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Proposed OSHA rules

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I was one who commented officially at length, and knew several others
who did also.  Including a few who appeared at the hearings in DC.  The
results were related to me by one who had the same opinion of the
proposed rules as I, so the following may be biased.  If anyone knows
(or suspects) it is inaccurate please let me know.

The comments to the proposed OSHA rules were >90% against, for many,
many, reasons.  OSHA, knowing that they knew safety better than anyone
that just worked for a living (pardon the personal comment, my fingers
just couldn't help themselves), stopped trying to get the rules adopted
through the consensus procedures that they had set up, and instead left
the changes as "proposed".  They then notified all state OSHA's that
they had the option of adopting the existing or proposed rules.  They
also published an administrators position, or some such thing, stating
that any project could be built per the proposed rules.  By not
submitting the proposals to a vote they couldn't lose, and if enough
states, owners, unions, etc. chose them they will win by fiat.

Now suppose a project is being built according to the industry
standard.  The paint on the steel is the same paint we've been using for
years, and the only type commonly available.  And the beams and girders
have no provision for bolting all the 40' joists to them, they are to be
field welded except at the columns.  This is OK based on the existing
rules, and as I said it is the industry standard.  A worker climbs the
steel with old shoes with a little dirt on the soles and slips.  His
attorney sues everyone for not conforming to the proposed rules, which
have been successfully used on other projects.  How strong do you
suppose the EOR position would be for not specifying the proposed rules,
when it could have been done?  Or the beam/girder manufacturer for not
using skid-resistant paint, even though there is no accepted means of
measuring skid-resistance?  Or for furnishing holes, even though the
erector has no requirement for putting bolts in said holes?  And don't
forget, as EOR, to provide for a larger top chord on the girders if
there will be holes without bolts.

Phil Hodge