OSHA Proposes Changes to Explosives and Blasting Agents standard

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA, Washington, D.C.) will publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to revise the Explosives and Blasting Agents standard in the April 13, 2007 Federal Register. The proposed rule aims to enhance the protections provided to employees working in the manufacturing, storage, sale, transportation, handling, and use of explosives. The agency is accepting public comments on the proposed standard until June 13, 2007.

"OSHA's standard has been largely unchanged since the Agency adopted it in 1971," said OSHA Administrator Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., "and it is important that we update our standards so they reflect advances in technology and work processes that have increased workplace safety."

The proposal updates and clarifies the regulatory language, revises the standard to be consistent with other Federal regulations, incorporates updated consensus standards, and provides the regulated community with greater compliance flexibility.

Significant changes in the proposed rule include: updating the definition of explosives so it is consistent with the Department of Transportation (DOT) definition; incorporating the DOT/United Nations-based classification system in the explosives definition; updating references to DOT regulations; requiring package labels to be in accordance with OSHA's Hazard Communication standard and to use the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS); eliminating storage magazine requirements because the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has adopted and enforces such regulations; and adding provisions to ensure that employees are properly trained in hazard recognition and safe work practices.

Interested parties are invited to submit comments on the proposed rule by June 13, 2007. They may submit comments electronically at www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal; by sending three copies to the OSHA Docket Office, Room N-2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, D.C. 20210; telephone 202-693-2350; or by FAX to 202-693-1648. Comments must include the Agency name and the Docket Number this rulemaking, Docket No. OSHA-2007-0032. See the Federal Register notice for more information on submitting comments.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 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 working men and women 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 http://www.osha.gov.

U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S.Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit
www.dol.gov/compliance.

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration

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