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That’s why the Department is always reviewing existing regulations to ensure that we address any rules that may be out of date, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome and for potential opportunities to modify, streamline, expand, or even repeal rules based on what we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

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 »

Submitted by

Voting

4 votes
5 up votes
1 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

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 »

Submitted by

Voting

4 votes
4 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

DOL Should Update and Modernize PERM Regulations

There are a number of aspects of the PERM regulations (Program Electronic Review Management used in the Labor Certification process for permanent residency sponsorship by employers) that continue to require revision, so they are updated and modernized, none of which have been addressed since the 2011 regulatory review process: 20 CFR Part 656 currently has no agency timelines for adjudications, audits or appeals. When ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

1 vote
1 up votes
0 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

Define "Suitable Facilites" for Emergency Eye/ Body Wash

Add notation that “suitable facilities” shall meet the requirements for emergency showers and eye/face wash equipment in accordance with ANSI Z 358.1. Also, that a “personal eye wash” does not meet the requirements of a quick drenching eye or body wash, but may be used while moving an individual to a suitable facility. Too often an eye wash bottle (personal eye wash) or standalone eye wash station not meeting the requirements ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

7 votes
7 up votes
0 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

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

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

Protecting young farm workers from very dangerous tasks

DOL has insufficient prohibitions for workers aged 15 years or younger from performing particularly dangerous tasks when they are employed on US farms. In April 2012, the Labor Department withdrew its draft regulation to protect young farm workers from certain deadly occupational hazards they face. Those hazards have not disappeared, and young farm workers continue to be injured and killed on the job. Secretary of Labor ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

12 votes
16 up votes
4 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

OSHA Should Withdraw Its Interpretation on Walk Around Rights

OSHA's Feb. 13, 2013 letter of interpretation to the United Steelworkers allowing third-party employee representatives to accompany OSHA inspectors on walk-around inspections, without any showing of need or qualifcations is contrary to agency regulations that say an employee representative "shall be" an employee of the company. Accordingly, this LOI should be withdrawn.

Submitted by

Voting

0 votes
1 up votes
1 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

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 »

Submitted by

Voting

1 vote
1 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