PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT OF 1995 SUBMISSION
SUPPORTING STATEMENT
Blasting Operations
29 CFR 1926.900(k)(3)(i)(1)


Federal Register [06/26/2000] #65:39430-39431
Construction Records for Blasting Operations


A. Justification

1. Explain the circumstances that make the collection of information necessary. Identify any legal or administrative requirements that require the collection. Attach a copy of the appropriate section of each statute and regulation mandating or authorizing the collection of information.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 authorizes the promulgation of such health and safety standards as are necessary or appropriate to provide safe or healthful employment and places of employment. The statute specifically authorizes information collection by employers as necessary or appropriate for the enforcement of the Act or for developing information regarding the causes and prevention of occupational injuries, illnesses, and accidents.

The requirements in 29 CFR 1926.900(k)(3)(i) are necessary to ensure compliance with the requirement for preventing the premature detonation of electric blasting caps and connected explosives by mobile radio transmitters.

2. Show how, by whom, and for what purpose the information is to be used. Except for a new collection, show the actual use the agency has made of the information received from the current collection.

The major purpose of this information requirement is to provide information that can be used to prevent the premature detonation of electric blasting caps and explosives connected to them by mobile radio transmitters during blasting operations, and thus ensure safe operating conditions for employees.

3. Describe whether, and to what extent, the collection of information involves the use of automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technical collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses, and the basis for the decision of adopting that means of collection. Also, describe any consideration of using information technology to reduce the burden.

Employers may use improved information technology whenever appropriate when maintaining records associated with this standard.

4. Describe efforts to identify duplication. Show specifically why any similar information already available cannot be used or modified for use of rhte purposed described in item 2 above.

OSHA is unaware of any other Federal requirements for this collection of information.

5. If the collection of information impacts small businesses or other small entities (Item 5 of OMB Form 83-I), describe any methods used to minimize burden.

The information-collection requirements of the standards do not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

6. Describe the consequence to Federal program or policy activities if the collection is or is not conducted less frequently, and any technical or legal obstacles to reducing the burden.

A reduction in the frequency of collecting this information requirement would reduce the available essential data needed by the employer to prevent the premature detonation of electric blasting caps and explosives connected to them by mobile radio transmitters during blasting operations

7. Explain any special circumstances that would cause an information collection to be conducted in a manner:

  • requiring respondents to report information to the agency more often than quarterly;

  • requiring respondents to prepare a written response to a collection of information in fewer than 30 days after receipt of it;

  • requiring respondents to submit more than an original and two copies of any document;

  • requiring respondents to retain records, other than health, medical, government contract, grant-in-aid, or tax records for more than three years;

  • in connection with a statistical survey that is not designed to produce valid and reliable results that can be generalized to the universe of study;

  • requiring the use of statistical data classification that has not been reviewed and approved by OMB;

  • that includes a pledge of confidentially that is not supported by authority established in statute or regulation that is not supported by disclosure and data security policies that are consistent with the pledge, or which unnecessarily impedes sharing of data with other agencies for compatible confidential use; or

  • requiring respondents to submit proprietary trade secret, or other confidential information unless the agency can prove that it has instituted procedures to protect the information's confidentially to the extent permitted by law.

There are no special circumstances that would require the collection of information to be conducted in a manner discussed above.

8. If applicable, provide a copy and identify the date and page number of publication in the Federal Register of the agency's notice, required by 5 CFR 1320.8(d), soliciting comments on the information collection before submission to OMB. Summarize public comments received in response to that notice and describe actions taken by the agency in response to those comments. Specifically address comments received on cost and hour burdens.

Describe efforts to consult with persons outside the agency to obtain their views on the availability of data, frequency of collection, the clarity of instructions and recordkeeping, disclosure, or reporting format (if any), and on the data elements to be recorded, revealed, or reported.

Consultation with representatives of those from whom information is to be obtained or those who must compile records should occur at least once every three years -- even if the collection of information activity is the same as in prior periods. There may be circumstances that mitigate against consultation in a specific situation. These circumstances should be explained.

To date, no major problems have been identified with the paperwork requirements contained in 29 CFR 1926.900(k)(3)(i). As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA-95), the Agency issued a Federal Register notice 65:15651-15652 soliciting comments from the public and other interested parties on the information collection requirements contained in 29 CFR 1926.900(k)(3)(i). The Agency received one comment from the Institute of Makers of Explosive (IME). The IME supports OSHA stating "to the extent that such recordkeeping assists OSHA in verifying that explosives are used in a safe manner.

On April 27, 2000, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) chaired a Roundtable discussion on how to reduce paperwork burdens imposed on the public by OSHA standards. The Roundtable was part of an initiative sponsored by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). There were 30 participants, including representatives of both large and small businesses, unions, trade association, OSHA, OMB, and the Congress. A report on this Roundtable is currently being drafted.

