• Publication Date:
  • Publication Type:
  • Fed Register #:
  • Title:
    Voluntary Protection Programs Information; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) Requirements
[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 125 (Monday, June 30, 2014)][Notices][Pages 36834-36836]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-15235]



Occupational Safety and Health Administration

[Docket No. OSHA-2011-0056]

Voluntary Protection Programs Information; 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 the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval of the 
information collection requirements contained in Voluntary Protection 
Programs Information.

DATES: Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent, or received) by 
August 29, 2014.

    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 a copy of your comments and 
attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, OSHA Docket No. OSHA-2011-0056, 
U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration, 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 (OSHA-2011-0056) for the Information Collection Request 
(ICR). 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 from the Web site. All submissions, 
including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and 
copying at the OSHA Docket Office. You may also contact Theda Kenney at 
the address below to obtain a copy of the ICR.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ylvonne Gonzalez, Acting Director, 
Office of Partnerships and Recognition, Directorate of Cooperative and 
State Programs, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3700, 200 
Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-


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 accord 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 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).
    The Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) [47 FR 29025], adopted by 
OSHA, established the efficacy of cooperative action among government, 
industry, and labor to address employee safety and health issues and to 
expand employee protection. To qualify, employers must meet OSHA's 
safety and health management criteria which focus on comprehensive 
management programs and active employee involvement to prevent or 
control worksite safety and health hazards. Employers who qualify 
generally view OSHA standards as a minimum level of safety and health 
performance, and set their own more stringent standards, wherever 
necessary, to improve employee protection. Prospective VPP worksites 
must submit an application that includes:

    General applicant information (e.g., site, corporate, and 
collective bargaining contact information).
    Injury and illness rate performance information (i.e., number of 
employees and/or applicable contractors on site, type of work 
performed and products produced, North American Industry 
Classification System (NAICS) codes, and Recordable Injury and 
Illness Case Incidence Rate information).
    Safety and health management program information (i.e., 
description of the applicant's safety and health management programs 
including how the programs successfully address management 
leadership and employee involvement, worksite analysis, hazard 
prevention and control, and safety and health training).

    OSHA uses this information to determine whether an applicant is 
ready for a VPP on-site evaluation and as a verification tool during 
VPP on-site evaluations. Without this information, OSHA would be unable 
to determine which sites are ready for VPP status.
    Each current VPP applicant is also required to submit an annual 
self-evaluation which addresses how that applicant is continuing its 
adherence to programmatic requirements.
    In 2008, OSHA modified procedures for VPP applicants, OSHA on-site 
evaluations, and annual participant self-evaluations for applicants/
participants subject to OSHA's Process Safety Management (PSM) 
Standard. Applicants that perform work that use or produce highly 
hazardous chemicals exceeding specified limits covered under the PSM 
standard must submit responses to the PSM application supplement along 
with their VPP application.
    Once in the VPP, the participant is required to submit an annual 
self-evaluation detailing its continued adherence to programmatic 
requirements. Applicants covered under the PSM standard are required to 
submit a PSM questionnaire, a supplemental document, as part of their 
annual submission. OSHA needs this information to ensure that the 
participant remains qualified to participate in the VPP between on-site 
evaluations. Without this information, OSHA would be unable to 
determine whether applicants are maintaining excellent safety and 
health management programs during this interim period.
    In 2009, with the publication of the Federal Register Notice (FRN) 
(74 FR 927, January 9, 2009), VPP revised its traditional focus on 
individual fixed worksites (site-based) by adding two new ways to 
participate: Mobile workforce and corporate. A significant 
reorganization of the program helped clarify the multiple participation 
options now available.
    Employees of VPP participants may apply to participate in the 
Special Government Employee (SGE) Program. The SGE Program offers 
private and public sector safety and health professionals and other 
qualified participants the opportunity to exchange ideas, gain new 
perspectives, and grow professionally while serving as full-fledged 
team members on OSHA's VPP on-site evaluations. In that capacity, SGEs 
may review company documents, assist with worksite walkthroughs, 
interview employees, and assist in preparing VPP on-site evaluation 
reports. Potential SGEs must submit an application that includes:
     SGE Eligibility Information Sheet (i.e., applicant's name, 
professional; credentials, site/corporate contact information, etc.);
     Current Resume;
     Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 450).
    OSHA uses the SGE Eligibility Information Sheet to ensure that the 
potential SGE works at a VPP site and meets the minimum eligibility 
qualifications. The resume is required to provide a detailed 
description of their current duties and responsibilities as they relate 
to safety and health and the implementation of an effective safety and 
health management program. The OGE Form 450 is used to ensure that SGEs 
do not participate on on-site evaluations at VPP sites in which they 
have a financial interest.
    OSHA Challenge is designed to reach and guide employers and 
companies in all major industry groups who are strongly committed to 
improving their safety and health management programs and possibly 
pursuing recognition in the VPP. The Challenge Administrator's 
application is used to: (1) Conduct a preliminary analysis of the 
applicant's knowledge of safety and health management programs; and (2) 
make a determination regarding the applicant's qualifications to become 
a Challenge Administrator. Once a Challenge Administrator is approved, 
the program's Administrator will review each Challenge candidate's 
application/annual submissions to ensure that all necessary information 
is provided, prior to forwarding them to OSHA's National Office for 
analysis and acceptance.

