Miller introduces OSHA fire safety bill

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-Mich.), chairwoman of the House Government Affairs’ Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, dropped H.R. 3255, a bill to direct the Secretary of Labor to update an Occupational Safety and Health Administration fire protection safety standard, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported earlier this week.

The fire protection safety standard update would incorporate the current consensus standard for fire protection for styrene cross-linked composites manufacturing.

The bill is a result of a series of hearings, including the latest one, titled, “The Impact of Regulation on U.S. Manufacturing: Spotlight on Department of Labor & Department of Transportation,” which was held June 28.

During the hearing, Jeff Melby, of Genmar Holdings Inc., testified specifically to the need for updated fire protection standards. He stated that there is a need for legislative action to require OSHA to use the same fire protection standards as the National Fire Protection Association in its regulation of boat manufacturing plants.

“NMMA has been pushing for reforms of these standards for nearly a decade,” said Monita Fontaine, NMMA vice president of government relations. “In the mid-nineties NFPA conducted an extensive study of this issue and determined that it was appropriate to change fire protection standards to better reflect the needs of boat and composite manufacturing plants and the advance of fire protection equipment and knowledge.

“NMMA has been asking OSHA to do the same or adopt NFPA’s standards since. This hearing is a great step in that direction.”

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