposal must be postmarked by Sept. 20, 1996.

Comments should be submitted in quadruplicate or one original (hard copy) and one diskette (5 1/4 or 3 1/2-inch) in WordPerfect 5.0, 5.1, 6.0 or 6.1, or ASCII to: Docket Office, Docket No. S-778, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Room N-2634, 200 Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C., 20210 (telephone (202) 219-7894). Any information not contained on disk (e.g., studies, articles) must be submitted in quadruplicate. Written comments limited to 10 pages in length also may be transmitted by facsimile to (202) 219-5046, provided an original and three copies also are sent to the Docket Office.

Requests for a hearing should be sent to Tom Hall, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Room N-3647, 200 Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C., 20210 (telephone (202) 219-8615).

Comments on the reduction of paperwork burden and renewal of paperwork authorization for inorganic arsenic coke and oven emissions should be sent to the OSHA Docket and to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, New Executive Office Bldg., Rm. 10235, 725 17th St., N.W., Washington, D.C., 20503, Attn. OSHA Desk Officer.

The proposed rule is published in the Monday, July 22, 1996 Federal Register.

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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