Risk Assessment Proposal Removed From the Table

dept-of-laborThe Department of Labor is withdrawing the risk assessment proposal in June according to representatives of OSHA. Issued by the Bush Administration in July 2008, critics stated the proposed rule would have added additional time to the rulemaking process which would have “dramatically weakened future workplace health and safety regulations and slow their enactment.”

Furthermore, critics had three main concerns pertaining to the proposal:

  • Definition of a working life from 45 years to an average number of years.
  • Calls for an uncertainty analysis but provides no clear guidance on how to conduct one.
  • Limits pertaining to regulatory action to hazards associated with “clinically apparent adverse health outcomes.”

A letter issued to former secretary Chao by public health professionals from around the country stated:

“By oversimplifying the risk assessment process, demanding an unachievable quantification of uncertainty, and defining adverse effects in a narrow manner that overlooks medical reality, the Department has created a proposed regulation that will hamper the OSHA and MSHA in their Congressionally-mandated duties to protect workers’ health from toxic agents.”

A copy of this letter can be found here. (Risk Assessment Proposed Rule - Letter (496))

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