OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today issued a final rule that removes about 275 pages of regulations out of approximately 3,000 by making quick-fix administrative and technical amendments.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Joseph A. Dear said, "This is our 'down-payment' on the President's promise to reduce OSHA regulations by more than 1,000 pages. It also responds to suggestions from the public and Congress on how OSHA can best ease the burdens on the employers and employees it regulates."
Following the President's March 4, 1995, directive, OSHA conducted a comprehensive review of all its regulations and developed a list of sections or provisions that could be revoked without reducing worker safety and health.
The final rule addresses about 70 items on a list it developed as a result of the review.
Among the actions being taken in the final rule are:
Combining the health standards for 13 carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals into a single section. Although the regulatory requirements were similar for each chemical, OSHA issued them as separate standards in 1974. OSHA has decided that it would be easier for the regulated community to understand and comply with the standards if they are combined into one rule.
Eliminating more than 100 pages in the health standard for cadmium as it applies to agriculture. These pages duplicate the text in the general industry standard. The text is replaced with a cross reference to the pertinent general industry section on cadmium.
Removing a number of unnecessary sections in general industry standards that list the addresses of national standards organizations whose standards have been incorporated by reference. The addresses of those organizations are being consolidated into a single section that addresses incorporation by reference (IBR). The consolidated IBR section also specifies the paragraphs within a section where the IBR reference appears.
Removing listings for specific national standards that were used as sources for standards adopted by OSHA. OSHA has decided that there is no need to continue to publish these sources.
Eliminating regulatory text that details test procedures and performance specifications for rollover protective structures and overhead protection in agricultural-type tractors used in construction work and agricultural operations. OSHA recognizes that these tests and specifications are directed at the equipment manufacturers and do not address equipment that employers or employees will be able to build. OSHA directs readers to the appropriate American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE) or Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standards from which its standards were adapted.
Revoking certain paragraphs dealing with state occupational safety and health prorams that are obsolete or redundant.
The final rule is published in the Thursday, March 7, 1996, Federal Register.
Because this initial document contains minor and noncontroversial amendments, OSHA believes that notice and comment procedures are unnecessary. The final rule will become effective May 6, 1996.
In addition to this final rule, a regulatory proposal is being developed to address other "problem provisions" that would warrant public comment and require notice and comment rulemaking. Some of these rulemaking actions will include removal of OSHA standards involving working conditions that are covered by other federal regulatory agencies. Also, the final respirator standard scheduled for publication this year will eliminate additional pages of regulations by consolidating fit testing criteria for respirators. The agency also will reconsider changes made in 1993 that incorporated applicable general industry regulations into the construction and shipyard regulations.
Moreover, OSHA has been asking stakeholders to help OSHA consider various ways to provide improved access to OSHA standards without any adverse impact on the stakeholders.
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