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That’s why the Department is always reviewing existing regulations to ensure that we address any rules that may be out of date, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome and for potential opportunities to modify, streamline, expand, or even repeal rules based on what we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

Campaign: 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 »

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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 »

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Information Collection - Voluntary Survey Burdens

One of the questions posed as part of the Shaping Smarter Regulations campaign is concerned with information collection. While BLS collections are not mandatory, the Agency is required to include the estimated paperwork burdens of its various programs within the overall DOL paperwork budget. Unfortunately, the calculations presented in the BLS' ICR filings with OMB/OIRA do not address burden distribution. For example, ...more »

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EEOICPA - Post-mortem Communication

Consider requiring the OWCP to recognize an employee’s authorized representative or an executor of the estate for an employee that has died before all of their medical bills have been authorized and paid.

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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 »

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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 »

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Wage Determinations & SCA EA's for Service Contracts

Addtional notification on when changes to wage determinations are made.

 

Addtional guidance and training resources for Contracting Officers for application of wage determinations and equiable adjustment of labor rates and health and welfare rates for Service Contracts.

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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 »

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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 »

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Clothes Cleaning Booth Technology - Compressed Air

The Department of Labor (DOL), specifically the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), should modify, streamline, expand or repeal 30 CFR § 56.13020 Use of compressed air, which currently prohibits the introduction and utilization of technology designed and developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to safely clean dust-soiled work clothes. Contaminated worker clothing has ...more »

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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 »

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Farmworker Justice Recommendations for Farmworker Protections

Farmworker Justice is a national, non-profit advocacy and education organization that works to improve working and living conditions for migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families. Since its founding 30 years ago, Farmworker Justice has advocated for farmworkers in matters that affect their immigration status, working conditions, health occupational safety and access to justice.. Farmworker Justice submits these ...more »

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