• Publication Date:
  • Publication Type:
  • Fed Register #:
  • Standard Number:
  • Title:
    Standard on Commercial Diving Operations; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) Requirements
[Federal Register: February 22, 2011 (Volume 76, Number 35)][Notices]               [Page 9817-9819]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Occupational Safety and Health Administration

[Docket No. OSHA-2011-0008]

Standard on Commercial Diving Operations; Extension of the Office 
of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection 
(Paperwork) Requirements

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

ACTION: Request for public comments.


SUMMARY: OSHA solicits public comments concerning its proposal to 
extend OMB approval of the information collection requirements 
specified in the Commercial Diving Operations Standard (29 CFR part 
1910, subpart T).

DATES: Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent, or received) by 
April 25, 2011.

    Electronically: You may submit comments and attachments 
electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions online for submitting 
    Facsimile: If your comments, including attachments, are not longer 
than 10 pages, you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-
    Mail, hand delivery, express mail, messenger, or courier service: 
When using this method, you must submit your comments and attachments 
to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2011-0008, U.S. Department 
of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 
20210. Deliveries (hand, express mail, messenger, and courier service) 
are accepted during the Department of Labor's and Docket Office's 
normal business hours, 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., e.t.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and OSHA 
docket number for the Information Collection Request (ICR) (OSHA-2011-
0008). All comments, including any personal information you provide, 
are placed in the public docket without change, and may be made 
available online at http://www.regulations.gov. For further information 
on submitting comments see the "Public Participation" heading in the 
section of this notice titled SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
    Docket: To read or download comments or other material in the 
docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov or the OSHA Docket Office at 
the address above. All documents in the docket (including this Federal 
Register notice) are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index; 
however, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly 
available to read or download through the Web site. All submissions, 
including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and 
copying at the OSHA Docket Office. You also may contact Theda Kenney at 
the address below to obtain a copy of the ICR.

