OSHA withdraws blasting rule update

Citing limited resources, OSHA on Feb. 3 withdrew a proposed rule that would have updated its explosives and blasting agents standard (1910.109).

The rule, originally promulgated in 1971, is based on consensus standards from the Quincy, MA-based National Fire Protection Association. In 2002, OSHA was petitioned to revise the standard and, in 2007, published a proposed revision. Shortly after, OSHA closed the comment period on that revision to "clarify the intent of the rulemaking" and said it would issue a new proposal at a later date.

The agency also said it is withdrawing the proposal because its current standard, as well as those from other federal agencies, provides workers with sufficient protection from explosives. Additionally, OSHA claimed proceeding forward with the proposal would divert resources away from other projects that have "much more substantial hazard reduction potential."

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