Consensus Results from Negotiated Rulemaking
Thursday, August 6, 1998
Contact: Frank Kane (202) 219-8151
OSHA PROPOSES STEEL ERECTION STANDARD
THAT WOULD SAVE 26 LIVES, $40 MILLION A YEAR
The Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) today proposed a
revised steel erection standard that could
save 26 lives and $40 million a year. The
proposal is based on the consensus of labor,
industry and other stakeholder groups involved
in the negotiated rulemaking process.
"This proposal is an outstanding example
of how President Clinton wants the New OSHA
to work -- developing common sense regulation
to protect workers through a partnership with
labor, industry, public interests and other
government agencies," said Secretary of
Labor Alexis M. Herman.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational
Safety and Health Charles N. Jeffress, who
heads OSHA, noted that the proposal is the
result of successful negotiated rulemaking
involving all significantly affected interests
in the steel erection community. "It would
prevent most of the fatalities and lost-workday
injuries that steel erection workers now
suffer," he added.
The proposal, developed by members of the
Steel Erection Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory
Committee (SENRAC), addresses the hazards that
have been identified as the major causes of
injuries and fatalities in the steel erection
industry. These are hazards associated with
working under loads; hoisting, landing and
placing decking; column stability; double
connections; hoisting, landing and placing
steel joists; and falls to lower levels.
This was the first rulemaking effort in the
Department of Labor under the provisions of
the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1990 and the
Department's Negotiated Rulemaking Policy.
SENRAC presented its draft in July 1997, and
OSHA then obtained approvals from the Small
Business Administration and the Office of
Management and Budget before the document
could be published in the Federal Register
About 28 deaths and 1,800 lost-workday injuries
currently occur each year among iron workers.
OSHA says that full compliance with the proposed
standard and the existing standard would prevent
26 of these fatalities and about 1,100 of the
The proposal, if adopted, would save employers
in the steel erection industry about $40 million
a year in costs associated with lost-workday
injuries such as lost productivity, medical
treatment, insurance, and liability claims.
The proposal is designed to protect all workers
engaged in steel erection activities. It does
not cover electric transmission towers, communications
towers, broadcast towers, water towers or tanks.
SENRAC included representatives of the International
Association of Bridge, Structural & Ornamental
Iron Workers, United Steelworkers of America,
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Institute
for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH),
International Union of Operating Engineers,
AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department,
National Erectors Association, the Associated
General Contractors of America and the Associated
Builders and Contractors.
Notice of the proposal will be published in
the Federal Register at a later date.