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OSHA Seeks Input on Cutting Red Tape

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

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Attempting to improve and streamline existing construction standards, the federal government is seeking public input on rules that can be pruned, clarified or pitched.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a Request for Information to launch the initiative—the fourth phase of the agency's Standards Improvement Project (SIP).

The deadline to submit comments is Feb. 4, 2013.

The purpose of SIP-IV is to improve existing OSHA construction standards by removing or revising requirements that are confusing or outdated, or that duplicate, or are inconsistent with, other standards.

Wikimedia / Paul Keheler

OSHA is seeking public comments for upcoming revisions to its construction standards.

OSHA is inviting employers, employees, employee representatives and other members of the public to submit recommendations for revisions to the current construction standards. Comments should include the rationale for the recommendation.

Phases I–III

OSHA started the SIP rulemaking process in 1996 in response to a presidential memorandum to improve government regulation. The purpose of the review is to reduce regulatory burdens while maintaining or enhancing workers' safety and health.

OSHA published the first SIP rule (Phase I) in 1998. The changes included adjustments to the medical-surveillance and emergency response provisions of the Coke Oven Emissions, Inorganic Arsenic, and Vinyl Chloride standards, and removal of unnecessary provisions from the Temporary Labor Camps standard and the textile industry standards.

In SIP-II, published in 2005, OSHA revised several provisions that either the agency or the public had identified  as needing improvement.

The SIP-III rule, published in 2011, updated consensus standards incorporated by reference in several OSHA rules, deleted provisions in a number of OSHA standards that required employers to prepare and maintain written training-certification records for personal protective equipment, revised several sanitation standards to permit hand drying by high-velocity dryers, and modified OSHA's sling standards to require that employers use only appropriately marked or tagged slings for lifting capacities.

Flickr / MTA Photos / Patrick Cashin

The process seeks to streamline existing construction health and safety rules.

At a public meeting in December 2011, the Advisory Committee for Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) and OSHA discussed examples of existing regulations then under review for possible inclusion in SIP-IV.

How to Submit Input

Individuals may submit comments electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Comments that are no longer than 10 pages may be also be faxed to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648.

Additional materials (e.g., journal articles) and comments may also be mailed to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2012-0007, Technical Data Center, Room N-2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20210.

OSHA will review public comments submitted to this notice to determine the need for, and the content of, and subsequent SIP-IV rulemaking.

More information:


Tagged categories: Certifications and standards; Construction; Health and safety; OSHA; Personal protective equipment; Regulations

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