Federal Register Federal Register [07/15/1997] #62:37938-37939
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Respiratory Protection

  1. 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 (OSH Act) main objective is to "... assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources." As one means in achieving this objective, the Act specifically authorizes "the development and promulgation of occupational safety and health standards" to ensure that employees will be furnished "employment and a place of employment ... free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm."

      The statute specifically authorizes recordkeeping by employers as "necessary or appropriate for the enforcement of the Act or for developing information regarding causes and prevention of occupational accidents and illnesses." The Act further makes appropriate provisions for OSHA to have access to these records in order to effectively determine whether or not employees are adversely affected by exposures [29 U.S.C. 651(b)(12); 657(c)(1)].

      Pursuant to OSHA's statutory authority, under section 6(b) of the OSH Act, OSHA promulgated a health standard governing the use of respiratory protective equipment to control occupational diseases caused by breathing air contaminated with harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, or vapors (29 CFR 1910.134).

      The specific information collection requirements of this standard are outlined below and fully discussed under questions 2 and 12.

    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.

      Respiratory Protection Program [§1910.134(b)]

      When respirators are provided to protect the health of employees, employers are required to establish and maintain a respiratory protection program. As part of this program, the standard requires employers to develop written standard operating procedures governing the selection and use of respirators (§1910.134(b)(1)). In addition, the employer is required to prepare written procedures covering the safe use of respirators in dangerous atmospheres that might be encountered during normal operations or in emergencies (§1910.134(e)(3)). This is to ensure that workers are knowledgeable concerning the safe operation and use of respirators.

      Emergency Use Respirator Inspection and Certification [§1910.134(f)(2)(I) and (iv)]

      Employers must keep records on emergency-use respirators. These records must include inspection dates and findings. Respirators that are maintained for emergency use must be inspected after each use and at least monthly (§1910.134(f)(2)(I) and (iv). A respirator inspection includes a check of the tightness of connections and the condition of the facepiece, headbands, valves, connecting tube, and canisters as well as a check of rubber or elastomer parts pliability and signs of deterioration.

      The standard also requires inspection of respirators during cleaning (§1910.134(b)(7)) and frequent random inspections of the program (§1910.134(e)(4)). However, neither of these activities are required to be recorded, so no information collection burden has been attributed to these provisions.

      Emergency Use Respirator Marking Requirements [1910.134(f)(5)(I)]

      The standard requires that emergency use respirators be stored in such compartments and protective covers shall be clearly marked as containing emergency respirators and shall be used in accordance with any applicable manufacturer instructions. The purpose of this collection is to ensure that employees are aware of the proper procedures governing emergency use respirators.

      Gas mask canisters having a special high-efficiency filter for protection against radionuclides and other highly toxic particulates must be labeled with a statement of the type and degree of protection afforded by the filter. (The degree of protection must be shown as the percent of penetration of the canister by a .3-micron-diameter dioctyl phthalate smoke at a flow rate of 85 liters per minute (§1910.134(g)(4)). In addition, each canister must have a label warning that gas masks should be used only in atmospheres containing sufficient oxygen to support life (at least 16 percent by volume) since gas mask canisters are only designed to neutralize or remove contaminants from the air (§1910.134(g)(5)).

    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 making, keeping and preserving the required records. The standard is written in performance language, i.e., in terms of what data must be collected rather than how data must be collected.

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

      The information required to be collected and maintained is specific to each employer and employee involved and is not available or duplicated by another source. The information required by this standard is available only from employers. At this time, there is no indication that any alternate source is available.

    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 burden of these requirements is an equal obligation for employers who have establishments or operations in which exposure could occur. Because of the manner in which the standard is written, employers can choose to respond to this requirement in a way that is best suited to their work environment. The requirements are based on performance, and compliance is judged accordingly. There are no set requirements for how the information is documented or maintained.

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

      The information collection frequencies specified by this standard are the minimum OSHA believes necessary to ensure that the employer and OSHA can effectively monitor the health status of employers working with toxic substances.

    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 a statistical data classification that has not been reviewed and approved by OMB;

      • that includes a pledge of confidentiality 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 demonstrate that it has instituted procedures to protect the information's confidentiality to the extent permitted by law.

      There are no circumstances which would require the collection of information to be collected in the manner discussed above.

    8. If applicable, provide a copy and identify the data 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 prior to submission to OMB. Summarize public comments received in response to that notice and describe actions taken by the agency in response to these comments. Specifically address comments received on cost and hour burden.

      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, disclosed, 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 3 years -- even if the collection of information activity is the same as in prior periods. There may be circumstances that may preclude consultation in a specific situation. These circumstances should be explained.

      The nature of the rulemaking process provided opportunities for the public, industry, labor, and other interested federal and state agencies to provide input on all aspects of the standard including information collection requirements. The final rule was published on June 27, 1974.

      As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Agency will review and address comments received public on the Respiratory Protection Information Collection Request.

    9. Explain any decision to provide any payment or gift to respondents, other than reenumeration 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.

      There are no provisions in this standard requiring the assurance of confidentiality; therefore, this question is not applicable.

