• Publication Date:
  • Publication Type:
  • Fed Register #:
  • Standard Number:
  • Title:
    OSHA-7 Form ("Notice of Alleged Safety and Health Hazards"); Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) Requirements

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

[Docket No. ICR-1218-0064(2004)]

OSHA-7 Form ("Notice of Alleged Safety and Health Hazards"); Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) Requirements

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION: Request for public comment.

SUMMARY: OSHA solicits comments concerning its request for an extension of the information collection requirements specified by the OSHA-7 Form.

DATES: Comments must be submitted by the following dates:

Hard Copy: Your comments must be submitted (postmarked or received) by October 26, 2004.

Facsimile and electronic transmission: Your comments must be received by October 26, 2004.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by OSHA Docket No. ICR-1218-0064(2004), by any of the following methods:

Regular mail, express delivery, hand-delivery, and messenger service: Submit your comments and attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, Room N-2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2350 (OSHA's TTY number is (877) 889-5627). The OSHA Docket Office and Department of Labor hours of operation are 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., ET.

Facsimile: If your comments, including any attachments, are 10 pages or fewer, you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648.

Electronic: You may submit comments through the Internet at http://ecomments.osha.gov. Follow instructions on the OSHA Web page for submitting comments.

Docket: For access to the docket to read or download comments or background materials, such as the complete Information Collection Request (ICR) (containing the Supporting Statement, OMB-83-I Form, and attachments), go to OSHA's Web page at http://OSHA.gov. Comments, submissions and the ICR are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office at the address above. You may also contact Todd Owen at the address below to obtain a copy of the ICR.

(For additional information on submitting comments, please see the "Public participation" heading in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.)

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Todd Owen, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, OSHA, Room N-3609, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2222.


I. Submission of Comments on This Notice and Internet Access to Comments and Submissions

You may submit comments and supporting materials in response to this document by (1) hard copy, (2) FAX transmission (facsimile), or (3) electronically through the OSHA Web page.

Because of security related problems, there may be a significant delay in the receipt of comments by regular mail. Please contact the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-2350 (TTY (877) 889-5627) for information about security procedures concerning the delivery of materials by express delivery, hand delivery and messenger service.

All comments, submissions and background documents are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office at the above address. Comments and submissions posted on OSHA's Web page are available at http://www.OSHA.gov. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about materials not available through the OSHA Web page and for assistance using the Web page to locate docket submissions.

Electronic copies of this Federal Register notice as well as other relevant documents are available on OSHA's Web page.

II. 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 clearly understood, and OSHA's estimate of the information collection burden is accurate. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the Act) (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.) authorizes information collection by employers as necessary or appropriate for enforcement of the Act or for developing information regarding the causes and prevention of occupational injuries, illnesses, and accidents (29 U.S.C. 657).

Under paragraphs (a) and (c) of 29 CFR 1903.11 ("Complaints by employers") employees and their representatives may notify the OSHA area director or an OSHA compliance officer of safety and health hazards regulated by the Agency that they believe exist in their workplaces at any time. These provisions state further that this notification must be in writing and "shall set forth with reasonable particularity the grounds for the notice, and shall be signed by the employee or representatives of the employee."

Along with providing specific hazard information to the Agency, paragraph (a) permits employees/employee representatives to request an inspection of the workplace. Paragraph (c) also addresses situations in which employees/employee representatives may provide the information directly to the OSHA compliance officer during an inspection. An employer's former employees may also submit complaints to the Agency.

To address the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (c), especially the requirement that the information be in writing, the Agency developed the OSHA-7 Form; this form standardized and simplified the hazard-reporting process. For paragraph (a), they may complete an OSHA-7 Form obtained from the Agency's Web site and then send it to OSHA on-line, or deliver a hardcopy of the form to the OSHA area office by mail or facsimile, or by hand. They may also write a letter containing the information and hand-deliver it to the area office, or send it by mail or facsimile. In addition, they may provide the information orally to the OSHA area office or another party (e.g., a Federal safety and health committee for Federal employees), in which case the area office or other party completes the hardcopy version of the form. For the typical situation addressed by paragraph (c), an employee/employee representation informs an OSHA compliance officer orally of the alleged hazard during an inspection, and the compliance officer then completes the hardcopy version of the OSHA-7 Form; occasionally, the employee/employee representative provides the compliance officer with the information on the hardcopy version of the OSHA-7 Form.

The information in the hardcopy version of the OSHA-7 Form includes information about the employer and alleged hazards, including: The establishment's name, mailing address, and telephone and facsimile numbers; the site's address and telephone facsimile numbers; the name and telephone number of the management official; the type of business; a description, and the specific location of the hazards, including the approximate number of employees exposed or threatened by the hazards; and whether or not the employee/employee representative informed another government agency about the hazards (and the name of the agency if informed).

Additional information on the hardcopy version of the form addresses the complainant including: Whether or not the complainant wants OSHA to reveal their name to the employer; whether the complainant is an employee or an employee representative, or for information provided orally, a member of a Federal safety and health committee or another party (with space to specify the party); the complainant's name, telephone number, and address; and the complainant's signature attesting that they believe a violation of an OSHA standard exists at the named establishment; and the date of the signature. An employee representative must also provide the name of the organization they represent and their title.

The information contained in the on-line version of the OSHA-7 Form is similar to the hard copy version. However, the on-line version requests the complainant's e-mail address, and does not ask for the establishment's and site's telephone and facsimile numbers and the complainant's signature and signature date.

The Agency uses the information collected on the OSHA-7 Form to determine whether reasonable grounds exist to conduct an inspection of the workplace. The description of the hazards, including the number of exposed employees, allows the Agency to asses the severity of the hazards and the need to expedite the inspection. The completed form also provides an employer with notice of the complaint and may serve as the basis for obtaining a search warrant if an employer denies the Agency access to the workplace.

III. Special Issues for Comment

OSHA has a particular interest in comments on the following issues:
  • Whether the information collection requirements are necessary for the proper performance of the Agency's functions, including whether the information is useful;

  • The accuracy of the Agency'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.

IV. Proposed Actions

OSHA is proposing to extend the information collection requirements contained on the OSHA-7 Form. The Agency will summarize the comments submitted in response to this notice and will include this summary in the request to OMB to extend the approval of the information collection requirement contained in the Standard.

Type of Review: Extension of currently approved information collection requirements.

Title: Notice of Alleged Safety and Health Hazards, OSHA 7 Form.

OMB Number: 1218-0064.

Affected Public: Individuals or households.

Number of Respondents: 50,955.

Frequency of Response: On occasion.

Total Responses: 50,955.

Average Time per Response: Varies from 15 minutes (.25 hour) to communicate the required information orally to the Agency to 25 minutes (.42 hour) to provide the information in writing and send it to OSHA.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 13,611 hours.

Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $692.

V. 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. 5-2002 (67 FR 65008).

Signed at Washington, DC on August 23, 2004.

John L. Henshaw,
Assistant Secretary of Labor.

[FR Doc. 04-19629 Filed 8-26-04; 8:45 am]