• Publication Date:
  • Publication Type:
  • Fed Register #:
  • Standard Number:
  • Title:
    Underground Construction -- Air Quality Record.


Occupational Safety and Health Administration

[Docket No. ICR-98-11]

Underground Construction--Air Quality Record

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Notice of proposed information collection; opportunity for public comment.

SUMMARY: The DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and information collection burdens, is conducting a preclearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on both current and proposed collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This program helps to ensure that reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection materials are clearly understood, impact of collection requirement on respondents can be accurately assessed, and requested data can be provided in the desired format. Currently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is soliciting comments concerning the proposed extension of the information collection requirements contained in 29 CFR 1926.800, which addresses underground construction.

The Agency is particularly interested in comments that:

  • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of OSHA's responsibilities, 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 (for example, permitting electronic submissions of responses).

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before August 18, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Comments are to be submitted to the Docket Office, Docket ICR-98-11, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210, (202) 219-7894. Written comments limited to 10 pages or less may be transmitted by facsimile to (202) 219-5046.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Laurence Davey, Directorate of Construction, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, Room N3621, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210, (202) 219-7207. Copies of the information collection requests are available for inspection and copying in the Docket Office and will be mailed to persons who request copies by telephoning Mr. Davey at (202) 219-7207 or Barbara Bielaski at (202) 219-8076. For electronic copies of the information collection request, contact OSHA's Web Page on Internet at http://www.osha.gov (click on Information Collection Requests).



The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) currently has approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the information collection (records) requirements contained in 29 CFR 1926.800(j)(3). The approval will expire on August 31, 1998, unless OSHA applies for an extension of the OMB approval. This notice initiates the process for OSHA to request an extension of the current OMB approval.

Under Sec. 1926.800(j)(3), employers are required to test the atmosphere at underground work locations, and prepare and retain a written record of these air quality test findings. The provision requires that employers retain the record aboveground at the job site until completion of the project, and make it available to the Secretary of Labor upon request. The record provides a means to check the effectiveness of ventilation at the site and to evaluate the need to modify ventilation or withdraw employees from a hazardous location.

In addition, under Sec. 1926.800(t)(3)(xxi), employers are required to inspect and test hoisting assemblies at the time of installation, after repairs or alterations, after safety devices have been tripped, and annually. Persons performing these inspections and load tests are to certify when the tests were performed, identify the hoist, and sign the certification (only the most recent certification must be maintained).

There are also seven provisions in Sec. 1926.800 that contain posting requirements: Employers are required to post warnings to notify employees when there are unused openings; a gassy atmosphere is present; testing results show that the atmosphere is dangerous; smoking or open flames are not allowed due to fire hazards; the ground is not stable; air lines are buried or hidden by water or debris; and when work is being done in a shaft normally used for hoisting.

In the request for an extension, OSHA is proposing to adjust the burden hours downward to reflect increased use of technologically advanced equipment for monitoring and advanced tunneling methods, such as microtunneling. The adjustment also reflects a reassessment of the estimated time to perform and record these air quality tests based upon discussions with OSHA compliance personnel and industry specialists who are knowledgeable about underground construction, as well as OSHA's inspection data.

Current Action

This notice requests public comment on OSHA's burden hour estimates prior to OSHA seeking Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval of the paperwork requirements in 29 CFR 1926.800(j)(3), as well as approval of provisions in Sec. 1926.800(t)(3)(xxi) and seven posting requirements in the standard.

Type of Review: Revision.

Agency: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

Title: Underground Construction (29 CFR 1926.800).

OMB Number: 1218-0067.

Agency Number: Docket No. ICR-98-11.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

Number of Respondents: 320.

Frequency: On Occasion.

Estimated Time Per Respondent: Ranges from 30 seconds to record monitoring results, up to 1 hour to inspection and certify hoisting assemblies.

Total Burden Hours: 8,357 hours.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.

Signed at Washington, D.C., this 15th day of June, 1998.

Charles N. Jeffress,
Assistant Secretary of Labor.

[FR Doc. 98-16384 Filed 6-18-98; 8:45 am]