Occupational Safety and Health Administration

[Docket No. ICR-1218-0069(2001)]

Commercial Diving-Operations Standards (29 CFR part 1910, subpart T); Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's Approval of Information-Collection (Paperwork) Requirements

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION: Request for comments.

SUMMARY: OSHA solicits comments concerning its request to increase the total burden-hour estimate for, and to extend OMB approval of, the collection-of-information requirements specified by the Commercial Diving-Operations Standards (29 CFR part 1910, subpart T).(1) These standards specify paperwork requirements for equipment and procedures that expose employees to hazards associated with diving and diving-support operations, and that apply to general industry, construction, ship repairing, shipbuilding, shipbreaking, and longshoring.

DATES: Submit written comments on or before December 3, 2001.

ADDRESSES: Submit written comments to the Docket Office, Docket No. ICR-1218-0069(2001), OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2350. Commenters may transmit written comments of 10 pages or less by facsimile to (202) 693-1648.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Theda Kenney, Directorate of Safety Standards Programs, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3609, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2222. A copy of the Agency's Information-Collection Request (ICR) supporting the need for the information collections specified by the Commercial-Diving Operations Standards is available for inspection and copying in the Docket Office, or by requesting a copy from Theda Kenney at (202) 693-2222 or Todd Owen at (202) 693-2444. For electronic copies of the ICR, contact OSHA on the Internet at and select "Information Collection Requests."


I. Background

The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent (i.e., employer) burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing information-collection requirements in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA-95) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This program ensures that information is in the desired format, reporting burden (time and costs) is minimal, collection instruments are understandable, and OSHA's estimate of the information-collection burden is correct.

The following provisions of the Commercial-Diving Operations Standards (the "Standards") contain paperwork requirements: §§ 1910.401(b); 1910.410(a)(3) and (a)(4); 1910.420(a) and (b); 1910.421(b), (f), and (h); 1910.422(e); 1910.423(b)(1)(ii) through (b)(2), (d), and (e); 1910.430(a), (b)(4), (c)(1)(i), (c)(3)(i), (f)(3)(ii), and (g)(2); and 1910.440(a)(2) and (b). These provisions ensure that employers: Notify OSHA if they deviate from the operational requirements of the Standards; train every diver in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid, and mixed-gas divers (and those who control exposure of divers to mixed-gas breathing conditions) in diving-related physics and physiology; develop and make available to employees a safe-practices manual; maintain a list of emergency telephone or call numbers at the diving location; brief dive-team members on diving-related tasks, safety procedures, hazards, and revisions to operating procedures; display a code flag "A" if diving from a surface other than a vessel in navigable waters; develop and maintain a depth-time profile for each dive; and instruct divers on reporting diving-related illnesses and injuries, and the procedures specified for detecting, treating, and preventing these problems.

The Standards also mandate that employers: Record and maintain diving logs that contain required information; investigate, and provide a written evaluation of, any incident involving decompression sickness; mark diving umbilicals as required; inspect, test, and calibrate specified diving equipment; record modifications, repairs, tests, calibrations, and maintenance performed on any diving equipment; make a record of diving-related injuries and illnesses that result in a diver remaining in a hospital for over 24 hours; and establish, and disclose to specific parties on request, the written records required by the Standard, and maintain these records for delineated periods.

The Standards' paperwork requirements allow employers to deviate from established diving practices and tailor diving operations to unusually hazardous diving conditions, and to analyze diving records (including hospitalization and treatment records) for information they can use to improve diving operations. These requirements are also a direct and efficient means for employers to inform dive-team members about diving-related hazards, procedures to use in avoiding and controlling these hazards, and recognizing and treating diving-related illnesses and injuries. Additionally, employers can review equipment records to ensure that employees performed the required actions, and that the equipment is in safe working order.

Disclosing the records to employees and their designated representatives permits them to identify operational and equipment conditions that may contribute to diving accidents or diving-related medical conditions. Moreover, the records provide the most efficient means for OSHA compliance officers to determine that employers are performing the regulatory requirements of the Standards.

II. Special Issues for Comment

OSHA has a particular interest in comments on the following issues:

  • Whether the proposed information-collection requirements are necessary for the proper performance of the Agency's functions, including whether the information is useful;

  • The accuracy of OSHA's estimate of the burden (time and costs) of the information-collection requirements, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

  • The quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and

  • Ways to minimize the burden on employers who must comply; for example, by using automated or other technological information-collection and -transmission techniques.

III. Proposed Actions

OSHA proposes to increase the existing burden-hour estimate, and to extend the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval, of the collection-of-information requirements specified by the Standards. In this regard, the Agency is requesting to increase the current burden-hour estimate from 91,326 hours to 205,248 hours, a total increase of 113,922 hours. This increase largely occurred because this ICR accounts for paperwork requirements in the Standards not included in the previous ICR. OSHA will summarize the comments submitted in response to this notice, and will include this summary in its request to OMB to extend the approval of these information-collection requirements.

Type of Review: Extension of a currently-approved information-collection requirement.

Title: Commercial-Diving Operations Standards (29 CFR part 1910, subpart T).

OMB Number: 1218-0069.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit; not-for-profit institutions; Federal Government; State, local, or tribal governments.

Number of Respondents: 3,000.

Frequency of Recordkeeping: On occasion; annually.

Average Time per Response: Varies from one minute (.02 hour) to retain a specified record to two hours to provide OSHA with written notification regarding deviations from regulatory requirements.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 205,248.

Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $0.

IV. Authority and Signature

John L. Henshaw, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, directed the preparation of this notice. The authority for this notice is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506) and Secretary of Labor's Order No. 3-2000 (65 FR 50017).

Signed at Washington, DC, on September 21, 2001.

John L. Henshaw,
Assistant Secretary of Labor.

[FR Doc. 01-24653 Filed 10-2-01; 8:45 am]


Footnote (1) Based on its assessment of the paperwork requirements contained in these standards, the Agency estimates that the total burden hours increased compared to its previous burden-hour estimate. Under this notice, OSHA is not proposing to revise these paperwork requirements in any substantive manner, only to increase the burden hours imposed by the existing paperwork requirements. (Back to text)