OSHA Outreach: Which Regs, Reporting Requirements Need to Change?

Saying, "We need your help to help find other opportunities to shape smarter regulations," the agency has asked for input from the OSH community by March 18.

OSHA is seeking input from occupational safety and health professionals and the public on about updating its regulations and requirements. Comments can be submitted at the agency's "Shaping Smarter Regulations" website until March 18, at http://www.dol.gov/regulations/regreview/.

The questions OSHA wants to be answered are:

  • Which of the [Labor] Department's regulations, guidance, or interpretations should be considered for review, expansion or modification?
  • What regulations and reporting requirements should be reviewed due to conflicts, inconsistencies, or duplication among our own agencies or with other federal agencies?
  • What reporting requirements and information collections can be streamlined or reduced in frequency while achieving the same level of protections for workers, job-seekers, and retirees? Are there less costly methods, advances in technology, or innovative techniques that can be leveraged toward these purposes?
  • What regulatory reforms may require short-term cost increases to the regulated entities while creating longer-term savings, for example, through the adoption of new technologies?
  • What information, data, or technical assistance do regulated entities need in order to better assess these opportunities?
  • How should the Department capture changes in firm and market behavior in response to a regulation?
  • What data or other indicators suggest that the estimated costs and benefits of an existing regulation should be reviewed?
  • What other strategies exist for increasing the flexibility of regulations without limiting important protections? What information, data, or other technical assistance do stakeholders require in order to better assess the long-term impact of these reforms upon such protections?

This part of OSHA's fourth Standards Improvement Project; the projects are intended to remove or revise duplicative, unnecessary, and inconsistent safety and health standards. "We believe that these standards have reduced the compliance costs and eliminated or reduced the paperwork burden for a number of OSHA's standards. And best of all, these projects have been a win-win, because OSHA only considers making such changes to its standards so long as they do not diminish employee protections," the agency stated on the website, adding, "We need your help to help find other opportunities to shape smarter regulations!"

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