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


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 (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 OSH Act) (29 U.S.C. 651 
et seq.) authorizes information collection by employers as necessary or 
appropriate for enforcement of the OSH Act or for developing 
information regarding the causes and prevention of occupational 
injuries, illnesses, and accidents (29 U.S.C. 657). The OSH Act also 
requires that OSHA obtain such information with minimum burden upon 
employers, especially those operating small businesses, and to reduce 
to the maximum extent feasible unnecessary duplication of efforts in 
obtaining information (29 U.S.C. 657). Subpart T applies to diving and 
related support operations conducted by employers involved in general 
industry, construction, ship repairing, shipbuilding, shipbreaking, and 
longshoring, and specifies equipment and procedures that prevent injury 
and death among workers exposed to hazards associated with diving and 
diving support operations.
    Subpart T contains a number of paperwork requirements. The 
following paragraphs describe these requirements.
    Section 1910.401(b). Allows employers to deviate from the 
requirements of the Subpart to the extent necessary to prevent or 
minimize a situation that is likely to cause death, serious physical 
harm, or major environmental damage (but not situations in which purely 
economic or property damage is likely to occur). They must notify the 
OSHA Area Director within 48 hours of taking such action; this 
notification must describe the situation responsible for the deviation 
and the extent of the deviation from the requirements. On request of 
the Area Director, employers must submit this information in writing.
    Sections 1910.410(a)(3) and (a)(4). Paragraph (a)(3) requires 
employers to train all dive team members in cardiopulmonary resuscitation 
and first aid (i.e., the American Red Crossstandard course or equivalent), 
while paragraph (a)(4) specifies that employers train dive team members 
exposed to hyperbaric conditions, or who control exposure of other employees 
to such conditions, in diving-related physics and physiology.
    Sections 1910.420(a). Under paragraph (a), employers must develop 
and maintain a safe practices manual and make it available to each dive 
team member at the dive location. In addition, for each diving mode 
used at the dive location, the manual must contain: Safety procedures 
and checklists for diving operations; assignments and responsibilities 
of the dive team members; equipment procedures and checklists; and 
emergency procedures for fire, equipment failures, adverse 
environmental conditions, and medical illness and injury.
    Section 1910.421(b). Under this provision, employers are to keep at 
the dive location a list of telephone or call numbers for the following 
emergency facilities and services: An operational decompression chamber 
(if such a chamber is not at the dive location); accessible hospitals; 
available physicians and means of emergency transportation; and the 
nearest U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center.
    Section 1910.421(f). Requires employers to brief dive team members 
on the diving-related tasks they are to perform, safety procedures for 
the diving mode used at the dive location, any unusual hazards or 
environmental conditions likely to affect the safety of the diving 
operation, and any modifications to operating procedures necessitated 
by the specific diving operation. Before assigning diving-related 
tasks, employers must ask each dive team member about their current 
state of physical fitness, and inform the member about the procedure 
for reporting physical problems or adverse physiological effects during 
and after the dive.
    Section 1910.421(h). If the diving operation occurs in an area 
capable of supporting marine traffic and occurs from a surface other 
than a vessel, employers are to display a rigid replica of the 
international code flag "A" that is at least one meter in height so 
that it is visible from any direction; the employer must illuminate the 
flag during night diving operations.
    Section 1910.422(e). Employers must develop and maintain a depth-
time profile for each diver that includes, as appropriate, any 
breathing gas changes or decompression.
    Sections 1910.423(b)(1)(ii) through (b)(2). Requires the employer 
to: Instruct the diver to report any physical symptoms or adverse 
physiological effects, including symptoms of decompression sickness 
(DCS); advise the diver of the location of a decompression chamber that 
is ready for use; and alert the diver to the potential hazards of 
flying after diving. For any dive outside the no-decompression limits, 
deeper than 100 feet, or that uses mixed gas in the breathing mixture, 
the employer must also inform the diver to remain awake and in the 
vicinity of the decompression chamber that is at the dive location for 
at least one hour after the dive or any decompression or treatment 
associated with the dive.
    Section 1910.423(d). Paragraph (d)(1) specifies that employers are 
to record and maintain the following information for each diving 
operation: The names of dive-team members; date, time, and location; 
diving modes used; general description of the tasks performed; an 
estimate of the underwater and surface conditions; and the maximum 
depth and bottom time for each diver. In addition, for each dive 
outside the no-decompression limits, deeper than 100 feet, or that uses 
mixed gas in the breathing mixture, paragraph (d)(2) requires the 
employer to record and maintain the following information for each 
diver: Depth-time and breathing gas profiles; decompression table 
designation (including any modifications); and elapsed time since the 
last pressure exposure if less than 24 hours or the repetitive dive 
designation. Under paragraph (d)(3), if the dive results in DCS 
symptoms, or the employer suspects that a diver has DCS, the employer 
must record and maintain a description of the DCS symptoms (including 
the depth and time of symptom onset) and the results of treatment.
    Section 1910.423(e). Requires employers to assess each DCS incident 
by: Investigating and evaluating it based on the recorded information, 
consideration of the past performance of the decompression profile 
used, and the diver's individual susceptibility to DCS; taking 
appropriate corrective action to reduce the probability of a DCS 
recurrence; and, within 45 days of the DCS incident, preparing a 
written evaluation of this assessment, including any corrective action 
    Sections 1910.430(a), (b)(4), (c)(1)(ii), (c)(3)(i), (f)(3)(ii), 
and (g)(2). Description of the requirements. Paragraph (a) contains a 
general requirement that employers must record by means of tagging or a 
logging system any work performed on equipment, including any 
modifications, repairs, tests, calibrations, or maintenance performed 
on the equipment. This record is to include a description of the work, 
the name or initials of the individual who performed the work, and the 
date they completed the work.
    Paragraphs (b)(4) and (c)(1)(iii) require employers to test two 
specific types of equipment, including, respectively: The output of air 
compressor systems used to supply breathing air to divers for air 
purity every six months by means of samples taken at the connection to 
the distribution system; and breathing-gas hoses at least annually at 
one and one-half times their working pressure. Under paragraph 
(c)(3)(i), employers must mark each umbilical (i.e., separate lines 
supplying air and communications to a diver, as well as a safety line, 
tied together in a bundle), beginning at the diver's end, in 10-foot 
increments for 100 feet, then in 50-foot increments. Paragraph 
(f)(3)(ii) mandates that employers regularly inspect and maintain 
mufflers located in intake and exhaust lines on decompression chambers. 
According to paragraph (g)(2), employers are to test depth gauges using 
dead-weight testing, or calibrate the gauges against a master reference 
gauge; such testing or calibration is to occur every six months or if 
the employer finds a discrepancy larger than two percent of the full 
scale between any two equivalent gauges. Employers must make a record 
of the tests, calibrations, inspections, and maintenance performed on 
the equipment specified by these paragraphs in accordance with section 
    Sections 1910.440(a)(2) and (b). Under paragraph (a)(2) of this 
provision, employers must record any diving-related injuries or 
illnesses that result in a dive-team member remaining in hospital for 
at least 24 hours. This record is to describe the circumstances of the 
incident and the extent of any injuries or illnesses.
    Paragraph (b) of this provision regulates the availability of the 
records required by the Subpart, including who has access to these 
records, the retention periods for various records, and, in some cases, 
the final disposition of the records. Under paragraph (b)(1), employers 
must make any record required by the subpart available, on request, for 
inspection and copying to an OSHA compliance officer or to a 
representative of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and 
Health (NIOSH). Paragraph (b)(2) specifies that employers are to 
provide workers, their designated representatives, and OSHA compliance 
officers with exposure and medical records generated under the Subpart in 
accordance with Sec. 1910.1020 ("Access to employee exposure and medical 
records"); these records include safe practices manuals, depth-time profiles, 
diving records, DCS incident assessments, and hospitalization records. This 
paragraph also mandates that employers make equipment inspection and testing 
records available to employees and their designated representative on request.
    According to paragraph (b)(3), employers must retain these records 
for the following periods: Safe practices manuals, current document 
only; depth-time profiles, until completing the diving record or the 
DCS incident assessment; diving records, one year, except five years if 
a DCS incident occurred during the dive; DCS incident assessments, five 
years; hospitalization records, five years; and equipment inspections 
and testing records, current tag or log entry until the employer 
removes the equipment from service. Paragraphs (b)(4) and (b)(5) 
specify the requirements for disposing of these records. Under 
paragraph (b)(4), employers are to forward any record with an expired 
five-year retention period to NIOSH. Paragraph (b)(5) states that 
employers who cease to do business must transfer records without 
unexpired retention dates to the successor employer who will retain 
them for the required period; however, if the employers cease to do 
business without a successor employer, they must transfer the records 

