[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 215 (Wednesday, November 10, 2021)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-24055]
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
[Docket No. OSHA-2009-0024]
Variance Regulations; Extension of the Office of Management and
Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork)
AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.
ACTION: Request for public comments.
SUMMARY: OSHA solicits public comments concerning the proposal to
obtain OMB approval for the information collection requirements
contained in the Standards on Variance and Other Relief; Variances and
Other Relief; and Limitation, Variations, Tolerances or Exemptions.
These statutory and regulatory provisions specify the requirements for
submitting applications to OSHA for temporary, experimental, permanent,
and national defense variances.
DATES: Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent or received) by
January 10, 2022.
ADDRESSES: Submit comments by any of the following methods:
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
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 at (202)
693-2350 (TTY (877) 889-5627) for assistance in locating docket
Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and the
OSHA docket number for this Federal Register notice (OSHA-2009-0024).
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 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 correct format, reporting burden (time and costs)
is minimal, collection instruments are clearly understandable, and
OSHA's estimate of the information collection burden is correct. The
OSH Act (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.) authorizes information collection by
employers as necessary or appropriate for enforcement of the 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).
Sections 6(b)6(A), 6(b)6(B), 6(b)6(C), 6(d), and 16 of the OSH Act,
and 29 CFR 1905.10, 1905.11, and 1905.12, specify the procedures that
employers must follow to apply for a variance from the requirements of
an OSHA standard. OSHA uses the information collected under these
procedures to: (1) Evaluate the employer's claim that the alternative
means of compliance would provide affected employees with the requisite
level of health and safety protection; (2) assess the technical
feasibility of the alternative means of compliance; (3) determine that
the employer properly notified affected employees of the variance
application and their right to a hearing; and (4) verify that the
application contains the administrative information required by the
applicable variance regulation.
Currently, no specific forms are available for preparing variance
applications and other documents that may accompany variance
applications. OSHA is developing new forms to assist employers in
preparing variance applications that comply with the information
collection requirements contained in the OSH Act and variance
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 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 OMB approval of the information collection
(paperwork) requirements contained in Sections 6(b)6(A), 6(b)6(B),
6(b)6(C), 6(d), and 16 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of
1970, and 29 CFR 1905.10, 1905.11, and 1905.12. These statutory and
regulatory provisions specify the requirements for submitting
applications to OSHA for temporary, experimental, permanent, and
national defense variances.
OSHA is also requesting OMB approval to develop and use variance
application forms for the four types of variances specified by the OSH
Act and variance regulations. The four types of variances are:
Temporary variances (Section 6(b)(6)(A) of the Act; 29 U.S.C. 655; 29
CFR 1905.10); experimental variances (Section 6(b)(6)(C) of the Act; 29
U.S.C. 655); permanent variances (Section 6(d) of the Act; 29 U.S.C.
655; 29 CFR 1905.11); and national defense variances (Section 16 of the
Act; 29 U.S.C. 665; 29 CFR 1905.12). The variance regulations specify
the information that employers must provide when requesting one of
these variances. The variance application forms would organize and
clarify the information collection requirements for each type of
variance by specifying the requirements in comprehensible language, and
providing explanatory material. Employers applying for a variance could
download and complete the applicable form from OSHA's website. The
forms would expedite the application process for employers, and ensure
that the information on the application is complete and accurate.
There are no adjustments or program changes associated with this
ICR. The agency is proposing to retain the previous burden hour
estimate of 366 hours. The agency will summarize the comments submitted
in response to this notice, and will include this summary in the
request to OMB to approve these information collection requirements and
variance application forms.
Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.
Title: Variance Regulations (29 CFR 1905.10, 1905.11, and 1905.12).
OMB Control Number: 1218-0265.
Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profits and not-for-profit
Frequency of Responses: On occasion.
Number of Respondents: 48.
Total Responses: 48.
Average Time per Response: Varies.
Estimated Total Burden Hours: 366.
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 materials must identify the agency
name and the OSHA docket number for the ICR (Docket No. OSHA-2009-
0024). 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 from 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 for information about materials not available
from the website, and for assistance in using the internet to locate
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 October 28, 2021.
James S. Frederick,
Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2021-24055 Filed 11-9-21; 8:45 am]
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