An amendment to exempt OSHA from a proposed federal rule-making accountability bill on business rules was voted down by the House of Representatives.

Authored by U.S. Rep. George Miller, (D-CA), the amendment to H.R. 2804, the ALERT Act - a bill that requires federal agency heads to submit monthly reports on any federal rules or regulations their agency is developing - would have made an exception for the Occupational Health & Safety Agency - OSHA [click to read text of the bill amendment debate].

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Federal agencies now report twice a year on rules in progress, but have not been consistent, according to Republicans. The ALERT act would make agencies release new proposed regulations monthly.

For his part, U.S. Rep. George Miller is retiring after this term, but hoped to see OSHA formalize rules on combustible dust before he leaves.

Last year, Miller, joined by U.S. Rep John Barrow (D-GA), joined  and Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT), reintroduced the Worker Protection Against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act (H.R. 691) to require OSHA to issue rules against combustible dusts, like wood coal, sugar, metal from accumulating to potentially explosive levels.

OSHA began rule making on combustible dust four years before, after the same bill passed a bipartisan vote of 247 to 165. OSHA held numerous public meetings and solicited comments from stakeholders that it planned to use to craft a combustible dust prevention standard, but has not done so. 

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