• Publication Date:
  • Publication Type:
  • Fed Register #:
  • Standard Number:
  • Title:
    Fire Brigades Standard; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) Requirements


Occupational Safety and Health Administration

[Docket No. ICR 1218-0075(2005)]

Fire Brigades Standard; 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 public comment concerning its request for an extension of the information collection requirements contained in the Fire Brigades Standard (29 CFR 1910.156).

DATES: Comments must be submitted by the following dates:

Hard Copy: Your comments must be submitted (postmarked or received) by January 24, 2005.

Facsimile and electronic transmission: Your comments must be received by January 24, 2005.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by OSHA Docket No. ICR-1218-0075(2005), 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). OSHA Docket Office and Department of Labor hours are 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., e.t.

Facsimile: If your comments are 10 pages or fewer in length, including attachments, 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://www.OSHA.gov. In addition, comments, submissions and the ICR are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office at the address above. You may also contact Theda Kenney 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: Theda Kenney, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, OSHA, Room N-3609, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210, telephone: (202) 693-2222.


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

You may submit comments and supporting materials in response to this notice 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 submissions by express delivery, hand delivery and courier 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).

Although OSHA does not mandate that employers establish fire brigades, if they do so, they must comply with the provisions of the Standard. The provisions of the Standard, including the paperwork requirements, apply to fire brigades, industrial fire departments, and private or contract fire departments, but not to airport crash-rescue units or forest fire-fighting operations. Paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(2), (c)(2), and (c)(4) contain the paperwork requirements of the Standard.

Under paragraph (b)(1) of the Standard, employers must develop and maintain an organizational statement that establishes the: Existence of a fire brigade; the basic organizational structure of the brigade; type, amount, and frequency of training provided to brigade members; expected number of members in the brigade; and functions that the brigade is to perform. This paragraph also specifies that the organizational statement must be available for review by employees, their designated representatives, and OSHA compliance officers. The organizational statement delineates the functions performed by the brigade members and, therefore, determines the level of training and type of personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary for these members to perform their assigned functions safely. Making the statement available to employees, their designated representatives, and OSHA compliance officers ensures that the elements of the statement are consistent with the functions performed by the brigade members and the occupational hazards they experience, and that employers are providing training and PPE appropriate to these functions and hazards.

To permit an employee with known heart disease, epilepsy, or emphysema to participate in fire brigade emergency activities, paragraph (b)(2) of the Standard requires employers to obtain a physician's certificate of the employee's fitness to do so. This provision provides employers with a direct and efficient means of ascertaining whether or not they can safely expose employees with these medical conditions to the hazards of fire-fighting operations.

Paragraph (c)(1) of the Standard requires employers to provide training and education for fire brigade members commensurate with the duties and functions they perform, with brigade leaders and training instructors receiving more comprehensive training and education than employers provide to the general membership. Under paragraph (c)(2) of the Standard, employers must conduct training and education frequently enough, but at least annually, to assure that brigade members are able to perform their assigned duties and functions satisfactorily and safely; employers must provide members who perform interior structural fire-fighting with educational and training sessions at least quarterly. In addition, paragraph (c)(4) specifies that employers must: Inform brigade members about special hazards such as storage and use of flammable liquids and gases, toxic chemicals, radioactive sources, and water-reactive substances that may be present during fires and other emergencies; advise brigade members of changes in the special hazards; and develop written procedures that describe the actions brigade members must take when special hazards are present, and make these procedures available in the education and training program and for review by the brigade members.

Providing appropriate training to brigade members at the specified frequencies, informing them about special hazards, developing written procedures on how to respond to special hazards, and making these procedures available for training purposes and review by the members enables them to use operational procedures and equipment in a safe manner to avoid or control dangerous exposures to fire-related hazards. Therefore, the training and information requirements specified by paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(4) of the Standard prevent serious injuries and death among members of fire brigades.

III. 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.

IV. Proposed Actions

OSHA proposes to extend the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval of the collection of information (paperwork) requirements in the Fire Brigades Standard (29 CFR 1910.156). The Agency will include this summary in its request to OMB to extend the approval of these collection of information requirements.

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

Title: Fire Brigades (29 CFR 1910.156).

OMB Number: 1218-0075.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profits; Not-for-profit organizations; Federal Government; State, local or tribal government.

Number of Respondents: 55,939.

Frequency: On occasion.

Average Time Per Response: Varies from 5 minutes (.08 hour) to 2 hours.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 6.042.

Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $0.

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 et seq..), and Secretary of Labor's Order No. 5-2002 (67 FR 65008).

Signed at Washington, DC, on November 18th, 2004.

John L. Henshaw,
Assistant Secretary of Labor.

[FR Doc. 04-26044 Filed 11-23-04; 8:45 am]