Sunday, November 16, 2008

OSHA Proposes Per Employee Penalties for PPE and PPE Training Violations

The American Subcontractors Association reported that on Aug. 19 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed to "clarify" how it will apply penalties for violations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) rules.

In response to a case before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission that suggested that "minor variations in the wording of the provisions affect the Secretary's authority to cite and penalize separate violations," OSHA said that it "interprets its respirator and training provisions to impose a duty upon the employer to comply for each and every employee subject to the requirement regardless of whether the provision expressly states that respirators or training must be provided to ‘each employee.'"

OSHA's proposed change would make explicit in the 29 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 1910 through 1926 employers' duties to provide PPE, such as respirators, to each employee who performs covered tasks and to train them to use PPE properly. OSHA set a deadline of Sept. 18, 2008, for public comments or requests for hearings on this change, but ASA has asked for a 90-day extension to allow more feedback.

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