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• Publication Date: 04/12/1994
• Publication Type: Proposed Rules
• Fed Register #: 59:17290-17294
• Standard Number: 1915.251 ; 1915.252
• Title: Safety Standards for Scaffolds Used in Shipyard Employment

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR Part 1915

[Docket No. S-047A]

RIN 1218-AA68

Safety Standards for Scaffolds Used in Shipyard Employment

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Proposed rule; limited reopening of the rulemaking record.

SUMMARY: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reopening the record for the proposed revision of the regulation of scaffolds used in shipyard employment (part 1915, subpart N) (53 FR 48182, November 29, 1988). This reopening incorporates the entire record for scaffolds used in the construction industry (part 1926, subpart L) (Docket S-205, 51 FR 42680, November 25, 1986; Docket S-205A, 58 FR 16509, March 29, 1993; Docket S-205B, 59 FR 4615, February 1, 1994) including the scaffold-related materials from the record for the proposed general industry standard for walking and working surfaces (part 1910, subpart D) (Docket S-041, 55 FR 13360, April 10, 1990) that were previously incorporated into the subpart L record in Docket S-205B. Through this notice, the Agency also requests input on the scope and application of subpart N; the appropriateness of replacing the term "capable person" with the term "qualified person" throughout subpart N; the maximum permissible distance between the front edge of a platform and the face of a vessel or structure; the requirements for a scaffold that the Agency considers to be an interior hung scaffold; the frequency of scaffold inspections; the qualifications for persons performing scaffold inspections; and the requirements for the performance of electric welding operations from suspension scaffolds. In addition, this notice corrects a typographic error in proposed paragraph 1915.252(b)(18)(iv) and invites public comment on that paragraph as corrected. The information received as a result of this action will be used by the Agency in developing its final rule for scaffolds used in shipyard employment.

DATES: Written comments on the materials incorporated through the notice of reopening must be postmarked by June 13, 1994.

ADDRESSES: Comments are to be sent to the Docket Office, Docket No. S-047A, U.S. Department of Labor, room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. Written comments limited to 10 pages or less in length also may be transmitted by facsimile to (202) 219-5046, provided that the original and three copies are sent to the Docket Office thereafter.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. James F. Foster, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, room N-3647, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. Telephone (202) 219-8148.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

A. Scope and Application

Proposed 1915.251(a)(1) reads as follows:

(a) Scope and application. (1) This subpart applies to all scaffolds used in shipyard workplaces and operations (including shipbuilding, ship repairing, and shipbreaking), but does not apply to construction operations in shipyards covered under 29 CFR part 1926.

OSHA received only two comments (Exs. 6-1 and 6-3) on this paragraph. Both of those commenters stated that the inclusion of the construction standards in the application of the shipyard standards is inappropriate and would be counterproductive to efforts to bring uniformity to shipyard employment through a vertical standard. They suggested that this paragraph be changed in order to apply part 1926 only to work being performed in a shipyard by outside non-shipyard employees.

It should be noted that construction work in shipyards is performed by both shipyard employees and non-shipyard employees. Shipyard employees fabricate and construct smoke stacks, tunnel sections, railroad cars, and bridge sections when shipbuilding, ship repairing, and shipbreaking work are either unavailable or in short supply. This work involves the use of scaffolds in shipyards. OSHA is considering whether all scaffold-related work performed at shipyards, regardless of who performs the work, should be covered by standards in part 1915, subpart N. If the Agency adopts that approach, subpart N will apply whenever employees perform work involving scaffolds, including construction operations in shipyards.

The Agency notes that several types of scaffolds specifically addressed in the proposed construction scaffold standards were not addressed in the proposed shipyard scaffold standards. If the Agency were to adopt a comprehensive approach to scaffold use in shipyards, it would incorporate the various construction scaffold standards into part 1915, except that the shipyard scaffold standard's threshold height for the provision and use of fall protection (5 feet (1.52 m)) would apply. Placing those standards in part 1915 would make the proposed reference to part 1926 unnecessary.