9. Explain any decision to provide any payments or gift to respondents, other than remuneration of contractors or grantees.

No payments or gifts will be provided to the respondents.

10. Describe any assurance of confidentiality provided to respondents and the basis for the assurance in statute, regulation, or agency policy.

No elements of confidentiality are involved in this rulemaking.

11. Provide additional justification for any questions of a sensitive nature, such as sexual behavior and attitudes, religious beliefs, and other matters that are commonly considered private. This justification should include the reasons why the agency considers the questions necessary, the specific uses to be made of the information, the explanation to be given to persons from whom the information is requested, and any steps to be taken to obtain their consent.

No such information is required to be reported under this rule.

12. Provide estimates of the hour burden of the collection of information. The statement should:

  • Indicate the number of respondents, frequency of response, annual hour burden, and an explanation of how the burden was estimated. Unless directed to do so, agencies should not conduct special surveys to obtain information on which to base hour burden estimates. Consultation with a sample (fewer than 10) of potential respondents is desirable. If the hour burden on respondents is expected to vary widely because of differences in activity, size, or complexity, show the range of estimated hour burden, and explain the reasons for the variance. Generally, estimates should not include burden hours for customary and usual business practices.

  • If this request for approval covers more than one form, provide separate hour burden estimates for each form and aggregate the hour burdens in Item 13 of OMB Form 83-I.

  • Provide estimates of annualized cost to respondents for the hour burdens for collections of information, identifying and using appropriate wage rate categories. The cost of contracting out or paying outside parties for information collection activities should not be included here. Instead, this cost should be included in Item 14.

  • Blasting and the Use of Explosives

    §1926.900(k) -- "Due precautions shall be taken to prevent accidential discharge of electric blasting caps from current induced by... radio transmitters.... These precautions shall include:

    [(k)(3)(i)] The prominent display of adequate signs, warning against the use of mobile radio transmitters, on all roads within 1,000 feet of blasting operations. Whenever adherence to the 1,000-foot distance would create an operational handicap, a competent person shall be consulted to evaluate the particular situation, and alternative provisions may be made which are adequately designed to prevent any premature firing of electric blasting caps. A description of any such alternatives shall be reduced to writing and shall be certified as meeting the purposes of this subdivision by the competent person consulted. The description shall be maintained at the construction site during the duration of the work, and shall be available for inspection by representatives of the Secretary of Labor."

Ground Rule

This provision requires the employer to post signs warning against the use of mobile radio transmitters near blasting operations or to certify and maintain records of alternative means developed to prevent the premature detonation of electric blasting caps by mobile radio transmitters.

Estimated Burden Hours

It is estimated that there are 3,000 construction sites each year where blasting operations covered by this provision take place. Although each site may have more than one blasting operation taking place, one set of signs or one plan could be developed that covers all blasting operations at each site.

In addition, it is estimated that signs would be inadequate to provide proper safety at 160 sites, and therefore, an alternative method of providing safety would have to be developed (such as closing down roads to vehicular traffic on a scheduled basis). It would take 7 hours and 55 minutes to develop such a plan and certify it. It is estimated that it would take 5 minutes to make the plan available upon request.

160 x 8 hours = 1,280 hours
number of sites with plans   time to develop plan   Burden Hours
COST: Using an hourly wage rate of $22.81(2) (which includes benefits), the cost to comply with this standard is as follows:
  1,280 total burden hours x $22.81 = $29,196.80

13. Provide an estimate of the total annual cost burden to respondents or recordkeepers resulting from the collection of information. (Do not include the cost of any hour burden shown in Items 12 and 14.)

  • The cost estimate should be split into two components: (a) a total capital and start-up cost component (annualized over its expected useful life); and (b) a total operation and maintenance and purchase of services component. The estimates should take into account costs associated with generating, maintaining, and disclosing or providing the information. Include descriptions of methods used to estimate major cost factors including system and technology acquisition, expected useful life of capital equipment, the discount rate(s), and the time period over which costs will be incurred. Capital and start-up costs include, among other items, preparations for collecting information such as purchasing computers and software; monitoring, sampling, drilling and testing equipment; and record storage facilities.

  • If cost estimates are expected to vary widely, agencies should present ranges of cost burdens and explain the reasons for the variance. The cost of purchasing or contracting out information collection services should be a part of this cost burden estimate. In developing cost burden estimates, agencies may consult with a sample of respondents (fewer than 10), use the 60-day pre-OMB submission public comment process and use existing economic or regulatory impact analysis associated with the rulemaking containing the information collection, as appropriate.

