- OIL & GAS
The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) this week sent its official comments to OSHA on the agency's Request for Information (RFI) to the Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard, which was published in the Federal Register on December 9, 2013, Volume 78, No. 236, beginning on Page 73756. OSHA said RFI was in response to an Obama Administration request that the agency identify issues related to modernization of its PSM standard and related standards necessary to meet the goals of preventing major chemical accidents.
In response to requests from stakeholders, OSHA is pushing back the deadline for submitting public comments on potential revisions to its Process Safety Management (PSM) standard and related standards to March 31st.
In a public hearing last week, the American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA) expressed support for OSHA’s proposed rule on occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica.
OSHA’s effort to reduce the permissible exposure limits for silica began a new phase this week, with an intensive three week period of public hearings that wrap up on Friday, April 4. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels said his agency’s rulemaking is an open process, “and the input we receive will help us ensure that a final rule adequately protects workers, is feasible for employers, and is based on the best available evidence."
American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) President Kathy Seabrook has issued the following response to OHSA’s electronic reporting proposed rule:
Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) released a draft bill entitled the Chemicals in Commerce Act (CICA) on Thursday, Feb. 27 that provides no significant improvements in protecting public health and the environment from toxic chemicals. Many of the provisions in the draft bill maintain the already deficient approaches to health protections now included under the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), our nation's outdated and ineffective chemical safety law.
The Chevron refinery fire in California in 2012 – the West Texas explosion last year – the West Virginia water crisis in January: All of these were preventable accidents. The United States is facing an industrial chemical safety crisis. After all of these accidents, we hear frustration and heartbreak. Workers, emergency responders, and the public continue to die and suffer injuries.
The question of whether or not injury and illness data collected should be reported electronically is one that is difficult for AIHA to answer. While we support the use of technology that would make the reporting requirements much easier and timelier, AIHA is more concerned that the data collected is accurate and meaningful.
One of the questions I am constantly asked is “why can’t OSHA get anything done?” A fair question with a difficult answer. It would be easy to simply respond that OSHA is subject to a lot of politics, and I mean a lot of politics. It would also be easy to simply answer that it depends on who asked the question, and more importantly, when they asked it.
OSHA will be spending the rest of 2014 holding public hearings and reviewing the approximately 3,000 comments it has already received on its proposed crystalline silica rule. Although OSHA chief Dr. David Michaels has stated the the silica rule – which would reduce occupational exposure limits to the substance – is the agency’s top priority, the issue is “a long, long way from every being finalized,” according to Aaron K. Trippler of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).
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