Information Bulletin Number 0709115

OSHA Seeks Input for Emergency Response and Preparedness Standard

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is asking stakeholders for help determining what action the agency should take to further address emergency response and preparedness. Should OSHA take any action at all?

According to an article by Katherine Torres on the Occupational Hazards website, OSHA published a Request for Information in the Sept. 12 Federal Register to decide what action, if any, the agency should take.

“Elements of the health and safety for emergency responders are currently regulated by OSHA, primarily under six standards,” OSHA Administrator Edwin Foulke Jr. told Torres. “Some of these standards were promulgated decades ago and none were designed as a comprehensive emergency response standard. Emergency responders often encounter significant hazards while on the job, and this agency wants to ensure it is doing everything possible to keep these vital employees safe and healthy while at work.”

According to Torres, current OSHA standards do not reflect all of the major improvements in safety and health practices that already have been accepted by the emergency response community and incorporated into industry consensus standards.

OSHA is inviting the public to submit comments either electronically at, or by sending or hand delivering three copies to the OSHA Docket Office, Room N-2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20210.

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