ASSE, U.S. Chamber, NAM Support DOL's Risk Management Rule

Other safety and health associations the proposal or DOL's method of enacting it.

The flurry of comments posted Monday and Tuesday in response to the Labor Department's proposed change in OSHA and MSHA risk assessments for health standards include one major surprise: ASSE's president, Warren K. Brown, completely supports the proposal. AIHA, ACOEM, ORC Worldwide, major unions, and some public health professors oppose it entirely or oppose the way DOL has gone about making the change, but Brown's Sept. 29 comment simply says DOL is right to increase transparency of health rulemakings and to give regulated parties more opportunity to review and object to an exposure requirement.

Brown did not go as far as the National Association of Manufacturers, whose director of Employment and Labor Policy, Keith Smith, urged DOL in his comments to apply the change to safety standards, as well.

Opponents such as the Steelworkers union and AFSCME contend the proposal will delay new or revised exposure standards by requiring an ANPRM in every case, requiring industry-by-industry evidence of working life exposures, and may require starting from scratch on standards that have been in development for years. Proponents such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce say the resulting process of enacting health standards would be much better. "Not only is this proposal well reasoned, necessary, and overdue, but the Department should be commended for its approach to implementing it," wrote Randel K. Johnson, Chamber vice president of Labor, Immigration & Employee Benefits and Marc Freedman, director of Labor Law Policy.

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