The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced December 17 in the Federal Register they are accepting public comments on the direct final rule that will update OSHA standards based on National Consensus Standards.

This direct final rule and the accompanying Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) address welding definitions; abrasive wheel specifications; floor and wall openings, railings and toeboards; marking of portable compressed gas cylinders; and spray finishing.

"This rule is part of OSHA's ongoing effort to update its regulatory references to consensus standards," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke Jr. "The revisions will clarify employer obligations and maintain current levels of employee protection."

In the direct final rule, OSHA is deleting several references to consensus standards that have requirements that duplicate or are comparable to other OSHA rules. The direct final rule will become effective 90 days after publication in the Federal Register, unless significant adverse comments are received within 30 days of its publication in Federal Register.

Comments must be submitted no later than January 14, 2008, and should be submitted to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2007-0040, Room N-2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20210. The phone number is 202-693-2350.

Comments are also accepted electronically (see Federal Register notice for instructions), by fax at 202-693-1648, messenger or courier service. All comments for this direct final rule must include the docket number for this Federal Register notice (Docket No. OSHA-2007-0040). More information can be found on the following Web site: http://www.regulations.gov.