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1985. UPDATING OSHA STANDARDS BASED ON NATIONAL CONSENSUS STANDARDS
Priority: Other Significant. Major status under 5 USC 801 is undetermined.
Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b)
CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910; 29 CFR 1915; 29 CFR 1917; 29 CFR 1918; 29 CFR 1926
Legal Deadline: None
Abstract: Under section 6(a) of the OSH Act, during the first two years of the Act, the Agency was directed to adopt national consensus standards as OSHA standards. Some of these standards were adopted as regulatory text, while others were incorporated by reference. In the thirty years since these standards were adopted by OSHA, the organizations responsible for these consensus standards have issued updated versions of these standards. However, in most cases, OSHA has not revised its regulations to reflect later editions of the consensus standards. OSHA standards also continue to incorporate by reference various consensus standards that are now outdated and, in some cases, out of print.
The Agency is now considering the possibility of initiating rulemaking to update some of these standards. In that regard, OSHA has asked various consensus standards organizations to review their standards, compare the latest versions of these standards to the ones currently adopted by OSHA, and determine which ones are most important for OSHA to update. Additionally, OSHA has asked them to consider whether the changes to these standards would be noncontroversial, and if the new versions would reduce risk. The organizations were enthusiastic about the possibility of updating references to their standards, and they have provided considerable information on priorities and other related issues. OSHA is in the process of evaluating the information it has received in order to determine the best way to proceed. It is possible that a direct final rule may be appropriate to address some of these standards, and others may be more appropriately addressed by an NPRM.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No
Government Levels Affected: Undetermined
Agency Contact: Steven F. Witt, Director, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-3718, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 693-1950
Fax: 202 693-1678
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