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That’s why the Department is always reviewing existing regulations to ensure that we address any rules that may be out of date, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome and for potential opportunities to modify, streamline, expand, or even repeal rules based on what we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

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.

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Shaping Smarter Regulations

Perm Reform

Re: Retrospective Review and Regulatory Flexibility, published at 80 Fed. Reg. 5715-5716 (February 3, 2015); Docket Number DOL_FRDOC_0001-0392 Intel Corporation (Intel) appreciates the opportunity to submit these comments about PERM modernization. Intel participates in the Council for Global Immigration (CFGI) and also supports the comments it is providing about PERM and other topics. Intel is a cornerstone of America’s ...more »

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Substantive Correction of 29 C.F.R. § 785.36

The opening sentence of Section 785.36 currently says, "There may be instances when travel from home to work is OVERTIME [emphasis added]." I submit that the sentence should conclude with the word "worktime", as it did for many years. My research has not disclosed why or exactly when the change from "worktime" to "overtime" occurred. So far as I have been able to determine, "worktime" was used in and before 1971, but ...more »

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Emergency Action Plan scope

Revise the scope of 1910.38(a) to include all businesses with 10 or more employees. The current scope is limited to only where another standard demands it. However, the hazards associated with fire and other emergencies effect more than this standard covers.

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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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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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Individual fit-testing & in-ear dosimetry for App. B of 1910.95

The practices of in-ear dosimetry and individual hearing protection fit-testing should be considered an appropriate alternative as an individualized safety factor for the purposes of evaluating hearing protector effectiveness per Appendix B of 29CFR 1910.95. At the time that 1910.95 was promulgated, in-ear dosimetry and individual fit testing of hearing protection in the field were not feasible. However, now several ...more »

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Safety Belts and Lines

The Industrial Minerals Association - North America (IMA-NA) suggests that MSHA’s fall protection standard be updated to advise against the use of safety belts as an acceptable form of personal protection against falls. OSHA long-ago made this change as evidenced in 1926.502(d): "Personal fall arrest systems." Personal fall arrest systems and their use shall comply with the provisions set forth below. Effective January ...more »

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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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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 »

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Require Adm./Eng. Controls - Double Hearing Protectors- 100dBA

OSHA should mandate the use of administrative and engineering controls where technically and economically feasible at 100 dBA. In addition, where not feasible, OSHA should mandate the use of double hearing protection at 100 dBA. At this point, the OSHA Field Operation Manual directs officers to enforce administrative and engineering controls where noise exposures border 100 decibels . However, there is no parallel ...more »

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EEOICPA Notification to Claimants

• Consider requiring the OWCP to automatically and timely provided to the employee any written medical documentation, contemporaneous records, and other records or documents obtained or generated by the OWCP and not submitted by the employee or their representative that the OWCP has relied on to render a decision on medical benefits. This includes directed medical exam (medical second opinion) reports, district medical ...more »

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