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OSHA reopens comment period on fall protection rule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reopening the comment period on a rule proposal that addresses worker fall protection (29 CFR Part 1910), according to information published in the "Federal Register" May 2. The agency is seeking comments on specific issues concerning each proposal, some which address regulations for employers, subpart D, and others that apply to equipment, subpart I. Deadline for submitting comments is July 31. The decision to reopen the record will allow OSHA to gather data and information concerning advances in technology, industry practice, and updated consensus standards issued since the proposals were published. After OSHA analyzes the record, the agency will determine what other steps, if any, are necessary to finalize the rulemakings on subparts D and I.

OSHA has included the regulatory text and appendices from the 1990 proposed rule as an appendix to the notice. Among the questions OSHA poses for commenters are some that would apply to the tank truck industry. OSHA asks the number or percentages of workers that are exposed to fall hazards. Also, how are those employees protected from fall hazards while working? If fall protection equipment is used, OSHA asks that detailed information be provided on the types and costs of the equipment. OSHA wants to know how the equipment is used. If fall protection equipment is not used, OSHA asks what technological and/or economic obstacles may be involved, and what alternative means are used to protect employees from fall hazards. OSHA want to know what safety experiences the carrier has had with fall hazards. The agency also asks if it should exclude the tank truck industry from coverage under subpart D. If so, the commenter should explain and provide data and information to support the argument.

Comments should be sent to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No S-029, Room N-2625, Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington DC 20210, or fax to 202-693-1648 (if comments are less than 10 pages).

The information in the Federal Register can be reached by clicking here.

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