In addition, the Agency is considering if the use of the term "shipyard workplaces and operations" in proposed 1915.251(a)(1) inappropriately limits the scope and application of proposed subpart N. Accordingly, OSHA is contemplating replacement of the proposed term with the term "shipyard employment", so that the activities covered by subpart N would be described accurately.

OSHA is also considering whether the proposed exclusion of construction operations from the scope of subpart N should be limited to outside contractors using non-shipyard employees. Under such an approach, the scaffold operations of outside (non-shipyard) construction employers would still be subject to part 1926, subpart L. In addition, OSHA would require that scaffolds addressed by part 1926, but not by part 1915, comply with part 1926, regardless of who the affected employers and employees were. Accordingly, the Agency seeks comment on all or part of the following alternative language for proposed 1915.251(a)(1):

(a) Scope and application. (1) This subpart applies to all scaffolds, except as indicated below, used in shipyard employment (e.g., shipbuilding, ship repairing, shipbreaking, and related employments), but does not apply to construction operations being performed in shipyards by outside contractors using non-shipyard employees.

(i) Types of scaffolds which are specifically covered by 29 CFR part 1926 subpart L, but which are not specifically addressed by this subpart, shall meet the applicable requirements of part 1926 subpart L, except that fall protection shall be provided for each shipyard employee working more than 5 feet (1.52 m) above a lower level on such scaffolds.

B. Qualified Person

OSHA proposed in 1915.252 (b)(11), (b)(12), (b)(18)(i), and (d)(4) that scaffolds be evaluated by a capable person, and in 1915.252(d)(7) that scaffolds not be erected, moved, dismantled, or altered except under the supervision of a capable person. Furthermore, OSHA proposed the following definition, which is identical to the definition of "competent person" in 1926.32(f), for "capable person":

"Capable person" means one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.

At its meeting on November 20, 1991, the Shipyard Employment Standards Advisory Committee (SESAC) recommended (Tr. p. 84) that OSHA replace the term "capable person" with the term "qualified person" throughout the shipyard standards (29 CFR part 1915). Accordingly, OSHA is considering the appropriateness of replacing the term "capable person" with the term "qualified person (QP)" in the above-mentioned standards. The definition being considered for "qualified person (QP)" is based on the definition for "qualified" found in 1926.32(l) of the construction standards to which the word "person" and the clause "and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate any such problems" have been added in order to indicate clearly that a "qualified person (QP)", for the purposes of subpart N, would have both the ability and the authority needed to correct problems. Accordingly, OSHA seeks comment on the following definition, which would apply to subpart N only:

"Qualified person (QP)" means an individual who by possession of a recognized degree or certificate of professional standing, or who, by extensive knowledge, training, and experience, has successfully demonstrated the ability to solve or resolve problems related to the subject matter, the work, or the project, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate any such problems.

Does a person who evaluates scaffolds need authority over other employees in order to perform his or her duties?

C. Maximum Distance Between the Front Edge of a Platform and the Face of a Vessel or Structure

Proposed paragraph 1915.252(b)(4), which is effectively identical with proposed 1926.451(b)(4), reads as follows:

(4) The front edge of all platforms, except those on outrigger scaffolds, shall be positioned not more than 14 inches (36 cm) from the face of the vessel, vessel section, building or structure being worked on, unless Type I guardrails are erected along the open edge or body belt/harness systems are used to protect employees from falling. The maximum distance for outrigger scaffolds shall be 3 inches (8 cm).

OSHA is concerned that allowing a 14-inch (36 cm) opening may not be justified by the nature of work performed in shipyards. Unlike construction work, where an opening of up to 14 inches (36 cm) may be necessary if the structure is being constructed outward toward the scaffold, the fabrication of vessels and similar structures by shipyard workers is not usually conducted in that manner. Accordingly, OSHA seeks public comment on the appropriateness of reducing the maximum space allowed between the front edge of a platform and the face of the structure. Should OSHA extend the 3-inch (7.62 cm) maximum distance provision for outrigger scaffolds to cover all scaffolds? Should OSHA set some other distance? If so, what should that distance be? Please submit supporting information with any suggestions.

