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Critics say government takes too long on safety rules

By SAM HANANEL
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Coming up with new government regulations can be time consuming, but a new report suggests the government is taking way too long on workplace safety rules.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is the focus of a report by the Government Accountability Office.

According to the GAO, it takes nearly eight years on average for OSHA to approve regulations to protect workers from on-the-job hazards like dangerous chemicals.

Critics are telling a Senate committee the agency has become too cautious. But OSHA blames greater procedural requirements, shifting priorities and a higher standard of judicial review than most federal agencies face.

Business groups say OSHA creates problems for itself by ignoring employer concerns when it develops new standards.

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