• Publication Date:
  • Publication Type:
  • Fed Register #:
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  • Title:
    Safety Standards for Fire Protection for Shipyard Employment


Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR Part 1915

[Docket No. S-051]

RIN No. 1218-AB51

Safety Standards for Fire Protection for Shipyard Employment

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), U.S. Department of Labor.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting.

SUMMARY: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is announcing the second public meeting of the Fire Protection for Shipyard Employment Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Committee.

DATES: The public meeting will be held on February 4 through February 6, 1997. The sessions will run from 9:00 a.m. to approximately 4:00 p.m. each day.

Membership for this Committee has been drawn from shipyard operators, labor, professional associations, public interests and government agencies. Members of the Committee represent the interests of all groups interested in, or significantly affected by, the outcome of the rulemaking.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be in Jacksonville, Florida, at the Holiday Inn, 1617 North First Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32250; telephone numbers (904) 249-9071 and (800) 590-4767.

Any written comments in response to this notice should be sent, in quadruplicate, to the following address: Docket Office, Docket S-051, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210; Telephone (202) 219-7894.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Information and Consumer Affairs, Room N-3647, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210; Telephone: (202) 219-8151.


I. Background

Fire protection in shipyard employment has been regulated by OSHA'S general industry standards for fire protection, 29 CFR 1910.155 through 1910.165, Subpart L. In enforcement activities, OSHA has also used Section (5)(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety Health Act ("the Act"), the General Duty Clause, which requires each employer to,

furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm.

The general industry standards, which address fire brigades, portable fire extinguishers, standpipe and hose systems, automatic sprinkler systems, fixed extinguishing systems, fire detection systems, and employee alarm systems, cover primarily landside shipyard operations. Fire hazards on board vessels are not covered by the general industry standards. Moreover, the general industry standards are in need of review and revision and do not completely address hazards that are unique to shipyard employment. The Agency believes a standard promulgated under Sec. 6(b) of the Act will more effectively reduce the risks of fire in the shipyard and on board vessels.

OSHA is using the negotiated rulemaking (Neg/Reg) process to develop a proposed standard for fire protection covering all shipyard employment. The shipyard stakeholders from all sectors strongly support consensual rulemaking efforts like negotiated rulemaking. OSHA believes this process will result in a proposed standard whose provisions will effectively protect employees working throughout the shipyard. (See OSHA's Notice of Intent to Form a Negotiated Rulemaking Committee to Develop a Proposed Rule on Fire Protection in Shipyard Employment, 61 FR 28824, June 6, 1996, for a detailed explanation of why OSHA is using negotiated rulemaking to develop its proposed standard and for general information on the negotiated rulemaking process). The goal of this negotiated rulemaking is a proposed rule and supporting documentation that is acceptable to all members.

The first meeting of this Advisory Committee took place in Portland, Oregon, October 15-17, 1996. The Members were introduced and the negotiated rulemaking process and the legal requirements for OSHA rulemaking were explained to them. Following discussion, the Members adopted ground rules for the Committee. In addition, the Committee set forth substantive issues that needed to be resolved, established work groups and began discussing scope and application, fire prevention and fire fighting.

II. The Key Issues in this Rulemaking

The key issues to be addressed as part of these negotiations include:

1. Scope and Application
Should Subpart P apply to all shipyard employment? How will the standard affect out-of-yard/plant firefighters such as those employed by a municipal fire department?

2. Controls and Work Practices What controls and work practices will provide adequate protection for employees? Should OSHA require hot work permits? Should OSHA require training for all fire fighters? Should OSHA incorporate U.S. Coast Guard regulations in this standard? Is there any difference in controls and work practices on landside vs. onboard vessels and vessel sections? Should OSHA require the employer to secure (deactivate) all fire fighting systems onboard vessels when they arrive in the yard?

3. Fire Brigades
Should OSHA require each shipyard to have an in-yard/plant fire brigade?

4. Written Fire Plans
Should OSHA require written fire plans for landside and onboard vessels? If so, what provisions need to be included in the plans? Should OSHA include a requirement for de-watering (removal of firefighting water from the vessel) of vessels when fighting a fire on board a vessel?

5. Technological Advances
What advances in fire technology have occurred since OSHA's general industry standards were promulgated? Which of these advances should be incorporated into the shipyard standard?

6. Costs of Fire Protection
What costs would be incurred by shipyards in meeting the various provisions of a new standard? Calculations should include costs of acquiring new equipment, instituting new engineering controls and work practices, and costs of training employees. Are there cost savings or other benefits that could be expected with the promulgation of identical rules for all of shipyard employment? If so, what would be the magnitude of savings?

7. Appendices
Should OSHA include technical information in an appendix or appendices? If so, should it (they) be mandatory?

III. The Agenda for the February 4-6, 1996, Meeting

1. The meeting will be opened and the roll taken. 2. The minutes from the first meeting which was held October 15-17, 1996, in Portland, Oregon will be presented for acceptance by the Committee.

3. The tentative agenda for this meeting will be reviewed and changes made, if necessary.

4. The Fire Watches work group will present its draft regulatory text and preamble.

5. Each work group chairperson will report on his or her work group's progress.

6. The draft Scope and Application section will be presented for the Committee's review.

7. Breakout sessions will occur as needed throughout the meeting. 8. The Committee will establish the time and date for the next meeting.

The Advisory Committee's facilitator, relying on the information presented to him by OSHA as well as the considerable input from the various interests during convening efforts, will identify and present other substantive issues to be resolved by this Committee, as time permits. OSHA requests that all interested parties bring their calendars to facilitate the development of a tentative schedule of committee meetings, site visits and workgroup meetings.

IV. Public Participation

All interested parties are invited to attend this public meeting at the time and place indicated above. No advanced registration is required. Seating will be available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Individuals with disabilities wishing to attend should contact Ms. Theda Kenney at (202) 219-8061 to obtain appropriate accommodations no later than January 17, 1997.

In addition, members of the general public may request an opportunity to make oral presentations to the Committee. The facilitator of the Committee will decide to what extent oral presentations by members of the public may be permitted at the meeting. Oral presentations may include statements of fact and opinions, but shall not include any questioning of the Committee Members or other participants unless these questions have been specifically approved by the facilitator.

Part 1912 of Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations will apply generally. The reporting requirements of Sec. 1912.33 have been changed pursuant to Sec. 1912.42 to help meet the special needs of this Committee. Specifically, Sec. 1912.33 requires that verbatim transcripts be kept of all advisory committee meetings. Producing a coherent transcript requires a certain degree of formality. The Assistant Secretary has determined pursuant to Sec. 1912.42 that such formality might interfere with the free exchange of information and ideas during the negotiations, and that the OSH Act would be better served by simply requiring detailed minutes of the proceedings without a formal transcript.

Minutes of the previous meeting and materials prepared for the Committee will be available for public inspection at the OSHA Docket Office, N-2625, 200 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, D.C. 20210; Telephone (202) 219-7894.

Any written comments should be directed to Docket No. S-051, and sent in quadruplicate to the following address: OSHA Docket Office, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20210; Telephone (202) 219-7894.

V. Authority

This document was prepared under the direction of Joseph A. Dear, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210, pursuant to section 3 of the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1990, 104 Stat. 4969, Title 5 U.S.C. 561 et seq.; and Section 7(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 84 Stat. 1597, Title 29 U.S.C. 656.

Signed at Washington, D.C., this 24th day of December, 1996.

Joseph A. Dear,
Assistant Secretary of Labor.

[FR Doc. 96-33223 Filed 12-30-96; 8:45 am]