D. Interior Hung Scaffolds

OSHA recently became aware of a type of scaffold used in shipyards that consists of single-level or multi-level platforms suspended by several wire ropes attached to "S" hooks inserted through openings in the overhead longitudinal structural members in tanks. Wire rope clips are used to form the ends of the ropes into eyes. Those eyes are placed over the bottom of the "S" hooks. The platforms are supported by horizontal struts (usually, metal pipes) with slotted ends into which the suspension ropes are placed with a bolt or wire placed at the end of the opening. The struts rest on wire rope clips attached to the suspension ropes. OSHA is concerned that the proposed rules may not adequately address these scaffolds. The Agency also has some concerns about the adequacy of the proposed requirements for suspension scaffolds, in general. Accordingly, OSHA seeks public comment on the following issues:

1. OSHA has characterized these scaffolds as a type of interior hung scaffold. To what extent is the above-described characterization correct? If this characterization is correct, to what extent do the proposed requirements for interior hung scaffolds (1915.253(p)) and the general scaffold requirements (1915.252) adequately address the above-described scaffolds? To what extent does proposed Appendix A adequately address the above-described scaffolds? What changes, if any, should be made in proposed subpart N to improve the coverage of the above described scaffolds?

2. The Agency is concerned about the possibility that a suspension rope could be inadvertently disconnected from an "S" hook, thereby allowing an interior hung scaffold to fall. Accordingly, OSHA is considering requiring that the end of the "S" hook which supports the suspension rope be effectively closed. If so, what methods can be used to close the hook? OSHA is considering if mousing (wrapping rope around the hook opening when the suspension rope is connected) would adequately assure that the suspension rope did not disconnect from the "S" hook. What experience have employers had with the use of mousing to close the hook opening? OSHA is also considering if locking hooks, such as required in 1910.66, Powered platforms, should be required. To what extent would the use of locking hooks be appropriate with these scaffolds?

3. Proposed paragraph 1926.253(p)(3) requires that suspension ropes and cables on interior hung scaffolds be connected to overhead supporting members by shackles, clips, thimbles, or equivalent means. To what extent do the "S" hooks used on the above-described scaffolds constitute equivalent means of connection? Should OSHA prohibit the use of "S" hooks for suspending these scaffolds?

4. OSHA is also concerned about the possibility that an "S" hook could be inadvertently disconnected from its support, thereby allowing an interior hung scaffold to fall. Accordingly, OSHA is considering requiring that the "S" hooks be secured to the overhead longitudinal structural members in tanks. If so, what methods can be used to secure them?

5. In its rulemaking for scaffolds used in construction, OSHA reopened the rulemaking record (58 FR 16509, March 29, 1993) to solicit comments and information regarding the feasibility of providing fall protection and safe access for employees erecting and dismantling scaffolds, including interior hung scaffolds (proposed 1926.452(t)). The materials submitted in response to that notice (Ex. 34, with attachments) will be considered when OSHA drafts the final rule for part 1915, subpart N.

In addition, the Agency is considering requiring the provision and use of fall protection and safe access for employees erecting and dismantling scaffolds used in shipyard employment. To what extent is it feasible for shipyard employers to provide fall protection and safe access for employees erecting or dismantling scaffolds, such as the above-described scaffolds, used in shipyard employment?

6. How would a fall protection requirement affect the erection and dismantling of scaffolds?

7. OSHA is considering requiring that measures be taken to prevent the swaying of vertical lines suspending employees erecting or dismantling the above-described scaffolds. What measures have been taken to prevent such swaying? What other methods would be appropriate?

8. OSHA is considering specifying a minimum diameter for wire ropes used to suspend these scaffolds. Proposed 1915.252(a)(4)(ii) requires that ropes suspending catenary scaffolds be equivalent to at least one-half inch diameter wire rope. Would that minimum diameter be appropriate for the above described scaffolds? If not, how should OSHA address the minimum diameter for ropes used to suspend such scaffolds?

9. OSHA is considering requiring that only improved plow steel wire rope be used as suspension ropes on scaffolds. To what extent would such a requirement be appropriate?

