OSHA has confirmed the effective date of its direct final rule that revises a number of OSHA standards for general industry that refer to national consensus standards. This direct final rule, published December 14, 2007, became effective March 13, 2008.

OSHA had said the final rule would become effective on March 13 unless the agency received significant adverse comment on the revisions during a public comment period, but OSHA received no adverse comments.

"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 revised standards will eliminate duplicative and confusing references in OSHA regulations while maintaining current levels of protection."

In the direct final rule, OSHA is eliminating several references to consensus standards that have requirements that duplicate or are comparable to other OSHA rules. It also removes a reference to American Welding Society standard A3.0-1969 ("Terms and Definitions").

Additionally, the direct final rule updates standards such as:

• 29 CFR part 1910, subpart H ("Hazardous Materials");
• 29 CFR part 1910, subpart Q ("Welding, Cutting and Brazing");
• 29 CFR part 1910, subpart R ("Special Industries").