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OSHA Urged to Make Final Decision on PPE Standard

At an appropriations hearing on April 7, 2005, California congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-California) pressed Jonathan Snare, the Acting Administrator of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to find out why OSHA has not yet finalized the Payment for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Standard (29 CFR 1910.132). The standard currently requires employers to provide PPE and to ensure its use, but it does not obligate employers to pay for PPE. OSHA was to decide by March 2005 if employers will be required to pay for PPE, however, as of March 28, 2005, the rulemaking was considered ongoing.

Snare responded that OSHA is still researching the term “tools of the trade” and that the rulemaking is under “active consideration,” but they cannot estimate when their final decision will be made.

Roybal-Allard argued that OSHA has given the “same answer” for the last few years. OSHA's delay in the rulemaking, she asserted, only puts more people's lives at risk.

--Adapted from Occupational Safety & Health Reporter , Volume 35, Number 15