In the health, safety, and environmental area, negotiated rulemaking, implementation, and compliance are proposed by their advocates as delivering two primary benefits: reduced rulemaking time and decreased litigation over a final agency rule. The experience to date, however, indicates that negotiated rulemaking cannot be relied upon to deliver either of these benefits. Nonetheless, experience indicates that negotiation can, in appropriate circumstances, facilitate a better understanding of issues, concerns, facts, and positions among adversaries, promote the sharing of relevant information, and provide an opportunity for creative problem-solving. This paper discusses the use of these three types of negotiation by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Four negotiated rulemakings under the Occupational Safety and Health Act -- each of which involved an attempt to establish an OSHA standard for worker exposure to a particular toxic substance -- are evaluated according to whether negotiation was instrumental either in securing a more protective standard, or in securing an innovative technological response. The cases do not support the proposition that negotiation is more likely to protect worker health and stimulate more innovative protective technology than is traditional rulemaking. Rather, the record indicates that equal or better results could have been obtained through the traditional rulemaking process. In contrast to its willingness to use negotiation in standard-setting, OSHA has thus far shown little interest in making creative use of negotiation to promote technological change during the implementation or enforcement of standards.
Alternative dispute resolution Health Negotiated compliance Negotiated implementation Negotiated regulation Negotiated settlement Negotiation Occupational health and safety Regulation Safety Technological change Technological innovation Worker health and safety