Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Henshaw Says OSHA Close to Completing Work on PPE

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Henshaw Says OSHA Close to Completing Work on PPE

Article excerpt

At this summer's meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH), OSHA Administrator John Henshaw indicated that the agency is "in the throes of finalizing our efforts" on a rule that would clarify employers' obligation to pay for personal protective equipment (PPE).

In a second potentially significant development, in response to a NACOSH committee recommendation, on the final day of the NACOSH meeting Henshaw said he expects OSHA and NIOSH will host a summit for Hispanic workers sometime next year. Henshaw said the agency had been considering the matter for some time, and he would welcome NACOSH's help in organizing the event.

NACOSH's last meeting in February was characterized by some sharp criticism of Henshaw's leadership, particularly with respect to the agency's slimmed-down rulemaking agenda. But after introductory remarks appealing for comity by the committee's new chairman, public representative Peter Deluca, the July 9-10 meeting developed along more harmonious lines.

In February, NACOSH member Richard Duffy, representing the International Association of Firefighters, rebuked OSHA and NIOSH for failing to provide guidance, enforcement or leadership with respect to the PPE needs of emergency workers. But this time, Dully went out of his way to praise the agencies for the progress being made in this area.

Henshaw declined to reveal details about the timing or the nature of the decision on the PPE rule, explaining that he did not want to "compromise in any way" a process that is nearing completion. …

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