OSHA extends comment period and announces stakeholder meeting on noise control interpretation

OSHA announced in the Dec. 14 Federal Register that the agency is extending by 90 days the official comment period on the proposed “Interpretation of OSHA’s Provisions for Feasible Administrative or Engineering Controls of Occupational Noise.” Interested parties are encouraged to submit comments online, by mail or by fax by the March 21, 2011, deadline.
Responding to continuing high levels of hearing loss among employees in the nation’s workplaces, the notice proposed clarifying the term “feasible administrative or engineering controls” in OSHA’s occupational noise exposure standards to make enforcement consistent with that of all other OSHA standards. The agency will also hold a stakeholder meeting before the end of the comment period to listen to the concerns of businesses and workers about the proposed noise interpretation. See the news release for more information.
“We are intending to hold this stakeholder meeting before the comment period ends and it will provide an opportunity for all interested parties to provide their comments to the agency. Our common objective is to ensure that workers do not lose their hearing without overly burdening employers,” said OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels. “OSHA will take all stakeholder comments seriously and will fully consider impacts on business and workers before determining what final action, if any, we will take.”

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