(29 CFR 1910.66)

blackball Federal Register [10/07/1998] #63:53930-53937
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

A. Justification

1. Explain the circumstances that make the collection of information necessary. Identify any legal or administrative requirements that necessitate 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 (29 U.S.C. 651 et. seq.) authorizes the promulgation of such health and safety standards as will be 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 accidents and illnesses."

OSHA's primary responsibility is to assure employees safe and healthful places of employment. As one means of achieving this objective, the Act authorizes the promulgation of mandatory safety and health standards that provide control measures for particular hazards. The Act and its legislative history recognize that record keeping by employers is necessary both for the enforcement of the Act and for developing information regarding the causes and prevention of occupational accidents and illnesses (29 U.S.C. 651 (12); 657(c)(1)). Pursuant to its statutory authority, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has several "collections of information" in its safety standard governing the use of powered platforms for building maintenance.

One of the information collection requirements is for the employer to develop written work procedures to be used to train employees (§1910.66(i)(1)(iv)). The employer would then prepare a certification record to verify that the training has been given (§1910.66(i)(1)(v)). The written work procedures would address the operation, safe use, and inspection of powered platforms.

Another information collection requirement is that employers develop a written emergency action plan for employees who work on powered platforms at different building sites (§1910.66(e)(9)). OSHA believes it is necessary for the employer to prepare for emergencies so that employees using powered platforms know what actions are required of them during emergency situations. Employers would also certify that employees had been trained in the emergency action plan.

Other information collection requirements are for the employer to perform certain maintenance inspections and tests (§§1910.66(g)(2)(i), (g)(2)(ii), (g)(3)(i), and (g)(5)(iii)). Employers would also certify that these inspections and tests had been conducted (§§1910.66(g)(2)(iii), (g)(3)(ii) and (g)(5)(v)).

The final group of information collection requirements in the standard pertains to a number of provisions requiring tags and labels. It has been general industry practice for the manufacturer or installer of powered platforms to provide these tags and labels. However, it is estimated that the manufacturers and installers will not provide these tags and labels 10 percent of the time.

Section 1910.66(f)(5)(i)(C) requires a load rating plate to be affixed to each suspended unit. Section 1910.66(f)(5)(ii)(N) requires the compartment for an emergency electric operating device to be labeled with instructions for use. Sections 1910.66(f)(7)(vi), 1910.66(f)(7)(vii), and 1910.66(f)(7)(viii) require the attachment of a tag on a suspension wire rope when it is installed, renewed or resocketed.

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

The major purpose of these information requirements for employers is to provide safety information and to insure comprehensive and uniform instruction of employees using powered platforms. If this information and instruction were not provided, employee training programs would be deficient and not contribute to the safe use of these platforms.

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

Employers may use improved information technology whenever appropriate when reporting or maintaining the organization statement.

4. Describe efforts to identify duplication. Show specifically why any similar information already available cannot be used or modified for use for the purpose(s) described in 2 above.

The collection of information is not a duplication of any other collection.

5. If the collection of information impacts small businesses or other small entities (Item 5 of OMB Form 83-1), describe the methods used to reduce the burden.

The burden of compliance with the information collection requirement is an equal obligation for all workplaces.

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.

The collection of information is for the purpose of employee safety and health in the workplace and is the minimum amount necessary and appropriate.

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 statue 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.

The requirements are within the guidelines set forth in 5 CFR 1320.6.

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.

As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA-95), the Agency published a Federal Register notice on June 19, 1998 (63 FR 33771) soliciting comments from the public and other interested parties on the information collection requirements contained in the standard on Powered Platforms for Building Maintenance (29 CFR 1910.66). The Agency received 15 comments in response to its notice.

All of the commenters supported the need for employers to collect the information required in the powered platform standard. Many of the commenters were under the mistaken impression that the Agency was revising the standard and planned to remove the information collection requirements and voiced opposition. The commenters spoke of the importance to worker safety and the need for written work procedures, emergency action plans, inspections, and certification records, noting that they did not create an undue burden. Only one commenter, Weatherguard Service, Inc., commented on OSHA's burden estimate. The commenter felt that OSHA's estimate was excessive; however, the commenter did not provide any documentation which would cause OSHA to change its calculations. Copies of all comments are attached.

