OSHA Publishes Proposed Rulemaking on Power Press Safety, Seeks Comments

In yesterday's Federal Register, OSHA published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on mechanical power press safety. The notice seeks public comments on OSHA's project to update the general industry mechanical power press standard. The agency is accepting those comments until August 3, 2007.

The existing standard is based primarily upon the 1971 edition of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) B 11.1, the industry consensus standard for mechanical power presses. This ANSI standard has been updated a number of times since OSHA adopted the 1971 version. The most recent edition was issued in 2001.

"This standard has been around as long as OSHA. It's time for a complete update," said OSHA's Assistant Secretary of Labor Edwin G. Foulke Jr. "This effort will allow us to address industry consensus standards, technical and cost issues and training, as well as reporting and recordkeeping requirements in our continuing effort to help keep this nation's working men and women safer at work."

OSHA conducted a lookback review of the mechanical power press standard in 2002. Based on analyses and information obtained during this review, the agency decided to begin development of a proposal to update all of Section 1910.217 to be consistent with ANSI B 11.1 – 2001 or a comparable consensus standard. OSHA determined that an update would address industry concerns that the mechanical power press standard is out of date and could be made safer.

Public comments must be submitted in triplicate and can be sent by regular mail, express, hand delivery, or by courier service. Comments should be sent to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2007-0003, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Room N2625, Washington, D.C. 20210. Comments are also accepted electronically at www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemakingPortal. Comments may be sent by FAX to (202) 693-1648.

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