Industrial Packaging Safety Alliance urges OSHA to initiate rulemaking

The Industrial Packaging Safety Alliance (PackSafe) continues to urge the Occupational and Health Administration (OSHA) to evaluate and correct its references to inadequate and out-of-date guidelines involving workplace regulations on ignitable liquids.

In response to a call for public comments on a draft OSHA document titled, “Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines,” PackSafe Senior Advisor John McQuaid submitted a letter reiterating concerns related to the transportation and warehousing of both hazardous and non-hazardous materials. Specifically, the letter sought to persuade OSHA to bring their regulations in-line with the current National Fire Protection Association code (NFPA 30) that provides safeguards to reduce the hazards associated with the storage, handling and use of flammable and combustible liquids.

“A considerable public and worker safety issue exists where these regulations concern the safe transportation and warehousing of flammable and combustible liquids,” said McQuaid. “Even though OSHA is unwilling to take action does not mean the issue will go away. PackSafe’s supporters will continue to call for action until this issue is again placed on OSHA’s regulatory agenda, and is carefully and thoroughly evaluated by that agency.”

Previously, PackSafe sent a letter to Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of OSHA, in June 2015 urging agency action surrounding the transportation and warehousing of both hazardous and non-hazardous materials.

In July 2015, OSHA’s director of standards and guidance, Mr. William G. Perry, replied via a letter that, “a rulemaking to update § 1910.106…would be a far more complex undertaking,” citing technical and economic challenges that would be difficult to overcome. Mr. Perry also noted that, between 1996 and 2001, a comprehensive update to 29 C.F.R. § 1910.106 had been listed on the Department of Labor’s Unified Regulatory Agenda, but subsequently was removed due to resource constraints. The letter concluded that OSHA does not have plans to revise this provision.