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AIHA urges OMB to end delays, complete review of proposed silica rule

Warns about "political influence"

November 10, 2011
KEYWORDS aiha / oira / review / standard
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silicosis exposure

Extending a review of OSHA's proposed crystalline silica standard allows certain industry groups to attempt to "short circuit" the existing process -- and makes it vulnerable to political influence, according to the American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA).

Reacting to a recent decision by the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to extend the Executive Order review of the standard, the AIHA called upon OIRA to finish its review without additional delay so OSHA may begin the public rulemaking process on a comprehensive standard and issue the rule as quickly as possible..

In a letter to OMB Director Jacob J. Lew and Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis, the AIHA warned that industry groups may be using the review process to "delay rulemaking and lobby OMB to pre-determine key issues involved with OSHA's proposed rule, such as exempting the construction industry" from the regulation.

The AIHA asked theThe AIHA asked the OMB to release the rule for publication in the Federal Register, so that the public stakeholder comment period can begin. 

"The publication of OSHA’s proposed rule provides an important starting point for additional discussion and input by industry, labor, and the safety and health community. Typically, these groups provide OSHA with significant input that is used to develop a final rule."

The AIHA said the OMB should release the rule, defer to OSHA’s scientific judgment as much as possible, and inform stakeholders of upcoming opportunities to provide input into the development of a final rule on silica.

The full AIHA letter is available at: www.aiha.org/news-pubs/govtaffairs/Pages/PublicPolicyComments.aspx.

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