OSHA has published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) addressing tree care operations, including hazards, fatalities and control measures, according to a recent agency press release. OSHA is requesting data, information and comments on effective measures to control hazards in tree care operations and prevent injuries and fatalities.

“This rulemaking will assist us in determining effective measures to control hazards and prevent employee injuries and fatalities,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. “Input from the public is important as we proceed in our efforts to protect the safety and health of the men and women working in tree care operations.”

The ANPR includes several questions for public comment related to current employer practices, along with tasks, tools, equipment, machines, vehicles, processes, controls and procedures involved in tree care operations. Additionally, OSHA requests comment on regulatory alternatives to reduce injuries and fatalities, as well as what requirements a standard addressing hazards in this industry should include and the potential costs and benefits of such a standard.

Comments must be submitted by Dec. 17, 2008. To submit electronically, visit http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal and follow the instructions. If your comments do not exceed 10 pages, you may fax them to 202-693-1648. If submitting by mail, hand delivery, or messenger/courier service, send three copies of your comments and attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2008-0012, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Room N-2625, Washington, DC 20210; telephone 202-693-2350. Please include the docket number on all submissions.

Press inquiries should be directed to Jennifer Ashley, OSHA Office of Communications, at 202-693-1999. Inquiries related to general or technical information should be directed to David Wallis, OSHA Directorate of Standards and Guidance, Office of Engineering Safety, at 202-693-2277.