[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 118 (Wednesday, June 23, 2021)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-13188]
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 the Office of Management and Budget's (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
August 23, 2021.
Electronically: You may submit comments, including attachments,
electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking
Portal. Follow the instructions online for submitting comments.
Docket: To read or download comments or other material in the
docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Documents in the docket 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 through the OSHA
Docket Office. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for assistance in
locating docket submissions.
Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and the
OSHA docket number for this Federal Register notice (OSHA-2011-0858).
OSHA will place comments and requests to speak, including personal
information, in the public docket, which may be available online.
Therefore, OSHA cautions interested parties about submitting personal
information such as Social Security numbers and birthdates. For further
information on submitting comments, see the ``Public Participation''
heading in the section of this notice titled SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
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 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).
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
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 authorized representative.
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 that the employer inform the
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 that
the employer 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 that the employer 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 regarding the permit space program followed and
regarding any hazards confronted or created in permit spaces during
Section 1910.146(c)(9)(iii) requires that the contractor 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 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 and revise the program as
necessary, to ensure that employees participating in entry operations
are protected from permit space hazards.
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 that the employer 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 that the employer 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 that the employer 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 that the employer 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 that
the employer 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, that the
employer make the MSDS or written information available to the medical
facility treating the exposed entrant.
Section 1910.146(l)(1) requires that employers 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 that
employers make all information required to be developed 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 415,512.80 burden hours (from 1,660,526.00
to 2,076,038.80). The burden hour increase is related to updated data
estimates showing an increase in the number of permit space entrants
(from 1,471,634 to 1,488,877) and establishments with permit spaces
(from 210,281 to 214,994) affected by the Standard. It is also related
to the adjustment of the
estimated percentage of establishments assumed to incur burden hour
costs conducting atmospheric monitoring and testing.
The agency is requesting an increase in capital and operation and
maintenance costs of $14,100.00 (from $630,900.00 to $645,000.00) for
atmospheric testing and monitoring equipment. This increase is also
related to the updated data estimates showing an increase in the number
of permit space entrants and establishments with permit spaces affected
by the Standard.
The agency will summarize the comments submitted in response to
this notice and will include this summary in the request to OMB.
Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.
Title: Permit-Required Confined Spaces.
OMB Control Number: 1218-0203.
Affected Public: Business or other for-profits.
Number of Respondents: 214,994.
Frequency of Responses: On occasion.
Total Responses: 13,959,314.
Average Time per Response: Varies.
Estimated Total Burden Hours: 2,076,038.80.
Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $645,000.00.
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-2011-0858). 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.
Due to 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
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 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.
V. Authority and Signature
James S. Frederick, Acting 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 June 15, 2021.
James S. Frederick,
Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2021-13188 Filed 6-22-21; 8:45 am]
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