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2033. PLAIN LANGUAGE REVISION OF EXISTING STANDARDS (PHASE I)
Priority: Other Significant
Reinventing Government: This rulemaking is part of the Reinventing Government effort. It will revise text in the CFR to reduce burden or duplication, or streamline requirements.
Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); 5 USC 553
CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.107; 29 CFR 1910.94(c); 29 CFR 1910.94(d); 29 CFR 1910.35; 29 CFR 1910.36; 29 CFR 1910.37; 29 CFR 1910.38
Legal Deadline: None
Abstract: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) adopted its initial package of workplace safety and health standards in the 1970's. Many of these standards have been identified by the regulated community as being overly complex, difficult to read and follow, and out of date with current technology.
OSHA is initiating separate rulemakings to revise two of OSHA's most complex and out-of-date section 6(a) standards. The purpose of these rulemakings is to simplify and clarify these standards and to write them in "plain language," as directed by the President's report and the June 1998 Executive Memorandum on Plain Language. The two standards address means of egress, section 1910.37 and spray finishing using flammable and combustible liquids, section 1910.107. Section 1910.107 also contains substantive ventilation requirements that duplicate ventilation requirements contained in section 1910.94, paragraphs (c) and (d).
Statement of Need: These two OSHA standards are being revised as part of the President's initiative on Federal regulations discussed in the U.S. Department of Labor report of June 15, 1995 and in response to the June 1998 Executive Memorandum on Plain Language.
Exposure to flammable and combustible liquids during spray applications creates a variety of safety and health problems including thermal burns, chemical burns, smoke inhalation, respiratory inflammations and infections, nausea, dizziness, respiratory allergies, heart disease, lung cancer, decreases in pulmonary function, and other serious injuries and illnesses. In case of an emergency, proper exit routes are needed both to protect employees from being trapped in hazardous work areas and to guide employees to safety.
Summary of the Legal Basis: The legal basis for issuing these plain language rules derives from the OSH Act and responds to the Executive Memo issued by the President in June 1998.
Alternatives: OSHA has considered two alternatives to rewriting these rules in plain language: (1) leaving the rules unchanged; and (2) initiating a comprehensive revision and updating of these rules. The first alternative has been rejected because it would leave these complex and specification-driven rules in place, a situation that has led to confusion and misinterpretations of the rules. The second alternative -- conducting comprehensive rulemaking -- would take many years, during which the current, poorly-written standards would remain in place. The approach OSHA has taken -- conducting rulemaking for the limited but important purpose of rewriting these rules in plain language -- is the fastest and least resource-intensive approach to address the serious problems presented by these rules.
Anticipated Costs and Benefits: Because these plain language revisions do not substantively change these rules, no cost impacts are associated with these revisions.
Risks: Because these revisions are designed solely to simplify and clarify these standards, no assessment of risks is required.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No
Government Levels Affected: None
Additional Information: Means of Egress, 29 CFR 1910 subpart E, and Spray Finishing Using Flammable and Combustible Materials, 29 CFR 1910.107, are two standards selected for revision under a Presidential Initiative to revise outdated, duplicative, or obsolete Federal regulations. These standards will be rewritten in plain language to make them easier to read. 29 CFR 1910.94(c) will be combined with 29 CFR 1910.107 to eliminate duplicative standards. Another plain language initiative, the rewrite of Flammable and Combustible Liquids, 29 CFR 1910.106, has been moved to RIN 1218-AB61.
Agency Contact: Marthe B. Kent, Director, Directorate of Safety
Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health
Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3605, FP Building,
Washington, DC 20210
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