April 21, 2014

Pending OMB Review, OSHA Could Restart Effort to Update Chemical Exposure Limits

From: Bloomberg/BNA

from Occupational Safety & Health Reporter™

By Robert Iafolla  

In an apparent effort to kickstart agency action on updating permissible exposure limits for hundreds of chemicals, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration asked the White House April 15 to approve a request to gather information on ways to address chemical exposure.

OSHA cited widespread agreement that the majority of the agency’s exposure limits are decades out-of-date and need revising. But agency attempts have gone nowhere since a 1992 appeals court decision scuttled a blanket measure on exposure limits for nearly 400 chemicals.

The specifics of OSHA’s request for information (RIN: 1218-AC74) won’t be publicly available until the White House Office of Management and Budget completes its review. Agencies typically issue formal requests for information in the context of setting up future rulemaking, but OSHA may be soliciting views on a range of alternatives.

“I think they’re interested in any and all suggestions,” Scott Schneider, director of occupational safety and health for the Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America, told Bloomberg BNA April 15.

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