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DOL/OSHA RIN: 1218-AC77 Publication ID: 2012 
Title: ●Consensus Standard Update--Signage 
Abstract: OSHA has an ongoing effort to update references to consensus standards published by standards-developing organizations (SDOs) throughout its rules. The goal of these rulemaking updates is to improve workplace safety and health by ensuring that consensus standards referenced in OSHA regulations reflect current industry practice and state-of-the-art technology. 29 CFR 1910.6 incorporates by reference the 1967 version of ANSI Z53.1, Safety Code for Marking Physical Hazards and the Identification of Certain Equipment, and the 1968 version of ANSI Z53.1, Specification for Accident Prevention Signs. Three OSHA standards (1910.97, Nonionizing radiation; 1910.145, Specifications for accident prevention signs and tags; 1910.261, Pulp, paper, and paper-board mills) refer to these consensus standards. Most employers continue to use signs meeting the consensus standards currently referenced in the OSHA standards. The older signs not only have a long life; the employers do not want to use "newer" versions and be subject to a "de minimus" citation. Preliminary review indicates that signs meeting the latest edition of the consensus standard would advance workplace safety over and above the currently required signs. Signs meeting the latest edition use the same color code and wording as ones meeting the older consensus standard, but also provide much more guidance as to the nature of the hazard, the consequences of the hazard, how to avoid the hazard, and the seriousness level of the hazard. Signs meeting the latest edition also are supported by human factors research on effective warning, and are supported by modern risk assessment methodologies for reducing risk. In addition, signs meeting the latest edition can use multiple language panels that could be a benefit to non-English speaking workers, and also meet the legal criteria for "adequate warnings" based on case law. OSHA proposes updating the reference to the version of the consensus standard, while grandfathering older signs that comply with the current OSHA requirements. Using the same strategy as in other consensus standard references updates, OSHA will publish a Direct Final Rule (DFR) con-currently with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). If OSHA does not receive significant adverse comments on the DFR, it will confirm the effective date of the DFR and withdraw the NPRM. If OSHA does receive significant adverse comments, it will withdraw the DFR and proceed with the rule proposal process. 
Agency: Department of Labor(DOL)  Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant 
RIN Status: First time published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined 
CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910.6; 29 CFR 1910.97; 29 CFR 1910.145; 29 CFR 1910.261 
Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); 29 USC 657 
Legal Deadline:  None
Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  04/00/2013   
Direct Final Rule  04/00/2013   
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined  Government Levels Affected: Undetermined 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions  Federalism: Undetermined 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Dorothy Dougherty
Director, Directorate of Standards and Guidance
Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Room N-3718, FP Building, 200 Constitution Avenue NW.,
Washington, DC 20210
Phone:202 693-1950
Fax:202 693-1678
Email: dougherty.dorothy@dol.gov

 
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