10. OSHA is concerned that incorrect size wire rope clips might be used on the wire ropes used to suspend scaffolds. Accordingly, OSHA is considering specifying that when clips are used they must be the right size for the rope. To what extent would such a requirement be appropriate?

11. When a U-bolt wire rope clip is installed backwards on a wire rope (i.e., the saddle is placed on the dead end and the U-bolt is placed on the live end of a rope), the live end may be damaged through contact with the U-bolt. OSHA is concerned that the use of U-bolt wire rope clips could damage wire rope so that a rope is not capable of supporting a scaffold. Accordingly, OSHA is considering prohibiting the use of U-bolt wire rope clips on suspension scaffolds. To what extent would such a requirement be appropriate?

12. The struts that support the platforms on the above described scaffolds usually rest on wire rope clips attached to the suspension ropes. The clips usually are attached to only one section of the rope, instead of two sections as is the case when an eye is formed in a rope. OSHA is concerned that wire rope clips, especially U-bolt clips, used in this manner might not provide adequate support for a scaffold. OSHA is also concerned that wire rope clips, especially U-bolt clips, used in this manner might damage a rope, reducing its load carrying ability (see question 11 above). Accordingly, OSHA is considering prohibiting the use of wire rope clips in this manner, and seeks comment on the extent to which wire rope clips adequately support the struts when used in this manner. Would it be appropriate for OSHA to prohibit the use of U-bolt clips for this purpose, but to allow such a use of double-saddle clips? If the use of clips is allowed for this purpose, (1) are clips necessary on the top of each strut as well as at the bottom in order to adequately secure each strut to its wire rope, and (2) how many clips should OSHA require, as a minimum, for rigging these scaffolds?

13. OSHA is considering requiring that measures be taken to prevent the unintentional dislodgement of a suspension rope from the slot in a strut. Accordingly, the Agency seeks comment on the feasibility of complying with such a requirement. If such a requirement is promulgated, should OSHA specify the use of a bolt and nut that are at least 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) in diameter for this purpose? Also, Should OSHA prohibit the use of tie wires for this purpose?

14. OSHA is concerned that suspension ropes used on the above-described scaffolds could be damaged through contact with the struts or the overhead longitudinal structural members found in tanks. Accordingly, OSHA is considering requiring that measures be taken to prevent damage to suspension ropes from contact with the struts or the overhead longitudinal structural members. To what extent do the procedures currently used to rig such scaffolds prevent damage? What, if any, changes to rigging procedures or equipment are needed?

15. OSHA is considering setting minimum requirements (such as length, diameter, thickness (wall thickness for pipes), shape, or type of material) for the struts used to support the above-described scaffolds. What, if any, minimum requirements should the Agency set for the struts? To what extent would struts currently in use satisfy any such requirements?

16. OSHA is concerned that scaffolds designed by persons lacking the necessary skills and knowledge may prove to be unsafe. Accordingly, OSHA seeks comment on the level of expertise that should be required for persons who design scaffolds and scaffold components. Should OSHA require that scaffolds and scaffold components be designed by a registered professional engineer? Should OSHA require that scaffolds and their components be designed by a person who is "qualified" as defined in 1926.32(l) (see discussion of Item B, above)?

17. OSHA is considering prohibiting the performance of heavy structural repairs and steel erection from the above-described scaffolds to prevent situations where an overload could occur. To what extent are structural repairs and steel erection performed from such scaffolds? How reasonable would it be for OSHA to require that any such work be performed using other means of access?

18. Proposed paragraph 1915.252(e)(1)(i) requires that employees on catenary scaffolds, float scaffolds, and needle beam scaffolds, all of which are non-adjustable scaffolds, be protected by personal fall arrest systems. Since the above-described scaffolds and interior hung scaffolds in general are also non-adjustable suspension scaffolds, OSHA is considering requiring the provision of personal fall arrest systems for employees working on the above-described scaffolds. The Agency is also considering requiring personal fall arrest systems for suspended scaffolds in general. To what extent are such systems currently provided to and used by affected employees?

19. OSHA is considering requiring the use of guardrail systems on the above-described scaffolds. Accordingly, the Agency seeks information on methods that are currently used to provide guardrail systems on those scaffolds. To what extent are the ropes used to suspend the scaffold capable of serving as vertical supports in a guardrail system?

