[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 247 (Wednesday, December 23, 2020)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-28330]
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
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 the proposal to
extend the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval of the
information collection requirements contained in Voluntary Protection
DATES: Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent, or received) by
February 22, 2021.
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,
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of
Labor, Room N-3653, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210.
Please note: While OSHA's Docket Office is continuing to accept and
process submissions by regular mail, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the
Docket Office is closed to the public and not able to received
submissions to the docket by hand, express mail, messenger, and courier
Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and the
OSHA docket number (OSHA-2011-0056) for the Information Collection
Request (ICR). All comments, including any personal information you
provide, such as social security numbers and date 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 from 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
the below phone number to obtain a copy of the ICR.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Seleda Perryman or Theda Kenney,
Directorate of Standards and Guidance, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor;
telephone (202) 693-2222.
The Department of Labor, as part of the 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) [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 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 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), and Recordable Injury and Illness Case Incidence Rate
Safety and health management program information (i.e.,
description of the applicant's safety and health management programs)
including how the programs successfully addresses 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
evaluation which addresses how that applicant is continuing the
adherence to programmatic requirements. In 2008, OSHA modified
procedures for VPP applicants, OSHA on-site evaluation, and annual
participant self-evaluation for applicants/participants subject to
OSHA's Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard. Applicants that
perform works that use or produce highly hazardous chemical 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
evaluation detailing the 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 the 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),
VPP revised the 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 helps 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.);
Optional Application for Federal Employment OF-612; and
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 where 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 Administrators
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 Administrator will review each challenge candidate's application/
annual submissions to ensure that all necessary information is
provided, prior to forwarding to OSHA's National Office for 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
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 decrease of 363 burden hours from
90,863 to 90,500 hours. The decrease is primarily due to the lack of
Challenge participation, and lack of training of new SGE applicants and
re-approval training of existing SGEs due to the negative impact of the
COVID-19 imposed on all OSHA Cooperative Programs.
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.
Number of Respondents: 4,052.
Total Respondents: 3,601.
Estimated Total Total Burden Hours: 90,500.
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. Please
note: While OSHA's Docket Office is continuing to accept and process
submissions by regular mail, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Docket
Office is closed to the public and not able to receive submissions to
the docket by hand, express mail, messenger, and courier service. All
comments, attachments, and other material must identify the agency name
and the OSHA docket number for the ICR (Docket No. OSHA-2011-0056). 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.
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
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 at (202) 693-2350, (TTY (877) 889-5627) for
information about materials not available through the website, and for
assistance in using the internet to locate docket submissions. Contact
the OSHA Docket Office for information about materials not available
through the website, and for assistance in using the internet to locate
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) and Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2012 (77 FR
Signed at Washington, DC, on December 17, 2020.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety
[FR Doc. 2020-28330 Filed 12-22-20; 8:45 am]
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