OSHA Extends Comments Period on Feasibility

OSHA Extends Comments Period on Feasibility

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On 19 Oct., OSHA announced its intention to change its interpretation of the feasibility of noise control engineering in regard to compliance with the noise standard. The original comment period deadline was 20 Dec. On 6 Dec., OSHA announced that the comment period has been extended until 21 March 2011 and that they intend to schedule a “Stakeholder Meeting” prior to that new deadline.
 
Since 1983 “feasible” has been interpreted by OSHA in an economic, cost-benefit sense rather than its plain meaning. OSHA has not enforced the requirement for engineering or administrative controls for workers with excessive exposures unless those exposures were over 100 dB. 
 
The proposed new interpretation applies to both general industry and construction. OSHA specifically proposes to :
  1. Interpret the term feasible as having the meaning ‘‘capable of being done,’’ or ‘‘achievable.’’
  2. Consider administrative or engineering controls economically feasible if they will not threaten the employer’s ability to remain in business or if the threat to viability results from the employer’s having failed to keep up with industry safety and health standards
  3. Change its enforcement policy to authorize the issuance of citations requiring the use of administrative or engineering controls when these controls are feasible in accordance with this interpretation.

See the 6 Dec., 2010 OSHA News Release and the 19 Oct., 2010 Federal Register announcement for more detail.

 

Blog Author:  Theresa Y. Schulz / Ph.D Lt. Col. USAF (ret.)  
Blog Catagories:  OSHA  

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