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

No payments or gifts are provided to respondents, other than reenumeration, for services rendered by contractors or grantees.

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.

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.

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

  • Show 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 burdens, and explain the reasons for the variance. General 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 burdens estimates for each form and aggregate the hour burden in Item 13 of OMB Form 83-1.

  • 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.

The powered platform standard was promulgated in 1989 with some of the provisions based on the American National Standard A-120, a national consensus standard, which prescribed recommended practices for powered platforms. OSHA believes some of the collection of information requirements in this standard impose a one time burden only such as developing written work procedures and preparing emergency action plans. Others require the employer to perform activities that are considered a normal business practice such as inspecting and testing equipment. Under section 1320.3(b)(2) of OMB's implementing rules and regulations for PRA, OSHA can reduce its burden hour estimate for information collected in the normal course of business activities if the agency can demonstrate those practices are usual and customary. In the Federal Register notice requesting public comment on this paperwork package, OSHA specifically asked the public to comment on the 50 percent reduction it has assumed in calculating the burden hour estimates for inspections and tests of the powered platforms. OSHA believes inspecting and testing powered platforms is a usual and customary activity.

OSHA estimates (using figures from the regulatory impact analysis prepared in 1989) that there are now about 9,500 buildings with supports for powered platforms, that there are about 13,000 powered platforms, and that there are 8,150 employees employed by 900 employers.

  i§1910.66(e)(9) -- Written emergency action plan
  §1910.66(i)(1)(iv) -- Written work procedures

When the standard was first issued, all employers (900) operating powered platforms were required to prepare a written work procedure and develop an emergency plan. These employers may need to update those procedures and plans if conditions change (e.g., if they purchase additional platforms or rescue methods are going to be used). OSHA estimates that each employer will spend one hour every three years to update the procedures and plans.

900 x 1 hour/3 years = 300 burden hrs/yr.

OSHA is also including 8 hours for each new employer, meaning an employer who for the first time is using a powered platform, to develop written work procedures and emergency action plan. The exact number of new employers is unknown to OSHA. OSHA believes that as many as 50 new firms could be established annually.

50 firms x 8 hours = 400 burden hours

The standard also contains posting requirements such as placing plates, tags or labels on equipment.

  §1910.66(f)(5)(i)(C) -- Load rating plate
  §1910.66(f)(5)(ii)(N) -- Labeling of compartment
  §1910.66(f)(7)(vi) -- Attachment of tag on a suspension wire when installed
  §1910.66(f)(7)(vii) -- Attachment of tag on a suspension wire when renewed
  §1910.66(f)(7)(viii) -- Attachment of a tag on a suspension wire when resocketed

Specifically, the standard requires that a load rating plate and labeling of compartment be affixed on each suspended unit, an instruction label be placed on each emergency electric operating device and a tag be attached to each suspension wire rope. It is general practice (for liability reasons) for manufacturers and suppliers to provide these plates, tags and labels. However, new tags must be put on equipment at certain specified intervals and sometimes the plates and labels may become damaged and need to be replaced. OSHA is estimating that 10 percent of the platforms will require new plates or labels and replacement tags on the wire rope every year.

The best available information to OSHA indicates that there are 13,000 powered platforms currently in use and 370 new powered platforms installed annually; therefore, 1,337 (1,300 + 37) platforms require some activity under this standard every year. OSHA estimates that it takes 5 minutes (.08 hr.) to repost plates on platforms, if necessary, and 5 minutes (.08 hr.) to reattach labels if they need reposting. OSHA estimates it takes 20 minutes (.33 hr.) to replace tags on suspension wire ropes.

x .50 hr. = 669 burden hrs.

