(29 CFR 1910.145)

Federal Register 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.

Public Law 91-576, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the Act), establishes the responsibility and authority of the Secretary of Labor to develop and promulgate occupational safety and health standards that assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women. Section 8 of the Act provides for appropriate reporting and recordkeeping procedures necessary for the administration of the Secretary's responsibility and authority.

Section 1910.145, Specifications for accident prevention signs and tags, applies to the design, application, and use of signs or symbols to indicate and to define specific hazards of a nature such that failure to designate them may lead to accidental injury to workers or the public, or both, or to property damage. Paragraph 1910.145(f)(3) requires employers to use accident prevention tags to identify hazardous or potentially hazardous conditions, equipment or operations. Paragraph 1910.145(f)(4) outlines general tag criteria for the tags being used. The tags are required to contain signal words such as "Danger," "Caution,"or "Biological Hazard," "BIOHAZARD," or the biological hazard symbol. In addition to the signal word, the tag shall also contain a "major message" (i.e., Caution -- Broken Rung). The employer must take time to evaluate a workplace condition and decide whether it is hazardous or potentially hazardous.

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 information concerning the degree of hazard associated with a workplace condition is used by the employer to select the type of accident prevention tag (sign) to be used on a workplace hazard. The tag (sign) selected will identify the workplace hazard and convey the severity of hazard and any accident prevention instruction to the employee.

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.

This standard recognizes the use of symbols or pictographs as either an alternative or adjunct method of communicating a tag's major message to employees. The Agency has concluded that the use of pictographs may enhance workplace safety and reduce the disclosure of information burden by providing information in a format that can be more easily understood than written text. This is particularly true in workplaces where language barriers may hinder an employee's ability to comprehend a written message.

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.

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

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 requirements 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 information collection frequency specified is the minimum amount necessary.

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), OSHA published a Federal Register notice on July 28, 1998 (63 FR 40319, Docket No. ICR-98-33) soliciting comments from the public and other interested parties on the information collection requirements contained in its standard on Accident Prevention Tags (29 CFR 1910.145). The notice was part of a preclearance consultation program intended to provide those interested parties the opportunity to comment on OSHA's request for extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval of the information collection requirements found in the above standard. The Agency received no comments on its proposed information collection request.

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.
OSHA estimates that there are approximately 7,000,000 workplaces, with about 80 percent of those in general industry (5,600,000). Several general industry safety and health standards in 29 CFR part 1910 require employers in those workplaces to provide and post signs (tags) identifying specific safety or health hazards. Some of these general industry standards contain the specific message that signs should carry. In the others, the employer must decide what message the sign should have. Since this standard does not, by itself, require the posting of signs, OSHA is not assuming a burden under this standard for the posting of signs. That burden lies with the standard that requires the posting of the sign. However, this standard (29 CFR 1910.145) contains the design and lettering criteria for unique, customized signs that employers must use to meet the various non-specific posting requirements in part 1910. Therefore, OSHA believes that this standard creates some level of a paperwork burden. That burden exists only where the employer must decide what message a sign should carry. OSHA has found that, as a usual and customary activity, most workplaces will have preprinted, generic signs with appropriate signal words and major messages available for use in the workplace. OSHA does not believe that the selection and use of these signs create a burden under this standard because these signs are preprinted and are typically used to identify known hazards. There is no need for the employer to decide what information must be on the sign. For example, the employer may tag a broken ladder with a preprinted, generic "Danger -- Do Not Use" tag or post a sign "Caution -- Do Not Enter" at the entrance to an unsafe area. It is only when employers have identified a unique hazard that they need to design and letter a unique tag or sign. In such cases, this standard contains the criteria that the employer must use in the design and lettering of that unique sign. OSHA believes that this is the only case under this standard where we create a burden for the employer. OSHA estimates that this will occur in approximately 2 percent of the general industry workplaces covered by this rule. OSHA further estimates that it will take three minutes (.05 hr.) to decide what information needs to be put on the sign and to put that information on the sign.

x 2% x .05
=    5,600
Burden Hrs.


COST: Using an hourly wage rate of $22.31(1) (which includes benefits), the cost to comply with this standard is as follows:

5,600 burden hours x $22.31 = $124,936

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 (5 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.

There is a decrease of 24,625 burden hours (from 30,225 to 5,600 burden hours) associated with the collections of information in the standard for Accident Prevention Tags and Signs. This decrease occurred because, in previous paperwork packages, OSHA had not taken into account usual and customary activities by the employer.

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 $15.98 for a supervisory manufacturing worker (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)