SUPPORTING STATEMENT FOR PAPERWORK REDUCTION
ACT 1995 SUBMISSIONS

WALKING-WORKING SURFACES
(29 CFR 1910.21-30)


Blueball Federal Register [09/30/1998] #63:52298-52300
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 collections of information contained in the Walking-Working Surfaces standard are necessary to protect workers from the collapse of overloaded floors and the failure of defective portable metal ladders. This standard was promulgated under the authority in section 6(a) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Section 8 of the Act provides for appropriate reporting and recordkeeping procedures.

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 collected is used by employers and employees to be aware of load limits of the floors of newly constructed buildings, the location of permanent aisles and passageways in these buildings, and defective portable metal ladders. Once the floor loading signs are posted, there is no need to change them unless structural conditions change or if the signs become lost, removed, or defaced. Once a portable metal ladder is marked as defective, it must be removed from service and either repaired or destroyed. Repaired portable metal ladders may be returned to service and the markings removed. The tags or signs used to mark the defective ladders may be used over and over again.

In addition, a copy of the drawings and specifications of an outrigger scaffold not constructed and erected in accordance with table D-16 of the standard and designed by a licensed professional engineer must be maintained by the employer. The drawings and specifications are used by the employer and OSHA compliance officers to show the sizes and spacing of members.

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.

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 collections of information are not a duplication of any other collections. However, local building officials may require the posting of floor load limit signs which would also meet this requirement and would not be an additional burden on employers.

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), OSHA published a Federal Register notice on June 26, 1998 (63 FR 34933, Docket No. ICR-98-26) soliciting comments from the public and other interested parties on the information collection requirements contained in its standard on Walking-Working Surfaces (29 CFR 1910.21-30). This 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.
It is estimated that 200,000 new places of employment are constructed annually. OSHA estimates that only 5 percent (10,000) of these new places constructed are non-commercial (e.g., manufacturing, etc., which would require aisles and passageways to be marked). OSHA estimates that it would take approximately two hours to mark these aisles and passageways.

  §1910.22(b)(2) -- Permanent aisles and passageways shall be appropriately marked.


10,000 x 2 hours = 20,000
aisles/passageways   to mark   burden hours


  §1910.22(d)(1) -- In every building or other structure, or part thereof, used for mercantile, business, industrial, or storage purposes, the loads approved by the building official shall be marked on plates of approved design which shall be supplied and securely affixed by the owner of the building, or his duly authorized agent, in a conspicuous place in each space to which they relate. Such plates shall not be removed or defaced but, if lost, removed, or defaced, shall be replaced by the owner or his agent.


OSHA also estimates that 80 percent of these new facilities would already be required by local building officials to post floor loading limit signs even if OSHA did not have the requirement to do so. This would leave 40,000 new places of employment that would need these signs to meet OSHA requirements. Additionally, OSHA recognizes that, on occasion, some of these signs may need to be reposted if they are lost, removed or defaced. OSHA has no information on the number of signs which may have to be replaced and is, therefore, using an estimate of one percent of the 40,000 places of employment (400) for those signs needing to be replaced. OSHA estimates that it will take 20 minutes (.33 hr.) to secure the sign (call the building officials) and to post it.

(40,000    +    400) x .33 hr. =     13,332
places of employment       burden hours


  1910.26(c)(2)(vii) -- Ladders having defects are to be marked and taken out of service until repaired by either maintenance department or the manufacturer.


It is estimated that 10,000 portable metal ladders become defective annually and need to be marked with a tag or other means. These marked ladders are either repaired or destroyed and would no longer need to be marked. OSHA estimates that it takes three minutes (.05 hr.) to mark or tag a defective ladder.

10,000 x .05 hr = 500
ladders       burden hours


  1910.28(e)(3) -- Unless outrigger scaffolds are designed by a licensed professional engineer, they shall be constructed and erected in accordance with table D-16. Outrigger scaffolds designed by a registered professional engineer shall be constructed and erected in accordance with such design. A copy of the detailed drawings and specifications showing the sizes and spacing of members shall be kept on the job.


If an outrigger scaffold is constructed and erected in accordance with table D-16, a licensed professional engineer is not needed. Of the 200,000 new buildings constructed annually, OSHA estimates that only 1 percent (2,000) would have outrigger scaffolds. About 95 percent of these scaffolds (1,900) will be constructed and erected in accordance with table D-16. Thus, only 5 percent of the 2,000 buildings (100) with outrigger scaffolds will be designed by a licensed professional engineer and copy of the drawings and specifications maintained by the employer. OSHA estimates that it takes one minute (.02 hr.) to maintain the drawings and specifications and two minutes (.03 hr.) to disclose it upon request.

100 x   .05 hr. = 5 burden hours
Drawing/specs.   Maintain/disclosure    


  TOTALS BURDEN HOURS: 33,837


  COST: Using an hourly wage rate of $26.93(1) (which includes benefits), the cost to comply with this standard is as follows:
    33,837 burden hours x $26.93 = $911,230
13. Provide an estimate of the total annual cost burden to respondents or record keepers 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 burdens to respondents or record keepers 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 hours)) or $2.04 per document per visit. Other occupational expenses, such as equipment, overhead, and support staff expenses, would have occurred without this 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 166,996 burden hours (from 200,833 to 33,837 burden hours) associated with the collections of information in the Walking and Working Surfaces standard. An explanation of this decrease follows.

In previous paperwork packages, the Agency has taken a burden to mark permanent aisles and passageways in 200,000 new places of employment annually. Recently, however, it was pointed out by field staff that only an estimated five percent of these new constructed facilities are non-commercial (e.g., manufacturing, etc.), that would require aisles and passageways to be marked. In addition, OSHA believes that the requirement to post floor loading limit signs is already required by local building codes and that a vast majority of new facilities would post the signs even if not required by OSHA to do so.

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.

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 burdens 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 $19.29 for a supervisory construction 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)