OSHA announced today in the Federal Register that the agency is accepting public comments on the direct final rule that will update OSHA standards based on National Consensus Standards.

This direct final rule and the accompanying Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) address welding definitions; abrasive wheel specifications; floor and wall openings, railings and toeboards; marking of portable compressed gas cylinders; and spray finishing.

"This rule is part of OSHA's ongoing effort to update its regulatory references to consensus standards," said OSHA chief Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. "The revisions will clarify employer obligations and maintain current levels of employee protection."

In the direct final rule, OSHA is deleting several references to consensus standards that have requirements that duplicate or are comparable to other OSHA rules. The direct final rule will become effective 90 days after publication in the Federal Register, unless significant adverse comments are received within 30 days of its publication.

Comments must be submitted no later than Jan. 14, 2008. More information can be found at http://www.regulations.gov.