OSHA announced recently that it has extended the comment period on its Request for Information on Chemical Management and Permissible Exposure Limits to Oct. 9, 2015 from its original deadline of .April 8, 2015. The RFI, issued Oct. 10, 2014, seeks stakeholders' input about more effective and efficient approaches to address workplace conditions where workers are exposed to hazardous chemicals. OSHA said the decision to extend the period was the result of many requests from stakeholders so they can research and formulate responses to questions included in the RFI.

In the RFI, OSHA says that it "is reviewing its overall approach to managing chemical exposures in the workplace and seeks stakeholder input about more effective and efficient approaches that addresses challenges found with the current regulatory approach. This review involves considering issues related to updating permissible exposure limits (PELs), as well as examining other strategies that could be implemented to address workplace conditions where workers are exposed to chemicals." The agency said the request is concerned primarily with chemicals that cause adverse health effects from long-term occupational exposure and is unrelated to activities being conducted under Executive Order 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security, which was issued by the president in response to the ammonium nitrate explosion in West, Texas. Comments may be submitted by visiting www.regulations.gov and searching for Docket No. OSHA-2012-0023-0001.

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