  • Generally, estimates should not include purchases of equipment or services, or portions thereof, made: (1) prior to October 1, 1995, (2) to achieve regulatory compliance with requirements not associated with the information collection, (3) for reasons other than to provide information or keep records for the government, or (4) as part of customary and usual business or private practices.

If signs can be used to provide the requisite safety, it would cost approximately $20 to purchase and install each sign. The number of signs required would vary for each worksite; however, it is estimated that at least four signs would be needed at each site.

2,840 x $20.00 x 4 = $227,200
number of sites   cost per sign   number of signs   Total cost

14. Provide estimates of the annualized cost to the Federal Government. Also, provide a description of the method used to estimate cost, which should include quantification of hours, operational expenses (such as equipment, overhead, printing, and support staff), and any other expense that would not have been incurred without this collection of information. Agencies also may aggregate cost estimates from Items 12, 13, and 14 into a single table.

The cost to the Federal Government associated with the collection of information requirements described in this supporting statement is $8.48. This cost is based on the average time (5 minutes (.08 hr.)) that a compliance officer (GS-12, step 5), with an hourly wage rate of $26.50, spends reviewing information at the time of an inspection. Information derived from recent OSHA enforcement data, dated October 1, 1997 through September 30, 1998, indicate that at least 4 inspections were made involving the collections covered in this supporting statement. Other occupational expenses, such as equipment, overhead, and support staff expenses, would have occurred without these collection of information requirements and are considered normal OSHA operating expenses.

15. Explain the reasons for any program changes or adjustments reported in Items 13 or 14 of the OMB Form 83-I.

There were no adjustments or program changes reported in this collection.

16. For collections of information whose results will be published, outline plans for tabulations, and publication. Address any complex analytical techniques that will be used. Provide the time schedule for the entire project, including beginning and ending dates of the collection of information, completion of report, publication dates, and other actions.

This question is not applicable as this information will not be published for statistical use.

17. If seeking approval to not display the expiration date for OMB approval of the information collection, explain the reasons that display would be inappropriate.

There are no forms on which to display the expiration date. OSHA lists all approved collections of information for construction under 29 CFR 1926.5.

18. Explain each exception to the certification statement identified in Item 19, "Certification for Paperwork Reduction Act Submissions," of OMB Form 83-I.

OSHA is not seeking exceptions to the certification statement in Item 19.

B. COLLECTION OF INFORMATION EMPLOYMENT STATISTICAL METHODS

The agency should be prepared to justify its decision not to use statistical methods in any case where such methods might reduce burden or improve accuracy of results. When Item 17 on the Form OMB 83-I is checked "Yes", the following documentation should be included in the Supporting Statement to the extent that it applies to the methods proposed:

1. Describe (including a numerical estimate) the potential respondent universe and any sampling or other respondent selection methods to be used. Data on the number of entities (e.g., establishments, State and local government units, households, or persons) in the universe covered by the collection and in the corresponding sample are to be provided in tabular form for the universe as a whole and for each of the strata in the proposed sample. Indicate expected response rates for the collection as a whole. If the collection had been conducted previously, include the actual response rate achieved during the last collection.

2. Describe the procedures for the collection of information including:

  • Statistical methodology for stratification and sample selection,

  • Estimation procedure,

  • Degree of accuracy needed for the purpose described in the justification,

  • Unusual problems requiring specialized sampling procedures, and

  • Any use of periodic (less frequently than annual) data collection cycles to reduce burden.

3. Describe methods to maximize response rates and to deal with issues of non-response. The accuracy and reliability of information collected must be shown to be adequate for intended uses. For collections based on sampling, a special justification must be provided for any collection that will not yield "reliable" data that can be generalized to the universe studied.

4. Describe any tests of procedures or methods to be undertaken. Testing is encouraged as an effective means of refining collections of information to minimize burden and improve utility. Tests must be approved if they call for answers to identical questions from 10 or more respondents. A proposed test or set of tests may be submitted for approval separately or in combination with the main collection of information.

5. Provide the name and telephone number of individuals consulted on statistical aspects of the design and the name of the agency unit, contractor(s), grantee(s), or other person(s) who will actually collect and/or analyze the information for the agency.

This is not applicable since there is no requirement for the collection of information employing statistical methods.


Footnote (1) The purpose of this supporting statement is to analyze and describe the burden hours and costs associated with provisions of the Standard that contain paperwork requirements, and does not provide information or guidance on how to comply with or to enforce the Standard. (Back to text)


Footnote (2) This figure was arrived at by taking an hourly wage rate of $16.49 for an average construction worker (from Employment and Earnings, January 1999, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and accounting for benefits of 38.3% (BLS, Employer Costs for Employee Compensation, March 1996)). (Back to text)