[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 99 (Tuesday, May 22, 2018)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-10889]
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
[Docket No. OSHA-2011-0858]
Permit-Required Confined Spaces; Extension of the Office of
Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection
AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.
ACTION: Request for public comments.
SUMMARY: OSHA solicits public comments concerning the proposal to
extend OMB approval of the information collection requirements
contained in the Standard on Permit-Required Confined Spaces.
DATES: Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent, or received) by
July 23, 2018.
ADDRESSES: 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, Docket No. OSHA-2011-0858,
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of
Labor, Room N-3653, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210.
Deliveries (hand, express mail, messenger, and courier service) are
accepted during the OSHA Docket Office's normal business hours, 10:00
a.m. to 3:00 p.m., ET.
Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and the
OSHA docket number (OSHA-2011-0858) 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 above address. 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 website. All submissions,
including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and
copying at the OSHA Docket Office. You may also contact Christie Garner
at (202) 693-2222 to obtain a copy of the ICR.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: Thomas Mockler or Christie Garner,
Directorate of Standards and Guidance, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor,
telephone (202) 693-2222.
The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce
paperwork and respondent (i.e., employer) burden, conducts a
preclearance process 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 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 OSHA to obtain
such information with minimum burden upon employers, especially those
operating small businesses, and to reduce to the maximum extent
feasible unnecessary duplication of effort in obtaining information (29
The purpose of the information collection requirements specified in
the Permit-Required Confined Spaces Standard (29 CFR 1910.146) is to
ensure that employers systematically evaluate the dangers in permit
spaces before entry is attempted, and to ensure that
adequate measures are taken to make the spaces safe for entry. Section
1910.146(c)(2) requires the employer to post danger signs to inform
exposed employees of the existence and location of, and the dangers
posed by, permit spaces.
Section 1910.146(c)(4) requires the employer to develop and
implement a written ``permit-space program'' when the employer decides
that its employees will enter permit spaces. The written program is to
be made available for inspection by employees and their authorized
representatives. Section 1910.146(d) provides the employer with the
requirements of a permit-required confined space program.
Section 1910.146(c)(5)(i)(E) requires that the determinations and
supporting data specified by paragraphs (c)(5)(i)(A), (c)(5)(i)(B), and
(c)(5)(i)(C) of this section are documented by the employer and are
made available to each employee who enters a permit space or to that
employee's authorized representative. Under paragraph (c)(5)(ii)(H) of
Sec. 1910.146, the employer is required to verify that the space is
safe for entry and that the pre-entry measures required by paragraph
(c)(5)(ii) of this section have been taken, using a written
certification that contains the date, the location of the space, and
the signature of the person providing the certification. The
certification is to be made before entry and is required to be made
available to each employee entering the space or to that employee's
Section 1910.146(c)(7)(iii) requires the employer to document the
basis for determining that all hazards in a permit space have been
eliminated using a certification that contains the date, the location
of the space, and the signature of the person making the determination.
The certification is to be made available to each employee entering the
space or to that employee's authorized representative.
Section 1910.146(c)(8)(i) requires the employer to inform the
contractor that the workplace contains permit spaces and that permit
space entry is allowed only through compliance with a permit space
program meeting the requirements of this section. Section
1910.146(c)(8)(ii) requires the employer to apprise the contractor of
the elements, including the hazards identified and the host employer's
experience with the space, that make the space in question a permit
space. Section 1910.146(c)(8)(iii) requires the employer to apprise the
contractor of any precautions or procedures that the host employer has
implemented for the protection of employees in or near permit spaces
where contractor personnel will be working. Section 1910.146(c)(8)(v)
requires the employer to debrief the contractor at the conclusion of
the entry operations about the permit space program that was followed,
and any hazards confronted or created in permit spaces during entry
Section 1910.146(c)(9)(iii) requires the contractor to inform the
host employer of the permit space program that the contractor will
follow and of any hazards confronted or created in permit spaces,
either through a debriefing or during the entry operation.
Section 1910.146(d)(5)(vi) requires the employer to immediately
provide each authorized entrant or that an employee's authorized
representative with the results of any testing conducted in accord with
paragraph (d) of the Standard. Section 1910.146(d)(14) requires
employers to review the permit space program, using the canceled
permits retained under paragraph (e)(6) within 1 year after each entry
to ensure that employees participating in entry operations are
protected from permit space hazards, and revise the program as
Section 1910.146(e)(1) requires the employer to document the
completion of measures required by paragraph (d)(3) by preparing an
entry permit before employee entry is authorized. Paragraph (f) of
Sec. 1910.146 specifies the information to be included on the entry
permit. Paragraph (e)(3) requires the employer to make the completed
permit available at the time of entry to all authorized entrants by
posting the permit at the entry portal or by any other equally
effective means, so that the entrants can confirm that pre-entry
preparations have been completed. Paragraph (e)(6) requires the
employer to retain each canceled entry permit for at least one year;
any problems encountered during an entry operation must be noted on the
pertinent permit so that revisions to the permit space program can be
Section 1910.146(g)(4) requires the employer to certify that the
training required by paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(3) has been
accomplished by preparing a written certification record.
