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2229. PLAIN LANGUAGE REVISION OF EXISTING STANDARDS (PHASE I)
Regulatory Plan: This entry is Seq. No. 80 in Part II of this issue of the Federal Register.
80. 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. Section 6(a) of the Act directed OSHA to adopt nationally recognized consensus standards, developed by groups such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and existing Federal standards as OSHA standards without public participation or other public comment. 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standards have been identified by the regulated community as being overly complex, difficult to read and follow, and out of date with current technology.
This project is part of a Presidential initiative to respond to concerns about the complexity and obsolescence of certain Federal regulations. OSHA believes that some of the Agency's section 6(a) standards in subpart E and subpart H of part 1910 meet the criteria for critical review set forth in the Presidential initiative. OSHA is initiating two separate rulemakings that will revise two of OSHA's most complex and out-of-date section 6(a) standards. These specific standards address means of egress (exit routes) and spray finishing using flammable and combustible liquids. Section 1910.107 (spray finishing using flammable and combustible liquids) also contains substantive ventilation requirements that duplicate ventilation requirements contained in section 1910.94, paragraphs (c) and (d). 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.
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.
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, including 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: leaving the rules unchanged and 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 in the past. Carrying out the second alternative -- conducting comprehensive rulemaking -- would take many years, and would, again, allow the current situation to continue. 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 the problems presented by these rules.
Anticipated Costs and Benefits: Because these plain language revisions are not substantively changing these rules, no cost impacts will be 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. Flammable and Combustible Liquids, 29 CFR 1910.106, has been moved to RIN 1218-AB61.
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