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Jan. 8, 2001

Public hearings scheduled for updated worker-safety rules

TUMWATER - The Department of Labor & Industries will hold state-wide public hearings in five cities later this month to gather public comment on rewritten rules that will help employers ensure the safety and health of their workers.

Hearings will be held in:

  • Vancouver - Jan. 24, 1 p.m., Red Lion Hotel at Quay, 100 Columbia St.
  • Spokane - Jan. 25, 1 p.m., WestCoast Grand Hotel at the Park, 303 W. North River Dr.
  • Yakima - Jan. 26, 8:30 a.m., WestCoast Yakima Center Hotel, 607 E. Yakima Ave.
  • Seattle (Sea-Tac)- Jan. 29, 2 p.m., Seattle Marriott Sea-Tac, 3201 S. 176th St.
  • Tumwater - Jan 30, 1 p.m., Department of Labor & Industries, 7273 Linderson Way SW,

The proposed rules represent a major regulatory improvement undertaken with a Legislative mandate and with the assistance of a labor advisory committee, federal officials and the public. The result is a rewritten and redesigned set of rules that apply to most employers in Washington state.

The department's proposal, known as the Safety and Health Core Rules, will replace existing rules that in many cases are unclear, complex, complicated to find, difficult to understand and confusing to use. The proposed rules contain no new or additional compliance requirements.

The Safety and Health Core Rules are the first phase in a several stage effort to make worker safety rules easier to find, read, understand and use. This core rule book will be the only book needed for most small, non-manufacturing employers. A complementary outreach effort will be launched to help employers learn and apply the rules at their worksites.

The public hearings, scheduled Jan. 24-30, are intended for employers, workers, organizations and citizens an opportunity to comment, testify, offer suggestions and make other remarks related to the rules. Each session will include a short presentation to preview the core rule book and provide an overview.

In addition, interested employers, workers and other individuals and organizations unable to attend one of the public hearings can provide written comment via the Postal Service mail, e-mail or fax by Feb. 9,2001.

Written comments may be mailed to:

Cindy Ireland
WISHA Services
P.O. Box 44620
Olympia, WA 98504-4620
Fax: 360-902-5529 (Please limit to 10 pages)

The agency will review the collected testimony before developing a final proposal for adoption. If the rules are adopted as scheduled, they would take effect on Aug. 31, 2001.


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