Section 1910.146(h)(3) requires the employer to ensure that all
authorized entrants communicate with the attendant as necessary to
enable the attendant to monitor entrant status and to enable the
attendant to alert entrants of the need to evacuate the space as
required by paragraph (l)(6) of the Standard. Section 1910.146(h)(4)
requires the employer to ensure that all authorized entrants alert the
attendant whenever the entrant recognizes any warning sign or symptom
of exposure to a dangerous situation (paragraph (h)(4)(i)), or the
entrant detects a prohibited condition (paragraph (h)(4)(ii)).
Section 1910.146(i)(5) requires the employer to ensure that each
attendant communicate with authorized entrants as necessary to monitor
entrant status and to alert entrants of the need to evacuate the space
under the conditions specified in paragraphs (i)(6)(i)-(i)(6)(iv) of
the Standard. Section 1910.146(i)(7) requires the employer to ensure
that the attendant summon rescue and other emergency services as soon
as the attendant determines that authorized entrants may need
assistance to escape from permit space hazards. Section 1910.146(i)(8)
requires the employer to ensure that the attendant warn unauthorized
persons that they must stay away from the permit space (paragraph
(i)(8)(i)); advise unauthorized persons that they must exit immediately
if they have entered the permit space (paragraph (i)(8)(ii)); and
inform authorized entrants and the entry supervisor if unauthorized
persons have entered the permit space (paragraph (i)(8)(iii)).
Section 1910.146(j)(2) requires the employer to ensure that each
entry supervisor verifies, by checking that the appropriate entries
have been made on the permit, that all tests specified by the permit
have been conducted and that all procedures and equipment specified by
the permit are in place, before endorsing the permit and allowing entry
Section 1910.146(k)(1)(i) requires the employer to evaluate a
prospective rescuer's ability to respond to a rescue summons in a
timely manner, considering the hazard(s) identified; Section
1910.146(k)(1)(ii) requires the employer to evaluate a prospective
rescue service's ability, in terms of proficiency with rescue-related
tasks and equipment, to function appropriately while rescuing entrants
from the particular permit space or types of permit spaces identified.
Section 1910.146(k)(1)(iv) requires the employer to inform each rescue
team or service of the hazards they may confront when called on to
perform rescue at the site. Section 1910.146(k)(1)(v) requires the
employer to provide the rescue team or service selected with access to
all permit spaces from which rescue may be necessary so that the rescue
service can develop appropriate rescue plans.
Section 1910.146(k)(4) requires that, if an injured entrant is
exposed to a substance for which a ``Material Safety Data Sheet''
(MSDS) [now referred to as an SDS (Safety Data Sheet)] or other
similar written information is required to be kept at the worksite,
then the employer must make the MSDS or written information available
to the medical facility treating the exposed entrant.
Section 1910.146(l)(1) requires employers to consult with affected
employees and their authorized representatives on the development and
implementation of all aspects of the permit space program required by
paragraph (c). Section 1910.146(l)(2) requires employers to make all
information required by this section available to affected employees
and their authorized representatives.
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,
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
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 an adjustment increase for the information
collection requirements of 68,406 burden hours (from 1,573,813 to
1,642,219). The burden hour increase is related to updated data
estimates showing an increase in the number of permit space entrants
(from 1,463,075 to 1,471,634) and establishments with permit spaces
(from 205,548 to 210,281) affected by the Standard.
Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.
Title: Permit-Required Confined Spaces (29 CFR 1910.146).
OMB Control Number: 1218-0203.
Affected Public: Business or other for-profits.
Number of Respondents: 210,281.
Frequency: On occasion.
Average Time per Response: Varies.
Estimated Number of Responses: 9,024,483.
Estimated Total Burden Hours: 1,642,219.
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-2011-0858) 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 electronic comments by
your name, date, and the docket number so that 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
dates 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
website. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available
for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. Information on
using the http://www.regulations.gov website to submit comments and
access the docket is available at the website's ``User Tips'' link.
Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about materials not
available through the website, and for assistance in using the internet
to locate docket submissions.
V. Authority and Signature
Loren Sweatt, Deputy 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. 1-2012 (77 FR
Signed at Washington, DC, on May 16, 2018.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2018-10889 Filed 5-21-18; 8:45 am]
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