[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 91 (Monday, May 11, 2020)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-09969]
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
[Docket No. OSHA-2010-0056]
OSHA-7 Form (``Notice of Alleged Safety and Health Hazard'');
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 the proposal to
extend the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval of the
information collection requirements contained in the OSHA-7 Form.
DATES: Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent, or received) by
July 10, 2020.
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-2010-0056,
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-2010-0056) for the Information Collection
Request (ICR). All comments, including any
personal information you provide, such as social security numbers and
dates of birth, 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 Theda Kenney at
(202) 693-2222 to obtain a copy of the ICR.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laura Seeman, Directorate of
Enforcement Programs, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, telephone (202)
The Department of Labor, as part of a 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) (44 U.S.C.
3506(c)(2)(A)). This program ensures that information is in the desired
format, the reporting burden (time and costs) is minimal, the
collection instruments are clearly understood, and OSHA's estimate of
the information collection burden is accurate. The Occupational Safety
and Health Act of 1970 (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 a minimum burden upon employers, especially those
operating small businesses, and to reduce to the maximum extent
feasible unnecessary duplication of effort in obtaining said
information (29 U.S.C. 657).
Under paragraphs (a) and (c) of 29 CFR 1903.11 (``Complaints by
employees''), employees and their representatives may notify the OSHA
area director or an OSHA compliance officer of safety and health
hazards regulated by the agency that they believe exist in their
workplaces at any time. These provisions state further that this
notification must be in writing and ``shall set forth with reasonable
particularity the grounds for the notice, and shall be signed by the
employee or representative of the employee.''
In addition to providing specific hazard information to the agency,
paragraph (a) permits employees/employee representatives to request an
inspection of the workplace. Paragraph (c) also addresses situations in
which employees/employee representatives may provide the information
directly to the OSHA compliance officer during an inspection. An
employer's former employees may also submit complaints to the agency.
To address the requirements of paragraphs (a), especially the
requirement that the information be in writing, the agency developed
the OSHA-7 Form (``Notice of Alleged Safety and Health Hazard''); this
form standardized and simplified the hazard reporting process. For
paragraph (a), they may complete an OSHA-7 Form obtained from the
agency's website and then send it to OSHA online, or deliver a hardcopy
of the form to the OSHA area office by mail or facsimile, or by hand.
They may also write a letter containing the information and hand
deliver it to the area office, or send it by mail or facsimile. In
addition, they may provide the information orally to the OSHA area
office or another party (e.g., a federal safety and health committee
for federal employees), in which case the area office or other party
completes the hard copy version of the form. For the typical situation
addressed by paragraph (c), an employee/employee representative informs
an OSHA compliance officer orally of the alleged hazard during an
inspection, and the compliance officer then incorporates that
information into the walk around inspection.
The information on the hard copy version of the OSHA-7 Form
includes information about the employer and alleged hazards, including:
The establishment's name; the site's address and telephone and
facsimile numbers; the name and telephone number of the management
official; the type of business; a description and the specific location
of the hazards, including the approximate number of employees exposed
or threatened by the hazards; and whether or not the employee/employee
representative informed another government agency about the hazards
(and the name of the agency if so informed).
Additional information on the hard copy version of the form
concerns the complainant, including: Whether or not the complainant is
an employee or an employee representative, or a member of a federal
safety and health committee or another party (with space to specify the
party); the complainant's name, telephone number, and address; and the
complainant's signature attesting that they believe a violation of an
OSHA standard exists at the named establishment; and the date of the
signature. An employee representative must also provide the name of the
organization they represent and their title.
The information contained in the online version of the OSHA-7 Form
is similar to the hard copy version. However, the online version
requests the complainant's email address (the hard copy currently does
not), and does not ask for the site's facsimile number or the
complainant's signature and signature date.
The agency uses the information collected on the OSHA-7 Form to
determine whether reasonable grounds exist to conduct an inspection of
the workplace. The description of the hazards, including the number of
exposed employees, allows the agency to assess the severity of the
hazards and the need to expedite the inspection. The completed form
also provides the employer with notice of the complaint and may serve
as the basis for obtaining a search warrant if the employer denies the
agency access to the workplace.
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 employees 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 the approval of the information
collection requirements relating to the OSHA-7 Form. The agency is
requesting an adjustment decrease of 75 burden hours (from 19,258 to
19,183 burden hours). The difference is the result of an overall
decrease in estimated complaints received annually from 70,976
complaints to 68,896.
The agency also requests an adjustment decrease in operation and
maintenance costs of $365 (from $701 to $336). The decrease occurred
due to a decrease in the estimated OSHA-7 forms being mailed from 1,430
to 610 forms.
In addition, the ICR proposes several non-substantive editorial
revisions to the hardcopy and electronic versions of the OSHA-7 Form to
clarify instructions and modernize information sharing. The minor edits
are also requested in response to feedback from field management, as
well as to ensure consistency with current agency policies and
The first change, to the ``Instruction'' field box, would add the
word ``health'' to the sentence, ``If there is any particular evidence
that supports your suspicion that a hazard exists (for instance, a
recent accident or physical/health symptoms of employees at your site)
include the information in your description.'' In addition, the agency
would add to the ``Hazard Description/Location'' field box, which
states, ``Describe briefly the hazard(s) which you believe exist,'' the
new phrase, ``and on what date you last observed the hazard(s).'' The
agency also proposes to include the addition of an email address with
which to contact the agency. The hardcopy form would also be revised to
provide the complainant an opportunity to provide their email address
to the agency, as the electronic form currently provides. Other
nonsubstantive editorial changes to the forms are also proposed.
A mark-up of the proposed changes to the English-language versions
of the form will be available in the ICR docket for public comment.
Changes made to the Spanish-language versions of the form will be
identical to the English-language versions of the form. The agency does
not believe that the proposed revisions to the complaint form will
further impact the adjusted burden hours. The agency will summarize the
comments submitted in response to this notice and will include this
summary in the request to OMB to extend the approval of the information
Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.
Title: Notice of Alleged Safety and Health Hazards (Form OSHA-7).
OMB Control Number: 1218-0064.
Affected Public: Individuals.
Number of Respondents: 68,896.
Frequency: On occasion.
Average Time per Response: Varies.
Estimated Number of Responses: 68,896.
Estimated Total Burden Hours: 19,183.
Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $336.
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-2010-0056) 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 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, Principal 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 3912).
Signed at Washington, DC, on May 5, 2020.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety
[FR Doc. 2020-09969 Filed 5-8-20; 8:45 am]
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