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 to 
protect workers, 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 is requesting that OMB extend its approval of the information 
collection requirements contained in the Standard on Commercial Diving 
Operations (29 CFR part 1910, subpart T). The Agency is requesting a 
1,774 decrease in burden hours from the current level of 205,397 hours 
to 203,623 hours. This request is being made due to an overall decrease 
in the number of facilities affected by the Standard.
    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.
    Title: Standard on Commercial Diving Operations (29 CFR part 1910, 
subpart T).
    OMB Number: 1218-0069.
    Affected Public: Business or other for-profits; Not-for-profit 
institutions; Federal Government; State, Local or Tribal Governments.
    Number of Respondents: 2,500.
    Frequency: On Occasion; Annually.
    Total Responses: 3,969,219.
    Average Time per Response: Varies from 3 minutes (.05 hour) to 
replace the safe practices manual to 1 hour to develop a new manual.
    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 203,623.
    Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $2,480.

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

    You may submit comments in response to this document as follows: 
(1) Electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal; (2) by facsimile; or (3) by hard copy. All 
comments, attachments, and other material must identify the Agency name 
and the OSHA docket number for this ICR (Docket No. OSHA-2011-0008). 
You may supplement electronic submissions by uploading document files 
electronically. If you wish to mail additional materials in reference 
to an electronic or a facsimile submission, you must submit them to the 
OSHA Docket Office (see the section of this notice titled ADDRESSES). 
The additional materials must clearly identify your electronic comments 
by your name, date, and docket number so the Agency can attach them to 
your comments.
    Because of security procedures, the use of regular mail may cause a 
significant delay in the receipt of comments. For information about 
security procedures concerning the delivery of materials by hand, 
express delivery, messenger or courier service, please contact the OSHA 
Docket Office at (202) 693-2350, (TTY (877) 889-5627).
    Comments and submissions are posted without change at http://www.regulations.gov. 
Therefore, OSHA cautions commenters about submitting personal information such as social 
security numbers and date of birth. Although all submissions are listed in the 
http://www.regulations.gov index, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not 
publicly available to read or download through this Web site. All submissions, including 
copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. 
Information on using the http://www.regulations.gov Web site to submit comments and 
access the docket is available at the Web site's "User Tips" link. Contact the OSHA Docket 
Office for information about materials not available through the Web site, and for 
assistance in using the Internet to locate docket submissions.

V. Authority and Signature

    David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, 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. 4-2010 
(75 FR 55355).

    Signed at Washington, DC on February 16, 2011.
David Michaels,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2011-3874 Filed 2-18-11; 8:45 am]