OSHA said several requests for the informal public hearing were submitted with comments about the proposed rule.

OSHA Sets Public Hearing on Fall Protection Changes

The good and bad about the proposed rule published in May will be open for discussion Jan. 18 at DOL headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Responding to several requests submitted with comments, OSHA announced it will hold a Jan. 18 informal public hearing in Washington, D.C., to hear what stakeholders have to say about its proposed changes in general industry fall protection regulations. OSHA published the Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection Systems) proposed rule (29 CFR part 1910, subparts D and I) on May 24 (73 FR 28862).

Some stakeholders have said they welcome the proposed harmonization of general industry fall requirements with those for construction and shipbuilding, but they also say the proposed rule should have included the hierarchy of controls when addressing requirements for workers who are frequently exposed to fall hazards and also should have referenced the most recent ANSI Z359 standard for snaphook gate strength.

The informal public hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Department of Labor's Frances Perkins Building and will continue on subsequent days at the same time and location, if necessary, according to OSHA's Federal Register announcement. It said OSHA welcomes oral testimony, data, and documentary evidence that will be useful in developing the final rule. Hearing participants must file a written notice of intention to appear that provides:

  • Name, address, and telephone number of each individual who will give oral testimony
  • Name of the establishment or organization each individual represents, if any
  • Occupational title and position of each individual testifying
  • Approximate amount of time required for each individual's testimony
  • A brief statement of the position each individual will take with respect to the issues identified in the proposed rule
  • A brief summary of documentary evidence each individual intends to present

Submit this or documentary evidence, identified by the docket number OSHA-2007-0072 or regulation identifier number RIN 1218-AB80, via www.regulations.gov. Submissions of no more than 10 pages may be faxed to the OSHA Docket Office at 202-693-1648.

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