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INDA task force responds to proposed OSHA rules.

INDA Task Force Responds To Proposed OSHA Rules

To best respond to a recently-released proposed rule regarding worker protection from bloodborne diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis, INDA has established a task force of its member companies most affected by the proposal.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is considering a regulation that would require employers to provide certain employees with "personal protective equipment" if the employee is at risk of occupational exposure to these bloodborne diseases.

INDA members believe that the proposal would be particularly significant to the nonwovens industry because single-use protective garments, face masks, head covers and shoe covers are typically made from nonwovens fabrics.

Since its release last May, this proposed rule has generated a substantial amount of interest. In addition to soliciting comments on the proposal, OSHA has also been holding hearings around the country for interested parties to express their opinions. To date, in fact, OSHA has received more than 1300 comments on this issue - a record for OSHA.

Even the U.S. Congress is getting into the act. One of the groups with primary jurisdiction over the Labor Dept's. oversight - the Health and Safety Subcommittee of the House Education and Labor Committee - held three hearings in November to review OSHA's proposal.

In Washington, DC decision makers tend to listen to trade associations, since they represent the views of many different individual companies. Therefore, to ensure that the best interests of INDA members were represented as OSHA considers this rule, a task force was convened by INDA president John Mead. The task force met for the first time in late September and worked into November with INDA's director of government relations, Peter Mayberry, to draft an industry response to the OSHA proposal.

While there is not complete agreement among all Task Force members on each of the issues covered, the resulting document will go a long way toward resolving the issues raised by this proposed rule. INDA's OSHA Task Force position statement has been forwarded to OSHA and is scheduled to be formally presented in Miami, FL on Dec. 19 during OSHA's final hearing on the proposal. The position statement is also being made a part of the record of the Congressional hearings held in November.
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Title Annotation:includes INDA's response to OSHA's proposed rule; Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry; legislation for employee protection from infectious diseases
Author:Jacobsen, Michael
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:Dec 1, 1989
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