• Publication Date:
  • Publication Type:
  • Fed Register #:
  • Standard Number:
  • Title:
    Underground Construction 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-1218-0067/(2005)]

Underground Construction 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 comment.

SUMMARY: OSHA solicits comments concerning its proposal to extend OMB approval of the Information Collection Requirements contained in the Underground Construction Standard (29 CFR part 1926.800). This standard contains information collection requirements for posting warning signs and notices, certifying inspection records for hoists, and developing and maintaining records for air-quality tests.

DATES: Comments must be submitted by the following dates:

Hard copy: Your comments must be submitted (postmarked or received) by February 14, 2005).

Facsimile and electronic transmissions: Your comments must be received by February 14, 2005.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by OSHA Docket No. ICR-1218-0067(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 9202) 693-2350 (OSHA's TTY number is (877) 889-5627). OSHA Docket Office and Department of Labor hours at 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., ET.

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. 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 the 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.


1. 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 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).

Posting warning signs or notices. Seven paragraphs in the Underground Construction Standard ("the Standard") require employers to post warning signs or notices during underground construction; these paragraphs are (b)(3), (i)(3), (j)(1)(vi)(A), (m)(2)(ii), (o)(2), (q)(11), and (t)(1)(iv)(B). The warning signs and notices required by these paragraphs enable employers to effectively alert employees to the presence of hazards or potential hazards at the job site, thereby preventing employee exposure to hazards or potential hazards associated with underground construction that could cause death or serious harm.

Certification inspection records for hoist. Paragraph (t)(i)(xxi) of the Standard requires employers to inspect and load test hoists when they install them, and at least annually thereafter; they must also inspect and load test a hoist after making any repairs or alterations to it that affect its structural integrity, and after tripping a safety device on the hoist. Employers must also prepare a certification record of each inspection and load test that includes specified information, and maintain the most recent certification record until they complete the construction project.

Establishing and maintaining a written record of the most recent inspection and load test alerts equipment mechanics to problems identified during the inspection. Prior to returning the equipment to service, employers can review the records to ensure that the mechanics performed the necessary repairs and maintenance. Accordingly, by using only equipment that is in safe working order, employers will prevent severe injury and death to the equipment operators and other employees who work near the equipment. In addition, these records provide the most efficient means for OSHA compliance officers to determine that an employer performed the required inspections and load tests, thereby assuring that the equipment is safe to operate.

Developing and maintaining records for air-quality tests. Paragraph (j)(3) of the Standard mandates that employers develop records for air-quality tests performed under paragraph (j), including air-quality tests required by paragraphs (j)(1)(ii)(A) through (j)(1)(iii)(A), (j)(1)(iii)(B), (j)(1)(iii)(C), (j)(1)(iii)(D), (j)(1)(iv), (j)(1)(v)(A), (j)(1)(v)(B), and (j)(2)(i) through (j)(2)(v). Paragraph (j) also requires that air-quality records include specified information, and that employers maintain the records until the underground-construction project is complete; they must also make the records available to OSHA compliance officers on request.

Maintaining records of air-quality tests allow employers to document atmospheric hazards, and to ascertain the effectiveness of controls (especially ventilation) and implement additional controls if necessary. Accordingly, these requirements prevent serious injury and death to employees who work on underground-construction projects. In addition, these records provide an efficient means for employees to evaluate the accuracy and effectiveness of an employer's exposure-reduction program, and for OSHA compliance officers to determine that employers performed the required tests and implemented appropriate controls.

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 cost) 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 of 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 in the Underground Construction Standard (29 CFR part 1926.800). The Agency 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 contained in the Standard.

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

Title: Underground Construction (29 CFR part 1926.800).

OMB Number: 1218-0067.

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

Number of Respondents: 323.

Frequency of Response: Varies from recording air-quality tests twice per shift to posting a warning sign or notice once every two years.

Average Time per Response: Varies from 30 seconds to read and record air-quality test results to one hour to inspect, load test, and complete and maintain a certification record for a hoist.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 57,464.

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).

Dated: Signed at Washington, DC on December 7, 2004.

John L. Henshaw,
Assistant Secretary of Labor.

[FR Doc. 04-27352 Filed 12-13-04; 8:45 am]