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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

OSHA News Release: [09/09/2009]
Contact Name: Diana Petterson
Phone Number: (202) 693-1898
Release Number: 09-0968-NAT

U.S. Labor Departmentís OSHA issues final rule updating personal protective equipment standards based on national consensus standards

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today published in the Federal Register a final rule revising the personal protective equipment (PPE) sections of its general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring and marine terminals standards concerning requirements for eye- and face-protective devices, and head and foot protection.

OSHA is updating the references in its regulations to reflect more recent editions of the applicable national consensus standards that incorporate advances in technology. OSHA requires that PPE be safely designed and constructed for the tasks performed.

"Workers exposed to occupational hazards requiring head, foot, or eye and face protection will now be provided protection based on a standard that reflects state-of-the-art technology and materials," said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab. "This final rule is another step in OSHA's efforts to update or remove references to outdated national consensus and industry standards."

Amendments to the PPE standards include a requirement that filter lenses and plates in eye-protective equipment meet a test for transmission of radiant energy such as light or infrared.

The Federal Register notice is available at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-21360.htm. The final rule will become effective on Oct. 9. For technical inquiries, contact Ted Twardowski, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, at 202-693-2070.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.