December 2008

Eliminating ambiguity | Safe Solutions

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Eliminating ambiguity

OSHA seeks to clarify PPE and training provisions

by Harry Dietz
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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is seeking to tighten regulations involving workplace exposures where employers are required to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and training to their employees. In a recent notice of proposed rulemaking, OSHA aims to clarify the remedies for violations of its PPE and training standards affecting general industry and construction.

The proposed rule amends a number of respiratory protection and training regulations; its intent is to treat each failure by an employer to provide training or a respirator to an employee as a separate, distinct OSHA violation with its own penalty.

Open to interpretation

The language in most OSHA regulations requiring training or respirator use varies and has been open to diverse interpretations by the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC), the agency that initially settles disputes between...

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