II. 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.

III. Proposed Actions

    OSHA proposes to extend OMB's approval of the collection of 
information (paperwork) requirements necessitated by the Voluntary 
Protection Programs. The Agency is requesting an adjustment in the 
burden hours from 115,360 to 112,210, a total decrease of 3,150 hours. 
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.
    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.
    Title: Voluntary Protection Programs Information.
    OMB Control Number: 1218-0239.
    Affected Public: Business or other for-profits; individuals or 
households; Federal government; state, local or tribal government.
    Number of Respondents:

    300 Applications
    75 Process Safety Management Applications
    1,700 Annual Self-Evaluations
    425 (PSM) Annual Self-Evaluations/Supplemental Questionnaire
    14 Challenge Administrator's Applications
    210 Challenge Participant's Applications
    210 Challenge Annual Self-Evaluations
Special Government Employees
    900 SGE Eligibility Information Sheets
    900 Resumes
    300 Confidential Financial Disclosure Forms (OGE-Form 450)

    Number of Respondents: 5,034.
    Frequency of Responses: VPP applications and Challenge 
Administrator's and Participant applications are submitted once; VPP 
and Challenge Annual Self-Evaluations are submitted annually, and SGE 
applications are submitted once every three years.
    Total Responses: 5,034.

    Average Time per Response:

VPP General
    200 hours for VPP Applications
    20 hours for VPP Annual Evaluations
    Process Safety Management
    40 hours for Applications
    20 hours for Annual Evaluations
    5 hours for Challenge Administrator's Applications
    10 hours for Challenge Candidate Applications
    20 hours for Challenge Annual Evaluations
Special Government Employees (SGE)
    10 minutes (.13 hour) for SGE Eligibility Information Sheet
    30 minutes (.50 hour) for SGE Resume
    30 minutes (.50 hour) for Confidential Financial Disclosure Form

    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 112,210.
    Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $0.

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 (fax); or (3) by hard copy. All 
comments, attachments, and other material must identify the Agency name 
and the OSHA docket number (Docket No. OSHA-2011-0056) for the ICR. You 
may supplement electronic submissions by uploading document files 
electronically. If you wish to mail additional materials in reference 
to an electronic or 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 the 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 from 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 from 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. 4-2012 
(75 FR 3912).

    Signed at Washington, DC, on June 25, 2014.
David Michaels,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2014-15235 Filed 6-27-14; 8:45 am]