Shaping Smarter Regulations

Thanks to everyone who has posted your ideas and comments! Please continue to submit your ideas to retrospectivereview@dol.gov.

The Department of Labor’s Regulatory Agenda will bring opportunity and economic security to working families, job-seekers, and retirees. As the Department pursues these regulatory efforts, we want to be smart about the way that we regulate.

That’s why the Department is always reviewing existing regulations to ensure that we address any rules that may be out of date, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome and for potential opportunities to modify, streamline, expand, or even repeal rules based on what we have learned.

Over the past five years, we have identified several of these rules, and have taken steps to streamline our regulations. For example, OSHA has published three Standards Improvement Projects (SIPs) that are intended to remove or revise duplicative, unnecessary, and inconsistent safety and health standards, and is now working on a fourth. 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.

We need your help to help find other opportunities to shape smarter regulations! Please consider posting your input on the questions below by April 1, 2015 (note the extended deadline):

  • Which of the 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?

As you answer these questions, it may help to consider areas marked by rapid technological change in a sector that could influence the structure and need for the regulation, whether the chosen regulatory approach will impose large ongoing costs on regulated entities, whether the agency is regulating in an area of significant uncertainty that may be lowered with a future retrospective study, and other conditions. Of course, we won’t be able to act on every idea immediately, but we look forward to considering your input in our ongoing internal review process.

Thanks for helping the Department of Labor find more ways to shape smarter regulations!

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (1978)

The regulations at 41 CFR 60-3, Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (1978), need to be updated. Numerous improvements advancements in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and the associated statistical analysis tools have been made since the regulations were last updated four decades ago. Another factor is that employers have introduced new technology into the selection process which is not explicitly ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

3 votes
3 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Revision of 1910.212

29CFR 1910.212 is the general guarding clause that applies to all machinery. We now have a solid ANSI standard which should be applied - ANSI B11.0 "Risk Assessment and Reduction for Machinery." This would require that a risk assessment be performed by the manufacturer and user of the machine, that APPROPRIATE safeguarding means be used based upon the intended use, and any RESIDUAL RISK be properly communicated to the ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

8 votes
8 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

president/ceo

This is the 21st. century, isn't time that OSHA establish a hand cart safety measure for the thousands of employees that work with in the beverage industry? Keg Caddy is by far the safest means of transporting keg and case beverages. Ergonomically designed handle system will help to reduce stress on the back, shoulder, groin and wrist area. It also features a patented locking device which will prevent a keg from shifting ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

4 votes
4 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Monetary penalties for workplace H&S violations

In 2012, OSHA made modest revisions to its policy for calculating proposed monetary penalties. OSHA has not required, however, the OSHA State Plan States to adopt this policy. There is wide disparity among the States on proposed penalties for serious, repeat and willful violations. For example, in 2013 the average proposed penalty in Maryland (a State Plan OSHA) for a serious violation was $685, compared to $1,916 in ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

29 votes
32 up votes
3 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Comments to U.S. Department of Labor on Decreasing Regulatory Bu

The Independent Bakers Association (IBA) is pleased to respond to the Department of Labor’s invitation for public comment on how the Department can improve its regulations by modernizing, modifying, redesigning, streamlining, expanding, or repealing them. IBA is a national trade association of over 250 wholesale bakeries and related organizations. Our members include government contractors which are subject to regulations ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

1 vote
1 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Threats to worker injury and illness reporting and data

DOL should issue a regulation prohibiting employer policies, practices, and programs that discourage the reporting of job injuries and illnesses. Employers, workers, governments, and the public need accurate data on work-related injuries and illnesses in order to identify their causes, implement controls, and assess their effectiveness. OSHA and MSHA should each issue a regulation that (1) requires employers to inform ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

28 votes
29 up votes
1 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Prohibit Lifting Loads Over Employees

Change 1910.179(n)(3)(vi) "The employer shall require that the operator avoid carrying loads over people." to read "The employer shall prohibit the operator from carrying loads over people." As it stands it is only a suggestion since it reads "avoid” acting as a should and not a shall. Workers have been seriously injured including fatal injuries when loads have broke free dropping on them. All of which could have been ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

14 votes
15 up votes
1 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Work environment for meatpacking and poultry processing workers

OSHA’s existing standards are ineffective at protecting meatpacking and poultry processing workers from developing carpal tunnel, tendonitis, and other work-related musculoskeletal disorders. The pace, repetition, and design of work on production lines in most meatpacking and poultry plants are the key risk factors for worker injuries. In September 2013, the Southern Poverty Law Center and a coalition of civil rights ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

30 votes
31 up votes
1 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

MSHA Should Change Its Single I.D. Number Policy

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) policy of assigning single independent contractor identification (ID) numbers to commercial explosives companies who conduct blasting and other services at multiple mine sites has an unfair and inequitable impact on those companies. Under current MSHA policy, if a parent corporation had ten subsidiaries separately formed and organized as LLCs operating in different regions ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

111 votes
112 up votes
1 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Updating the methods for estimating adequacy of HP attenuation

Individual fit-test methods are a potential tool for education, training, and measuring/documentation of individual hearing protector attenuation ratings; however, more studies are required to support specific recommendations on the use of fit-test systems. The US Air Force representatives of the ANSI WG 11 request the allowance of the methods described in ANSI S12.68 for use in estimating the adequacy of hearing protector ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

9 votes
9 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Earplug Fit Testing and 1926.101 (b)

The practices of in-ear dosimetry and individual hearing protection fit testing should be considered an appropriate alternative as an individualized fitting and hearing protector effectiveness per CFR 1926.101, the Construction Safety Standard. Specifically, individual hearing protection fit testing meets the requirement on 1926.101(b) “Ear protective devices inserted in the ear shall be fitted or determined individually ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

4 votes
4 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Clarify- Single Valve is Not an Isolation Device in 1910.147

Add notation to 1910.147, Lockout/Tagout, Energy Isolation device definition such as, A single valve does not meet the requirements of an isolating device since it cannot prevent the transmission of hazardous energy. In addition, the device must achieve positive isolation including, but not limited to double block and bleed, blank or blind, or misalign or remove sections of pipe. The confined space standard makes it ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

4 votes
4 up votes
0 down votes
Active