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That’s why the Department is always reviewing existing regulations to ensure that we address any rules that may be out of date, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome and for potential opportunities to modify, streamline, expand, or even repeal rules based on what we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

Update Standard for Storage of Ammonium Nitrate

The Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME) supports the existing ammonium nitrate (AN) standard at 29 CFR 1910.109(i), but recommends that it be modified to include; (i) a prohibition on the use of wooden storage bins, (ii) an instruction that fires involving AN should not be fought (our recommendation against fighting AN fires is aimed at offsite first responders, not to trained, in-house fire brigades that respond ...more »

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118 votes
120 up votes
2 down votes

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 »

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111 votes
112 up votes
1 down votes

Shaping Smarter Regulations

OSHA HazCom 2012 & Small Container Labeling

One of the most difficult issues for fragrance companies like mine, and for a number of other industries, is the treatment of small or sample sized products under the Hazard Communication Standard. While other jurisdictions like Canada and the European Union allowed for special accommodation for small bottles, OSHA has not allowed for an exemption. The result is a new, arduous, costly and incredibly burdensome process ...more »

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93 votes
94 up votes
1 down votes

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Require Paystubs for All workers

There is currently no federal requirement that employers give workers paystubs. As many as 20 million U.S. workers do not receive documentation that outlines how their pay is calculated or what deductions were taken from their wages. It is often the case that those who do not receive paystubs are the ones most likely to be victims of wage theft. The U.S. Department of Labor already requires employers to keep records ...more »

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80 votes
80 up votes
0 down votes

Shaping Smarter Regulations

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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55 votes
56 up votes
1 down votes

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 »

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41 votes
42 up votes
1 down votes

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Personal Attenuation Rating

3M requests allowance of the Personal Attenuation Rating (PAR) as a viable and potentially more protective alternative to use of the NRR in order to comply with the following: - CFR 1910.95(g)(8)(ii)(B): determine appropriate attenuation for workers who experience Standard Threshold Shift - CFR 1910.95(i)(3): identify a variety of suitable hearing protectors with appropriate attenuation - CFR 1910.95(i)(5): ensure proper ...more »

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36 votes
37 up votes
1 down votes

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 »

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30 votes
31 up votes
1 down votes

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 »

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29 votes
32 up votes
3 down votes

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 »

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28 votes
29 up votes
1 down votes

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Hearing Conservation - Medical Surveilance

Change 1910.95 (g) from "...making audiometric testing available to all employees ..." to requiring audiometric testing to all employees whose exposures equal or exceed an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels. Some employers may encourage employees to opt out of medical surveillance as a means of deferring cost. It seems rational that an employee would want to have their hearing testing where they are overexposed, ...more »

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26 votes
27 up votes
1 down votes

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Start enforcing noise regulations

The OSHA regs on noise control dictate that engineering controls be applied to reduce noise levels, as feasible, when exposures exceed 100% - but too many employers fail to realize how the costs of noise remediation can be less than the administration of a hearing conservation program for several years. The other thing is that the use of hearing protection deprives the worker of one of his senses, thus creating a hazard ...more »

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21 votes
22 up votes
1 down votes

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 »

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19 votes
21 up votes
2 down votes

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Hearing protector attenuation testing best practices 40 CFR 211

40 CFR 211.206 requires testing to out of date ANSI standard. The burden of testing to establish real ear attenuation performance must remain, however updating to allow current standard methodologies to be used will allow for the possibility of one data set to be used for international requirements. Expand allowable real ear testing at threshold attenuation data to be obtained by the latest version of the applicable ...more »

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18 votes
18 up votes
0 down votes

Displaying 1 - 15 of 65 Ideas