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That’s why the Department is always reviewing existing regulations to ensure that we address any rules that may be out of date, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome and for potential opportunities to modify, streamline, expand, or even repeal rules based on what we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

Worker exposure to well-recognized health and safety hazards

OSHA has insufficient (or non-existent) regulations to address workers’ exposure to well-recognized hazards. OSHA should issue a final regulation to protect workers from respirable crystalline silica before the end of the Obama Administration. OSHA should publish proposed regulations on beryllium, combustible dust, communication towers, diesel exhaust, heat stress, fatigue, infectious diseases, and workplace injury and ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

19 votes
21 up votes
2 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

PSM - Mechanical Integrity

Add an additional section to 1910.119 (j)(1) as “vii – Any equipment critical to the integrity of the process and/or safety and health of employees.” As it stands now the applicability of mechanical integrity only covers six types of equipment listed with no catch-all for equipment that may be used to control, minimize, or mitigate the unwanted release of highly hazardous materials. For instance, water spray may be commonly ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

5 votes
6 up votes
1 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Dialogue on the need for and right to use paid sick leave

Employees fortunate enough to have paid sick days sometimes report that management penalizes them for using the sick days to which they are entitled. During flu season each year, OSHA should use online communications and social media to remind employers that when sick workers use paid sick time to stay home and recover, it’s good for everyone’s health.

Submitted by

Voting

15 votes
16 up votes
1 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Safe Patient Handling

OSHA needs to do a safe patient handling regulation. Healthcare workers are injured at a very high rate when manually lifting and repositioning patients. This is the single biggest cause of injury in one of the largest industrial sectors and the agency should act. NPR just did a 4 part series on the problem and several states already have their own regulations. This problem will only get worse with an aging workforce, ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

41 votes
42 up votes
1 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

DOL Regulations

As an HR professional for over 35 years, my biggest frustration is each sub-department/committee (OFCCP vs EEOC vs DOL overall) in the DOL has their own requirements for eligibility; in particular the number of employees (full-time vs part-time) and duration for records retention. Could the DOL review eligibility requirements and try to standardize just to make it easier to understand?

 

Thanks.

Submitted by

Voting

3 votes
3 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Reduce training frequency for OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard

31 March 2015 Regarding: Yale University’s Comments on DOL’s Request for Information Submitted via E Docket OSHA Docket Office U.S. Department of Labor 200 Constitution Ave., NW Washington, DC 20210 Dear Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Yale University submits the following comments in response to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) 3 February 2015 Request for Information (RFI) on improving regulation ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

1 vote
1 up votes
0 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

Testing Grounding Systems

The Industrial Minerals Association – North America (IMA-NA) would like to see MSHA’s regulations at 30 CFR 56/57.12028, regarding annual verification testing for electrical grounding systems, revised. The rule provides: Continuity and resistance of grounding systems shall be tested immediately after installation, repair, and modification; and annually thereafter. A record of the resistance measured during the most ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

1 vote
1 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Remove "1965" and Instead Reference CGA P-1

Remove “1965” in the language “Compressed Gas Association – 1965” of paragraph (b) of 1910.101. Instead, have it state that it shall be installed and maintained in accordance with Compressed Gas Association P-1. It currently requires compliance with a consensus standard that is 50 years old.

Submitted by

Voting

3 votes
3 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Additional Testing for Black Lung

DCMWC currently only uses spirometry testing in Black Lung claims. These tests only show expiratory lung deficits. Lung volumes and diffusions need added to testing to adequately determine a miner's disability. Is there any reason these tests are not included? The regulations desperately need updated.

Submitted by

Voting

2 votes
2 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Protect fracking workers from volatile hydrocarbons

OSHA should adopt a regulation to protect fracking workers who are exposed to volatile hydrocarbons and other toxic substances during flowback operations. OSHA’s existing standards are ineffective at protecting oil and gas extraction workers from this hazard. OSHA should issue a regulation based on NIOSH's recommendations for fracking operations. The regulation should include requirements for employers to develop alternative ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

16 votes
17 up votes
1 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Combustible Dust Standard

Since 1923, when the NFPA published the first “national consensus standard” on the prevention of dust explosions in grain in flour mills, the hazards associated with combustible dust has not been unknown. In 2009, OSHA reported that loss from these explosions or fires affected almost 350,000 companies across the nation. Each of these accidents could have been prevented with proper regulation to employers that would prevent ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

1 vote
1 up votes
0 down votes
Active