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OSHA Proposes Explosive Rule (4/13)

OSHA said it will publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to revise the Explosives and Blasting Agents standard in today's 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 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 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. Comments may be submitted electronically at www.regulations.gov.

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