Government rulemakingThe White House has reviewed a draft of the confined spaces rule and signed off on OSHA’s proposal – returning it to the agency with several undisclosed recommendations, according to Aaron Trippler, government affairs director for the American Industrial Hygiene Association. OSHA says it will soon publish the final rule.

The agency would be expected to press for publication some time in ’15, because standards-setting usually grinds to a halt in election years (avoid any controversy is the political conventional wisdom), and in 2016 of course the White House will be up for grabs. This action, if it comes to pass, would come 22 years after OSHA first announced plans to expand the general industry confined space rule to construction – in 1993.