As part of executive order 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security, the Department of Labor is partnering with the Department of Homeland Security, Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies to host a series of public listening sessions and webinars to solicit comments and suggestions from stakeholders to reduce safety and security risks in the production and storage of potentially harmful chemicals. More than seven hundred individuals have attended the sessions, which have been held in Texas City, Texas, Washington, D.C., Springfield, Ill., Orlando, Fla., and Sacramento and Los Angeles, Calif. On Jan. 14, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels chaired a listening session in Washington, D.C.

“These listening sessions are an important step in an ongoing dialogue between agencies, communities and stakeholders about how we can help make chemical facilities and our hometowns safer places,” Michaels said at the listening session. “One of our main goals in engaging stakeholders is to identify, develop, and put in place best practices. We strongly encourage you to provide us with comments on the options at this meeting and subsequent stakeholder meetings, and as written comments that can be submitted to the docket on the webpage.”

OSHA put out a request for information seeking public comment on potential revisions to its Process Safety Management standard and related standards, as well as other policy options to prevent major chemical incidents. The public will have until March 10, 2014 to submit written comments. For more information, visit the Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security Web page.

The next listening session is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 24, 2014, at the Harris County Department of Education’s Training and Conference Center, Room 502, 6300 Irvington Blvd., in Houston, Texas. To attend the public listening session or to make a comment or presentation, participants must register at www.govevents.com. For more information, see the Federal Register notice.

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