OSHA Slows Down on Expansive, Expensive Anti-Noise Mandates

The Department of Labor’s Office of the Solicitor of Labor this morning announced its intention of extending the comment period for re-interpretation of the OSHA Noise abatement requirement by 90 days.  The original comment deadline was scheduled for December 20th, but the National Association of Manufacturers sought additional time for public input. This 90-day extension will allow interested groups further opportunity to assess the impact of the interpretation.

As the NAM’s Keith Smith has blogged (here and here),  the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced in late October its intention to re-interpret the meaning of “feasible” regarding noise abatement programs. The new interpretation elevates the standard for administrative and engineering controls of noise, making them required unless an employer can demonstrate that making such changes will put them out of business. The NAM sought the extension in light of the broad economic impact of such a requirement and the difficulty of gathering relevant data from which to base any decision.

A copy of the NAM request can be found here.

Joe Trauger is the NAM’s vice president for human resources policy.

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