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Department of Labor (DOL) Completed Actions
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)


2134. OREGON STATE PLAN

Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant

Legal Authority: 29 USC 667

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1952

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: OSHA will propose to grant final approval under section 18(e) of the OSH Act for the Oregon State occupational safety and health plan, administered by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (OR-OSHA) of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services. Following a comment period and opportunity to request a public hearing, OSHA will make a final determination as a whether to grant final approval of the State plan. Actual performance by the State must be "at least as effective'' overall as the Federal OSHA program in all areas covered under the State plan. Final approval results in the relinquishment of authority for Federal concurrent enforcement jurisdiction in the State with respect to safety and health issues covered by the plan.


Timetable:

Action Date FR Cite

Notice of Eligibility for Final Approval 12/16/04 69 FR 75435
NPRM Comment Period End 01/18/05  
Notice of Final Approval Determination 05/12/05 70 FR 23886
Notice of Final Approval Determinatin Effective Date 05/12/05 70 FR 23886


Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No

Small Entities Affected: No

Government Levels Affected: None

Agency Contact: Paula O. White, Director, Federal-State Operations, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Room N3700, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 693-2200
Fax: 202 693-1671
Email: paula.white@osha.gov

RIN: 1218-AC13

Part II of this Federal Register

PRERULE STAGE

84. OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO CRYSTALLINE SILICA


Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 USC 801.

Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); 29 USC 657

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910; 29 CFR 1915; 29 CFR 1917; 29 CFR 1918; 29 CFR 1926

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: Crystalline silica is a significant component of the earth's crust, and many workers in a wide range of industries are exposed to it, usually in the form of respirable quartz or, less frequently, cristobalite. Chronic silicosis is a uniquely occupational disease resulting from exposure of employees over long periods of time (10 years or more). Exposure to high levels of respirable crystalline silica causes acute or accelerated forms of silicosis that are ultimately fatal. The current OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL) for general industry is based on a formula recommended by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) in 1971 (PEL=10mg/cubic meter/(% silica + 2), as respirable dust). The current PEL for construction and maritime (derived from ACGIH's 1962 Threshold Limit Value) is based on particle counting technology, which is considered obsolete. NIOSH and ACGIH recommend a 50ug/m3 exposure limit for respirable crystalline silica.

Both industry and worker groups have recognized that a comprehensive standard for crystalline silica is needed to provide for exposure monitoring, medical surveillance, and worker training. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has published a recommended standard for addressing the hazards of crystalline silica. The Building Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO has also developed a recommended comprehensive program standard. These standards include provisions for methods of compliance, exposure monitoring, training, and medical surveillance.

Statement of Need: Over two million workers are exposed to crystalline silica dust in general industry, construction and maritime industries. Industries that could be particularly affected by a standard for crystalline silica include: foundries, industries that have abrasive blasting operations, paint manufacture, glass and concrete product manufacture, brick making, china and pottery manufacture, manufacture of plumbing fixtures, and many construction activities including highway repair, masonry, concrete work, rock drilling, and tuckpointing. The seriousness of the health hazards associated with silica exposure is demonstrated by the fatalities and disabling illnesses that continue to occur; between 1990 and 1996, 200 to 300 deaths per year are known to have occurred where silicosis was identified on death certificates as an underlying or contributing cause of death. It is likely that many more cases have occurred where silicosis went undetected. In addition, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has designated crystalline silica as a known human carcinogen. Exposure to crystalline silica has also been associated with an increased risk of developing tuberculosis and other nonmalignant respiratory diseases, as well as renal and autoimmune respiratory diseases. Exposure studies and OSHA enforcement data indicate that some workers continue to be exposed to levels of crystalline silica far in excess of current exposure limits. Congress has included compensation of silicosis victims on Federal nuclear testing sites in the Energy Employees' Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000. There is a particular need for the Agency to modernize its exposure limits for construction and maritime, and to address some specific issues that will need to be resolved to propose a comprehensive standard.

Summary of Legal Basis: The legal basis for the proposed rule is a preliminary determination that workers are exposed to a significant risk of silicosis and other serious disease and that rulemaking is needed to substantially reduce the risk. In addition, the proposed rule will recognize that the PELs for construction and maritime are outdated and need to be revised to reflect current sampling and analytical technologies.

Alternatives: Over the past several years, the Agency has attempted to address this problem through a variety of non-regulatory approaches, including initiation of a Special Emphasis Program on silica in October 1997, sponsorship with NIOSH and MSHA of the National Conference to Eliminate Silicosis, and dissemination of guidance information on its Web site. The Agency is currently evaluating several options for the scope of the rulemaking.

Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The scope of the proposed rulemaking and estimates of the costs and benefits are still under development.

Risks: A detailed risk analysis is under way.

Timetable:

Action Date FR Cite
Completed SBREFA Report 12/19/03  
Complete Peer Review of Health Effects and Risks Assessment 04/00/06  

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes

Small Entities Affected: Businesses

Government Levels Affected: Undetermined

Agency Contact: Dorothy Dougherty
Acting Director, Directorate of Standards and Guidance
Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
200 Constitution Avenue N.W.
FP Building
Room 3718
Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 693-1950
Fax: 202 693-1678
Email: dougherty.dorothy@dol.gov

RIN: 1218-AB70


FINAL RULE STAGE

85. ASSIGNED PROTECTION FACTORS: AMENDMENTS TO THE FINAL RULE ON RESPIRATORY PROTECTION


Priority: Other Significant

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); 29 USC 657

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.134

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: In January 1998, OSHA published the final Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134), except for reserved provisions on assigned protection factors (APFs) and maximum use concentrations (MUCs). APFs are numbers that describe the effectiveness of the various classes of respirators in reducing employee exposure to airborne contaminants (including particulates, gases, vapors, biological agents, etc.). Employers, employees, and safety and health professionals use APFs to determine the type of respirator to protect the health of employees in various hazardous environments. Maximum use concentrations establish the maximum airborne concentration of a contaminant in which a respirator with a given APF may be used.

Currently, OSHA relies on the APFs developed by NIOSH in the 1980s unless OSHA has assigned a different APF in a substance-specific health standard. However, many employers follow the more recent APFs published in an industry consensus standard, ANSI Z88.2-1992. For some classes of respirators, the NIOSH and ANSI APFs vary greatly.

This rulemaking action will complete the 1998 standard, reduce compliance confusion among employers, and provide employees with consistent and appropriate respiratory protection. On June 6, 2003, OSHA published an NPRM on Assigned Protection Factors in the Federal Register at 68 FR 34036 containing a proposed APF table, and requesting public comment. The extended comment period ended October 2, 2003, and an informal public hearing was held January 28-30, 2004.

Statement of Need: About five million employees wear respirators as part of their regular job duties. Due to inconsistencies between the APFs found in ANSI Z88.2-1992 and in the NIOSH Respirator Decision Logic, employers, employees, and safety and health professionals are often uncertain about what respirator to select to provide protection against hazardous air contaminants.

Summary of Legal Basis: The legal basis for this proposed rule is the determination that assigned protection factors and maximum use concentrations are necessary to complete the final Respiratory Protection standard and provide the full protection under that standard.

Alternatives: OSHA has considered allowing the current situation to continue. Accordingly, OSHA generally enforces NIOSH APFs, but many employers follow the more recent ANSI Z88.2-1992 APFs. However, allowing the situation to continue results in inconsistent enforcement, lack of guidance for employers, and the potential for inadequate employee protection.

Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The estimated compliance costs for OSHA's proposed APF rule are $4.6 million. The APFs proposed in this rulemaking help to ensure that the benefits attributed to proper respiratory protection under 29 CFR 1910.134 are achieved, as well as provide an additional degree of protection.

Risks: The preamble to the final Respiratory Protection rule (63 FR 1270, Jan. 8, 1998) discusses the significance of the risks potentially associated with the use of respiratory protection. No independent finding of significant risk has been made for the APF rulemaking since it only addresses a single provision of the larger rule.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
ANPRM 5/14/82 47 FR 20803
ANPRM Comment Period End 09/13/82  
NPRM 11/15/94 59 FR 58884
Final Rule 01/08/98 63 FR 1152
Final Rule Effective 04/08/98  
NPRM 06/06/03  
NPRM Comment Period End 09/04/03  
NPRM Comment Period Extended 10/02/03 68 FR 53311
Public Hearing on 01/28/2004 11/12/03 68 FR 64036
Final Rule Revocation of Respiratory Protection M. TB 12/31/03 68 FR 75767
Public Hearing 01/28/04  
Post-Hearing Comment and Brief Period Extended 03/30/04 69 FR 16510
Post-Hearing Briefs End 04/29/04  
Final Action 05/29/04 03/00/06

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No

Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State, Tribal

Agency Contact: Dorothy Dougherty
Acting Director, Directorate of Standards and Guidance
Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
200 Constitution Avenue N.W.
FP Building
Room 3718
Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 693-1950
Fax: 202 693-1678
Email: dougherty.dorothy@dol.gov

RIN: 1218-AA05


86. OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO HEXAVALENT CHROMIUM (PREVENTING OCCUPATIONAL ILLNESS: CHROMIUM)

Priority:
Economically Significant. Major under 5 USC 801.

