• Publication Date:
  • Publication Type:
  • Fed Register #:
  • Title:
    Proposed Information Collection Request


Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Proposed Information Collection Request

ACTION: Notice.

SUMMARY: The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A). This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is soliciting comments concerning the proposed new collection of information to develop the economic analysis for a hexavalent chromium rulemaking that the Agency us undertaking.

DATES: Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the addressee section below on or before November 18, 1996. The Department of Labor is particularly interested in comments which:

Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

ADDRESSES: Comments are to be submitted to the Docket Office, Docket No. ICR-96-14, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Ave, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20010, telephone (202) 219-7894 (not a toll-free number). Written comments of 10 pages or less may also be transmitted by facsimile to (202) 219-5046.


I. Background

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is currently developing a proposal for a revised standard for exposure to hexavalent chromium in response to a petition by the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Union (OCAW) and Public Citizen to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard under Section 6(c) of the OSH Act. The petition asked OSHA to reduce the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for hexavalent chromium to 0.5 ug/m(3) and to follow the Emergency Temporary Standard with a Section 6(b)(5) rulemaking. [The current OSHA PEL for chromium (VI) (Measured as CrO(3)) is 100 ug/m(3) as a ceiling limit (29 CFR 1910.1000 Table Z-2).] OSHA has initiated a Section 6(b)(5) rulemaking in response to the OCAW petition. The scope of the rulemaking will cover the General Industry, Agriculture, Construction, and Maritime sectors. To meet the requirements of OSHA case law, Executive Order 12866 and the Regulatory Flexibility Act, OSHA must develop an economic analysis (EA) for the standard. Under the OSH Act, the Agency must also demonstrate the economic and technological feasibility of the proposed standard.

To support its technological feasibility conclusions, OSHA must gather information on technological solutions for controlling hexavalent chromium exposure, including information on engineering controls, chemical substitution, process modifications, work practice controls, and personal protection equipment. OSHA particularly needs information linking data on the exposure control measures in use at the time of sampling and the levels of worker exposure to hexavalent chromium achieved with these controls in a wise variety of industries and job categories within these industries. Information of this type is essential in order to determine the technological feasibility of alternative PELs and to estimate the associated costs of compliance. The Agency proposes to conduct as many as 50 site visits to affected employers and to contact and interview by phone as many as 150 firms, trade associations, labor organizations, or experts.

II. Current Actions

The proposed collection of information consists of site visits to as many as 50 establishments within industries affected by the proposed standard and phone interviews with as many as 150 employers, trade associations, labor organizations, or experts in the field. Information to be sought by these site visits will consist of identification of processes that have exposures to hexavalent chromium; a description of the production technology, controls and occupations of each process; occupational exposure levels of employees at those processes; potential new technologies or controls that may reduce exposures; estimates of costs of current technology as wall as technology that could reduce exposure levels; and other means used to control or reduce exposure levels, such as administrative controls or work practices.

Type of Review: New. Agency: Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Title: Hexavalent Chromium Site Visits. OMB Number: None. Agency Number: ICR-96-14. Frequency: Once. Affected Public: Private businesses, federal government. Number of Respondents: 150. Estimated Time per Respondent: 30 hours, on average, for site visits; 1/2 hour on average for phone interviews.

Total Estimated Cost: $341,250. For Further Information Contact: Anne C. Cyr, Acting Director, Office of Information and Consumer Affairs, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3647, 200 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20210. Telephone (202) 219-8148. Copies of the information collection request are available for inspection and copying in the Docket Office and will be immediately mailed to persons who request copies by telephoning Vivian Allen at (202) 219-8076. For electronic copies, contact OSHA's Web Page on Internet at http://www.osha.gov/.

Dated: September 11, 1996.

Marthe Kent,

Director, Office of Regulatory Analysis, Directorate of Policy, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor.

Collection of information sought by OSHA for industries potentially affected by the proposed hexavalent chromium rulemaking:

1. Identification of processes or operations that may result in exposures to employees.

2. A description of the production process, its technology, and control technology.

3. A description of activities by occupation that result in worker exposures. How are employees exposed? During what work activities? What is the length and frequency of exposure?

4. How many employees work in each process with exposures to the substance in question? How many people are in each occupation at that process?

5. What data is available of exposure levels of each occupation of the process? Is historical data available?

6. What technology or controls are capable of reducing exposures? What exposure levels could be achieved with other control technologies? Are there substitutes for hexavalent chromium? Are there other technologies employed by the industry?

7. Are the changes in administrative controls or work practices that could affect employee exposures?

8. Estimates of the cost of the various means of reducing occupational exposure levels. Estimates of the cost current controls.

9. General information from the establishment on number of employees, number of production employees, products and production levels.

10. Information about the technology, controls, and exposures for the rest of the industry.

11. What are the economic benefits of installing production technology that reduces exposures?

[FR Doc. 96-23783 Filed 9-16-96; 8:45 am]