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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release June 30, 1998

               Rewrite of OSHA Regulation Helps Protect 
                  Workers and Promotes Public Safety

Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore presented the first Plain Language Award in the aftermath of an Executive Memorandum he announced earlier this month that directed all executive departments and agencies to begin writing in plain language.

"As we in the federal government put our communications into plain language, we will not only be cutting words and phrases, we will be reexamining the original purpose of our rules and regulations," Vice President Gore said. "Reviewing and rewriting government language is another step toward reinventing our government so that it better communicates with the American people."

The Vice President's award went to Marthe Kent, Director of Regulatory Analysis at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) who rewrote a regulation on the potentially dangerous use of dip tanks.

On June 1, the Vice President announced that President Clinton signed the Executive Memorandum directing agencies to: (1) write any new document that tells the public how to get a benefit or comply with a requirement in plain language by October 1, 1998; (2) write all new government regulations in plain language by January 1, 1999; and, (3) revise all existing letters and notices into plain language by 2002.

With clearer language, employees will better understand their responsibilities and be better equipped to protect the public.

With regard to today's announcement, attached is a look at the regulation before and after the rewrite:


29 CFR 1910 Dipping and Coating Operations

1910.94(d)(1) General

(I) This paragraph applies to all operations involving the immersion of materials in liquids, or in the vapors of such liquids, for the purpose of cleaning or altering the surface or adding to or imparting a finish thereto or changing the character of the materials, and their subsequent removal from the liquid or vapor, draining, and drying. These operations include washing, electroplating, anodizing, pickling, quenching, dyeing, dipping, tanning, dressing, bleaching, degreasing, alkaline cleaning, stripping, rinsing, digesting, and other similar operations.


29 CFR 1910 Dipping and Coating Operations


(a) When does this rule apply? This rule applies if you use a dip tank that contains a liquid other than water or a dip tank that generates a vapor. It applies if you use the tank or vapor to:

(1) Clean;

(2) Coat;

(3) Alter the surface of; or

(4) Change the character of an object.