    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 form whom the information is requested, and any steps to be taken to obtain their consent.

      There are no provisions in this standard requiring that questions of a sensitive nature be asked; therefore, this question is not applicable.

    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.

      Basic Assumptions

      Total Number of Employers = 1,300,000

      New Employers Entering Industry 10% of 1,300,000 = 130,000

      Supervisory Wage Rate = $23.16 per hour

      Worker Wage Rate = $17.84 per hour

      Secretarial Wage Rate = $13.00 per hour

      Summary of Burden Hours and Costs
      Information Collection Requirement Current OMB Inventory Requested Burden Change Estimated Cost
      Respiratory Protection Program 395,489 1,040,000 644,511 $23,888,800
      Emergency-Use Respirator Certification 785,842 125,644 -660,198 $2,241,132
      Emergency-Use Respirator Marking 433 448 15 $7,992
      Adjustments 1 - -1  
      TOTALS 1,181,765 1,166,092 -15,673 $26,137,924

      Written Respiratory Protection Program [§1910.134(b)]

      The standard requires employers to develop a written program. The burden would be derived by multiplying the total number of new employers by the time needed to develop the program. To update the program, the burden is derived from taking the total number of employers and multiplying it by the time needed to update the program.

      For Existing Employers

      The Agency is assuming that all of the existing employers already are in compliance with this requirement, therefore only the new firms would have to develop the written program. Therefore, the Agency is assuming the following:

      New Employers

      The Agency is assuming a 10% start-up rate for new employers, and it takes new employers 8 hours to develop a written respiratory protection program. The Agency recognizes that the previous assumption made of 32 hours was conceivable then when the standard was promulgated (1971), but for now 8 hours seems much more realistic. Thus the burden is as follows:

      130,000 Employers x 8 hours to Develop Pgrm = 1,040,000 Burden Hours
      1,040,000 Burden Hours x $22.97 = $23,888,800

      Emergency Use Respirator Inspection and Certification [§1910.134(h)(3)(iv)(A)&(B)]

      The standard requires that the employer certify in writing the inspection of respirators maintained for emergency use. The Agency assumes that it will take ten minutes of employee time to perform the inspection and complete this written certification record. The Agency is assuming that the employers would simply place a tag or label on the storage compartment of the respirator with the necessary information. According to the Office of Regulatory Analysis, the estimated number of employers using emergency-use respirators will be 27,995. These respirators must be inspected monthly. Thus the burden is as follows:

      27,995 Employers x 2 Emerg. Use Respirators x 12 Inspections/Yr x .17 hour = 114,220 Burden Hours
      114,220 Burden Hours x $17.84 = $2,037,685

      New Employers

      2 Emergency Use Respirators x 2,800 New Employers x 12 Inspections/Yr x .17 hour = 11,424 Burden Hours
      11,424 Burden Hours x $17.84 = $203,804

      Emergency Use Respirator Marking [§1910.134(f)(5)(I)]

      The standard requires that emergency use respirators be stored in compartments, and these compartments and protective covers shall be clearly marked as containing emergency respirators and shall be used in accordance with any applicable manufacturer instructions. The agency assumes that it would take an employee 5 minutes to mark the compartment and protective cover. The Agency is assuming that the existing firms have complied with this requirement, thus no burden is attributed for them for this requirement. Thus the burden for new employers is as follows:

      2 Emergency Use Respirators x 2,800 Employers x .08 hour = 448 Burden Hours
      448 Burden Hours x $17.84 = $7,992

    1. 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), utilize 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.

      There are no costs other than those under number 12.

    2. Provide estimates of 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 in a single table.

      The Agency assumes that it will take a compliance officer who earns $24.00 per hour 10 minutes to review the records. Therefore, the cost to the Federal Government related to inspections is as follows:

      1939 inspections x $24.00 x .17 hour = $7,911

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

      The agency requests that the current inventory of 1,181,765 burden hours be adjusted down by 15,673 burden hours, for a total requested burden of 1,166,092 burden hours. The reasons for this change are primarily due to changes in the universe of employers, employees, and agency time assumptions.

      Written Respiratory Protection Program -
      The Agency assumes that only the new employers will have to comply with this requirement. Therefore, the universe of new employers is 10% of the total universe of employers.
      Emergency Use Respirator Certification -
      This will consist of current employers and new employers (10% of the current employers using emergency use respirators)
      Emergency Use Respirator Marking -
      The Agency assumes that current employers have already complied with this requirement, thus only new employers will have to mark their storage compartments. Thus only 10% of the total number of employers will have to comply with the requirement.
    4. For collections of information whose results will be published, outline plans for tabulation, 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 collection of information will have no results that will be published for statistical use.

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

      The collection of information will display a valid OMB Control Number.

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

      The collection of information does not request any exemptions form the certification statement identified in Item 19 "Certification for Paperwork Reduction Act Submissions": OMB Form 83-I.
  1. 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:
  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

    The information collection requirements of the Respiratory Protection standard do not employ statistical methods, therefore, this section is not applicable.