Rulemaking process too slow: report

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Washington – As Congress convenes hearings on whether regulations place too much burden on businesses, a new report (.pdf file) suggests the rulemaking process is long and complicated and already prioritizes business interests.

Released in April, the report from advocacy group Public Citizen examines the development of OSHA’s recent cranes and derricks rule (.pdf file).

Finalizing the rule took a dozen years, despite several high-profile crane incidents and wide agreement on problems with the original standard, much of which dated back to the 1970s.

During that time, more than 750 construction workers died, according to the report. OSHA and other federal agencies hosted at least 18 meetings, produced several reports on the business impact and costs and benefits of the rule, and had to demonstrate the rule was necessary and no alternative would suffice.

The report noted that OSHA produced 14 major rules between 1990 and January 2001, but only one rule aside from the cranes and derricks standard between that time and 2010.

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