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That’s why the Department is always reviewing existing regulations to ensure that we address any rules that may be out of date, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome and for potential opportunities to modify, streamline, expand, or even repeal rules based on what we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

Voting

4 votes
5 up votes
1 down votes
Active

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 »

Voting

55 votes
56 up votes
1 down votes
Active

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 »

Voting

18 votes
18 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

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.

Voting

20 votes
21 up votes
1 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Fit Check Science technology validates & corrects HPD's

Urgent necessity of vast improvements are needed at least in the form of "Hearing Fit Check" science to the Appendix B of CFR 29, 19.10.95 Fit Check testing for hearing is as important as respiratory fit check testing is Law. This past year I used a field fit check system(technology won the "Anwar-Bullard" science award for innovation). meeting ANSI ambient sound standards level at 1000 hz and above in the field(forestry),... more »

Voting

4 votes
4 up votes
0 down votes
Active

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 »

Voting

36 votes
37 up votes
1 down votes
Active

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 »

Voting

7 votes
7 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

29 CFR 1904 interpretations regarding antibiotics

Recommend that the interpretation regarding the administration of prophylactic antibiotics following tick bites be changed, so that it is consistent with the interpretation regarding tetanus vaccinations. Administration of prophylactic antibiotics following tick bites is currently interpreted to be medical treatment. This interpretation may discourage the administration of post-bite antibiotics and thereby possibly... more »

Voting

15 votes
16 up votes
1 down votes
Active

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 »

Voting

80 votes
80 up votes
0 down votes
Active

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 »

Voting

26 votes
27 up votes
1 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 »

Voting

5 votes
6 up votes
1 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Geographic Preference & Pre-existing Conditions

Do away with the geographic preference and aggravation of pre-existing conditions. When a 60 year old with arthritic, degenerative disks in her back and a bad knee has an injury from doing nothing, it should not be a work related injury. I know OSHA says recordable injuries do not equate to fault, but unfortunately, corporate America loves to view them this way and assign fault which creates its own problems.

Voting

4 votes
4 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 »

Voting

9 votes
9 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 »

Voting

14 votes
15 up votes
1 down votes
Active

Shaping Smarter Regulations

Revision of 1910.212

29CFR 1910.212 is the general guarding clause that applies to all machinery. We now have a solid ANSI standard which should be applied - ANSI B11.0 "Risk Assessment and Reduction for Machinery." This would require that a risk assessment be performed by the manufacturer and user of the machine, that APPROPRIATE safeguarding means be used based upon the intended use, and any RESIDUAL RISK be properly communicated to the... more »

Voting

8 votes
8 up votes
0 down votes
Active