OSHA Docket Office
Docket S-042, Room N-2625
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210
The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) is pleased to comment on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) March 31, 1999 proposed rule, which would require employers to provide their employees with personal protective equipment (PPE), free-of-charge, when such equipment is necessary to protect employees from job-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities. AACC supports this recommendation.
This proposal, if adopted, would require health care employers to provide their laboratory employees with safety glasses, shields, gloves, shoe covers, laboratory coats and other products needed to protect them from harm. Although we believe that the vast majority of health care providers are already in compliance with this proposal, it would address those few facilities charging or not providing their employees with necessary safety products. According to OSHA, these proposed revisions would prevent over 47,000 injuries that occur annually as a result of the non-use or misuse of personal protective equipment (PPE). We believe the benefits associated with this regulation far outweigh its minimal costs.
By way of background, AACC is the principal association of professional laboratory scientists--including MDs, PhDs and medical technologists. AACC's members develop and use chemical concepts, procedures, techniques and instrumentation in health-related investigations and work in hospitals, independent laboratories and the diagnostics industry nationwide. The AACC's objectives are to further the public interest and educational activities and to help maintain high professional standards.
If you have any questions or we may be of any assistance, please call me at (405) 271-3571 or Vince Stine, Director, Government Affairs, at (202) 835-8721.
K. Michael Parker, PhD