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OSHA to Update Agency Standards Based on Consensus Standards


WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will publish a final rule in tomorrow’s Federal Register that revokes references to outdated industry and national consensus standards.

“By eliminating these outdated references we are clarifying employer obligations and reducing administrative burdens for employers and OSHA,” said Jonathan L. Snare, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. “It’s important that we continue to update standards that reference consensus standards issued over thirty years ago so that they reflect the advances in technology and work processes.”

OSHA is revoking references found in its standards on Temporary Labor Camps, Guarding of Portable Power Tools, Sawmills, Flammable and Combustible Liquids, and Arc Welding and Cutting, all of which reference outdated consensus or industry standards.

On Nov. 24, 2004, OSHA announced the agency is engaging in an overall effort to update OSHA standards that reference or include language taken directly from outdated consensus standards. The Agency will use a variety of regulatory approaches, including notice and comment rulemaking, direct final rulemaking, and technical amendments for updating or revoking outdated references to consensus standards incorporated by reference, and updating regulatory text of current OSHA rules that were adopted directly from the language of outdated consensus standards.

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA’s role is to assure the safety and health of America’s workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit


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