OSHA also requires employers to conduct inspections, tests and training and to prepare certification records. Certification records are required to show inspections: (1) of the building supports (once a year); (2) of the equipment used on the platform--the hoist, control systems, bearings, gears, and governors, for example (as recommended by the manufacturer or supplier, but at least once a year inspection and tested as needed); (3) of the installation of the platform (every 30 days or when used less frequently, before each work cycle); (4) of the wire rope every month or before being used; and (5) to demonstrate employee training.

  1910.66(g)(2)(i) -- Inspection and test of building support structures
  1910.66(g)(2)(ii) -- Inspection and testing of equipment on platform
  1910.66(g)(3) -- Inspection and/or test of the platform itself
  1910.66(g)(5)(iii) -- Inspection of suspension wire rope that are in service (in use) [idle ropes are inspected before being placed into service
  1910.66(i)(1)(v) -- Training certification record only. The training activity is written in performance-oriented language, thus, under PRA-95 no burden has been assessed for the actual training activity.

OSHA estimates the burden for all of the inspections and tests (with certification records) at 256,500 hours based on professional staff knowledge of the time it takes to perform the inspections and tests of the building supports, platform installation and platform equipment, including wire ropes, and to prepare the required certification records. OSHA believes about half of the burden it has calculated is a usual and customary burden to employers for the following reasons: (1) many employers rent powered platforms and the rental company supplies the documentation required by the OSHA standard as a usual and customary business practice; (2) insurance carriers require building owners to inspect the platform support system; (3) building owners, for their own liability, inspect the platform installation and equipment; (4) many states require building owners to make the same inspections that OSHA requires in its standard; and (5) there is a national consensus standard, ANSI A-120, which prescribes similar requirements which have been adopted by local and state officials and represents standard industry practice. In consideration of all of these factors, OSHA believes it would be reasonable to assume that 50 percent of the burden is usual and customary. For the purpose of this paperwork package, OSHA is reducing the burden to 128,250 hours for those inspections and tests (including certification records of the inspections and tests). In addition, there are 144 hours of burden for the training certification records.

Provision Respondents Time to conduct inspection/test, generate record, and maintain and disclose record Times per year inspection/test conducted Burden Hours
1910.66(g)(2)(i) 9,500 buildings 1 hour 1 9,500
1910.66(g)(2)(ii) 13,000 platforms 1 hour 1 13,000
1910.66(g)(3) 13,000 platforms 1 hour 12 156,000
1910.66(g)(5)(iii) 13,000 platforms .50 hr. 12 78,000
**As stated above, OSHA is assuming that 50 percent of the 256,500 burden hours are usual and customary, therefore, the total burden hours for the four provisions listed above are 128,250.
1910.66(i)(1)(v) 900 employers .08 hr. (maintain/disclose record only) 2 training sessions per year + 144
      BURDEN HOURS 128,394


  COST: Using an hourly wage rate of $23.16(1) (which includes benefits), the cost to comply with this standard is as follows:
    129,763 x $23.16 = $3,005,311

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 estimates of the total annual cost burden to respondents or recordkeepers resulting from this collection of information are included in Item 12.

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), 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 would be the compliance officers' hourly wage rate ($25.56) multiplied by the time it takes to ask for a collection of information (five minutes (0.08 hour)) or $2.04 per document per visit. 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 83-1.

The decrease in hours from 246,498 burden hours to 129,763 burden hours (-116,735) occurred because, in previous paperwork packages, OSHA had not taken into account usual and customary activities by the employer. Many of the inspection and test requirements are already conducted by building owners for liability reasons, required by insurance carriers, required by some states, etc. Thus, the burden hours which had been associated 29 CFR 1910.66 have been reduced significantly.

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.

No information collected will be published.

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.

OSHA is not seeking such approval.

18. Explain each exception to the certification statement identified in Item 19, "Certification for Paperwork Reduction Act Submissions," of OMB Form 83-1.

OSHA is not seeking any exceptions.


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) This figure was arrived at by taking an hourly wage rate of $16.59 for a manager (figure taken from Employment and Earnings, January 1997, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)) and accounting for benefits as well as wages by multiplying the figure by 1.396 (BLS, Employer Costs for Employee Compensation, March 1996). (Back to Text)