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Enforcing executive order regarding chemical safety

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is asking for input from businesses and individuals in Pennsylvania and around the country on changing its construction safety and other standards in order to stop dangerous chemical accidents. The request for information comes after an executive order was issued in response to the April 2013 chemical explosion that claimed the lives of 15 people in West, Texas.

In addition, OSHA is also looking for public opinion on improvements to existing standards dealing with explosives and blasting agents, flammable liquids and spray finishing as well as possible changes on how the policies and standards are enforced. The agency will take any information it receives into consideration when making decisions on what, if any, actions will be taken regarding these potential workplace hazards that can affect workers around the country.

President Obama signed Executive Order 13650 into law on Aug. 1, 2013. The order directed several federal agencies to cooperate with state and local groups, share information, update policies and work with stakeholders. Those assigned to implement the order include representatives from the departments of Homeland Security, Agriculture, Justice, Labor and Transportation as well as the Environmental Protection Agency.

After publication of the request for information in the Federal Register, the public is given 90 days to submit comments, either on the designated website or by mail or fax transmission. OSHA takes its responsibility of providing a safe working environment for employees across the nation seriously. If a worker is injured in an accident, workers' compensation statutory benefits may be available to help redress the financial burden caused by medical expenses and lost wages.

Source: OSHA, "US Labor Department seeks public comment on agency standards to improve chemical safety", December 03, 2013

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