OSHA Regulatory Agenda and PEL’s

Considered out-of-day by most safety stakeholders, OSHA’s permissible exposure limits (PEL’s) have recently been addressed in the Fall 2011 semi-annual regulatory agenda, “Review/Lookback of OSHA Chemical Standards”.  In a nutshell, PEL’s are the limits that allow the length someone can be exposed to a substance without experiencing harmful effects.

Because most PEL’s were created back in 1971 and have not been updated since, it is understandable why it would be brought to attention again. Now mentioned in the agenda, OSHA is formulating a Request for Information (RFI). This time around, they will seek outside suggestions for practicality in the updated ones.  OSHA is currently “seeking input from the public to help the Agency identify effective ways to address occupational exposure to chemicals.”

OSHA’s efforts on this topic have been apparent through meetings it has held with its stakeholders in June 2010 and the 2010 National Safety Council Congress and Expo. Dr. David Michaels, OSHA Administrator, claims they are looking for creative ways to address the outdated PEL’s.

View the full Fall 2011 semi-annual regulatory agenda here.