OSHA is reopening for 90 days its rulemaking records on proposed revisions to the Walking and Working Surfaces standard and fall protection provisions of the Personal Protective Equipment standard.

Revisions to the two standards were first proposed together in 1990 due to the connection between the hazards and working conditions both standards address. Since then, technology has changed, industry practice has evolved and the costs of controls have been affected. OSHA wants to gather data and information on these changes and invite public comment on specific issues concerning each proposal.

The Walking and Working Surfaces standard provides general industry protection from slips, trips and falls. OSHA wants comments on the issues of rolling stock and self-propelled, motorized equipment, in addition to qualified climbers, rung width on fixed ladders, hierarchy of fall protection controls, scaffolds and controlled descent devices, and anchors for suspended work.

Regarding the Personal Protective Equipment standard for general industry, OSHA is interested in comments on whether it should ban the use of body belts for fall arrest, and on fall protection amendments to several existing general industry standards.

The agency will use the information from the two reopenings to determine how best to proceed with these rulemakings. If you want to comment, send three copies of your comments, postmarked not later than July 31, 2003, to: Docket Office, Docket S-029, Room N2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20210. Comments of ten pages or less may be faxed to the Docket Office at (202) 693-1648.

Comments may also be submitted electronically to http://ecomments.osha.gov. More information on submitting comments can be obtained by calling the Docket Office at (202) 693-2350.