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Regulations (Preambles to Final Rules) - Table of Contents
• Record Type: Dipping and Coating Operations
• Section: 1
• Title: Section 1 - I. Background

I. Background

In May 1995, President Clinton asked all Federal regulatory agencies to review their regulations to determine if they were inconsistent, duplicative, outdated, or in need of being rewritten in plain language. In response, OSHA conducted a line-by-line review of its standards, and committed the Agency to eliminating those found to be unnecessary, duplicative, or inconsistent and to rewriting those found to be complex and outdated. The Agency's dip-tank standards were identified by that review as needing clarification.

OSHA chose to rewrite these standards in plain language because dip tanks pose serious hazards to employees engaged in dipping and coating operations. There are hundreds of thousands of dip tanks in America. Wherever metals are coated, furniture is stripped and refinished, automobiles are repaired, aircraft are maintained, and leather is tanned, dip tanks are an essential part of the process. The liquids used to perform these operations are often dangerous, both from a safety and health standpoint. These liquids include flammable substances such as acetone, corrosive materials such as cyanide acids and chromic acids, and chronic toxins such as perchloroethylene and methylene chloride. Most facilities with dip tanks are small: OSHA estimates that the majority of these facilities have fewer than 20 employees. Industries with large numbers of dip tanks include automobile manufacturing, electronic manufacturing, electroplating, defense, transportation equipment, computer manufacturing, automobile repair, paint stripping, and other service industries.

The final rule does not change the technical substance of the former standards or alter the regulatory obligations placed on employers or the safety and health protections provided to employees. OSHA believes, moreover, that the performance-oriented language of the final rule will facilitate compliance because it gives employers more compliance options than they had under the former standards.

[64 FR 13897, March 23, 1999]

Regulations (Preambles to Final Rules) - Table of Contents

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