No Letup in Use of Excavations Standard

OSHA yesterday published its Regulatory Flexibility Act review of the existing construction standard on excavations, which was enacted in 1989. This required review looked at the standard's effectiveness to see whether it should be kept on the books, and OSHA showed it is needed.

"Our regulatory review found that the 1989 Excavations Standard has reduced deaths from approximately 90 per year to 70 per year. In addition, overall construction industry activity when adjusted for inflation has increased 20 percent," Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. said. "As a result, the OSHA standard will remain in effect, although we will be looking to issue some improved guidance and training materials to help employers keep their employees safe."

Copies of the entire report may be obtained from OSHA's Office of Publications, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3101, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20210 (telephone 202-693-1888). The report will be posted at www.regulations.gov and at www.osha.gov.

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