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May 8, 1996

Public hearings scheduled for proposed changes to logging safety standard

TUMWATER - The Department of Labor & Industries will hold two public hearings in early June to gather public comment on proposed changes to the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act's (WISHA) existing safety rules regulating the logging industry.

The proposed changes will bring the state's safety and health rules for logging into conformance with federal regulations not addressed by the current state standard. By law, WISHA regulations must be "at least as effective as" federal rules.

The hearings will be held:

June 4, 1996. 1 p.m.
L&I's central office auditorium
7273 Linderson Way
Tumwater, WA

June 6, 1996 1:30 p.m.
Spokane County Public Works Building
1026 W. Broadway
Spokane WA

The agency also will accept written comments up until 5 p.m. June 13, 1996, by mailing to:

Department of Labor & Industries
Consultation and Compliance Services Division
Standards Section
P.O. Box 44620
Olympia, WA 98507-4620

In addition, written comments of 10 pages or less may be faxed to 360-902-5529.

A copy of the proposed standard may be obtained by writing the above address or telephoning 360-902-4622.

The proposed changes, scheduled for adoption on Aug. 20, 1996, with a Nov. 1, 1996, effective date, cover many sections of L&I's existing rule. The proposed changes would delete some sections, harmonize language with federal regulations, reduce or replace duplicate and redundant language and make the standard easier to read wherever possible in accordance with the regulatory reform mandate of the Legislature.

The proposed changes mark the first of a two-phase effort to update the logging industry standard. As the next step, the agency proposes to ask for the assistance of an industry-based work group to review the entire standard. This comprehensive review may include elimination of obsolete sections, reorganization and rewriting the standard using the clear rule-writing model. A time frame for this review process has not been established.

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