Unfunded Mandates: This action may affect the private sector under PL 104-4.

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); 29 USC 657

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910

Legal Deadline: NPRM, Judicial, October 4, 2004.

Final, Judicial, January 18, 2006.

Abstract: In July 1993, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was petitioned for an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to reduce the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for occupational exposures to hexavalent chromium (CrVI). The Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers International Unions (OCAW) and Public Citizen's Health Research Group (HRG) petitioned OSHA to promulgate an ETS to lower the PEL for CrVI compounds to 0.5 micrograms per cubic meter of air (ug/m3) as an eight- hour, time-weighted average (TWA). The current PEL in general industry is a ceiling value of 100 ug/m3, measured as CrVI and reported as chromic anhydride (CrO3). The amount of CrVI in the anhydride compound equates to a PEL of 52 ug/m3. The ceiling limit applies to all forms of CrVI, including chromic acid and chromates, lead chromate, and zinc chromate. The current PEL of CrVI in the construction industry is 100 ug/m3 as a TWA PEL, which also equates to a PEL of 52 ug/m3. After reviewing the petition, OSHA denied the request for an ETS and initiated a section 6(b)(5) rulemaking.

OSHA began collecting data and performing preliminary analyses relevant to occupational exposure to CrVI. However, in 1997, OSHA was sued by HRG OCAW for unreasonable delay in issuing a final CrVI standard. The 3rd Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in OSHA's favor and the Agency continued its data collection and analytic efforts on CrVI. In 2002, OSHA was sued again by HRG and Paper, Allied-International, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (PACE) for continued unreasonable delay in issuing a final CrVI standard. In August, 2002 OSHA published a Request for Information on CrVI to solicit additional information on key issues related to controlling exposures to CrVI and on December 4, 2002, OSHA announced its intent to proceed with developing a proposed standard. On December 24, 2002, the 3rd Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of HRG and ordered the Agency to proceed expeditiously with a CrVI standard. OSHA published a notice of proposed rulemaking on CrVI on October 4, 2004. Public hearings were held February 1-15, 2005.

Statement of Need: Approximately 380,000 workers are exposed to CrVI in general industry, maritime, construction, and agriculture. Industries or work processes that could be particularly affected by a standard for CrVI include: Electroplating, welding, painting, chromate production, chromate pigment production, ferrochromium production, iron and steel production, chromium catalyst production, and chromium dioxide and sulfate production. Exposure to CrVI has been shown to produce lung cancer, an often fatal disease, among workers exposed to CrVI compounds. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies CrVI compounds as a Group 1 Carcinogen: Agents considered to be carcinogenic in humans. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) have also designated CrVI compounds as known and confirmed human carcinogens, respectively. Similarly, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) considers CrVI compounds to be potential occupational carcinogens. OSHA's current standards for CrVI compounds, adopted in 1971, were established to protect against nasal irritation. Therefore, there is a need to revise the current standard to protect workers from lung cancer.

Summary of Legal Basis: The legal basis for the proposed rule is a preliminary determination that workers are exposed to a significant risk of lung cancer and dermatoses and that rulemaking is needed to substantially reduce the risk.

Alternatives: OSHA had considered non-regulatory approaches, including the dissemination of guidance on its Web site. However, OSHA has determined that rulemaking is a necessary step to ensure that workers are protected from the hazards of CrVI and the Agency has been ordered by the U.S. Court of Appeals to move forward with a final rule.

Anticipated Cost and Benefits: In the NPRM, OSHA preliminary estimates the cost of the proposed standards at $223 million per year. OSHA preliminarily estimates the proposed standard will prevent an average of 44 to 167 cases on cancer per year, and will have monetary benefits of $25 million to $701 million per year.

Risks: A detailed risk analysis is included in the NPRM.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
Request for Information 08/22/0267 FR 54389
Comment Period End 11/20/02  
Initiate SBREFA Process 12/23/03  
SBREFA Report 04/20/04  
NPRM 10/04/04 69 FR 53905
NPRM Comment Period End 01/03/05  
Public Hearings 02/01/05
2/1-15/2005
 
Final Rule 01/00/06  
NPRM Commenty Period End 03/30/05  
Final Action 09/00/06  

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required:
Yes

Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions

Government Levels Affected: Local, State

Agency Contact: Dorothy Dougherty
Acting Director, Directorate of Standards and Guidance
Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
200 Constitution Avenue N.W.
FP Building
Room 3718
Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 693-1950
Fax: 202 693-1678
Email: dougherty.dorothy@dol.gov

RIN: 1218-AB45

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