20. In what types of shipyard operations, other than for blasting and painting, are the above-described scaffolds used?

21. Does the use of the above-mentioned scaffolds expose employees erecting, dismantling, or using them to any unique hazards? If so, what are those hazards, and how can the employer prevent them or protect employees from them?

22. OSHA is considering requiring that the suspension ropes on the above-described scaffolds be secured at the bottom of the tank. To what extent are suspension ropes currently being secured? What methods are being used? What other methods would be appropriate?

23. OSHA is considering requiring that the suspension ropes on the above-described scaffolds be kept in a vertical position while employees are on the scaffolds. To what extent are suspension ropes currently kept in a vertical position? What methods are being used? What other methods would be appropriate?

24. OSHA is considering requiring that platform units used on the above-described scaffolds be secured to the supporting struts. To what extent are those scaffolds currently secured to the supporting struts? What methods are used or can be used for securing the platform units to the struts?

E. Inspection of Scaffolds

Proposed paragraph 1915.252(d)(3) requires that scaffolds be inspected as follows:

(3) Supported scaffolds and scaffold components shall be inspected for visible defects periodically and after any occurrence which could affect a scaffold's structural integrity. Suspension scaffolds and scaffold components shall be inspected for visible defects immediately after installation prior to their first use; periodically thereafter (preferably before each use); and after any occurrence which could affect a scaffold's structural integrity.

This language does not specify who is to perform the inspection or what qualifications that person must possess, nor does it specify how frequently inspections must occur. The Agency sought public comment in these matters for both supported and suspension scaffolds in Issue 13 of the proposal. In that issue the Agency stated incorrectly that the proposed rule required supported scaffolds and scaffold components to be inspected for visible defects prior to each workshift and after any occurrence which could affect the scaffold's structural integrity. The Agency intended all scaffolds and scaffold components to be inspected for visible defects prior to each workshift. However, proposed paragraph 1915.252(d)(3) simply expresses a preference for inspection before each use. The Agency also sought public comment on whether the scaffold inspector should be an engineer, a qualified person, or a capable person.

OSHA received three comments (Exs. 6-1, 6-3, and 6-7) in response to Issue 13. Two of these commenters (Exs. 6-1 and 6-3) stated that the proposed rule uses specification-oriented language and is unnecessarily restrictive, and that a thorough inspection before each workshift would be impossible and expensive. These two commenters added that existing rule 1915.71(b)(5), which requires that scaffolds be maintained in a safe and secure condition and that defective components be replaced, is performance-oriented and has caused the industry to implement effective programs to ensure safe scaffolds. They recommended the retention of existing 1915.71(b)(5), and that proposed 1915.252(d)(3) not be included in the final rule. The other commenter (Ex. 6-7) stated that "[s]caffolds should be inspected by a capable person during and immediately after the system is anchored. Thereafter, the system should be inspected daily by the employees using the system." This commenter added that the proposed frequency of inspections adequately reflects current shipyard practices.

OSHA does not believe that proposed 1915.252(d)(3) is unnecessarily restrictive. To the contrary, OSHA is concerned that proposed 1915.252(d)(3) and existing 1915.71(b)(5) might not adequately address the hazards associated with the use of unsafe scaffolds. Accordingly, the Agency seeks public comment on the adequacy of proposed 1915.252(d)(3), and on the appropriateness of replacing proposed 1915.252(d)(3) with the following language, which is the same as the corresponding proposed requirement for scaffolds used in the construction industry (51 FR 42706, November 25, 1986) except that "competent person" has been changed to "qualified person" (see discussion of Item B, above):

(3) Scaffolds and scaffold components shall be inspected for visible defects by a qualified person prior to each work shift, and after any occurrence which could affect a scaffold's structural integrity.

F. Correction to Proposed 1915.252(b)(18)(iv)

The word "not" was inadvertently dropped from paragraph 1915.252(b)(18)(iv) when proposed subpart N was published in the Federal Register (53 FR 48207, November 29, 1988). Due to a typographic error, proposed 1915.252(b)(18)(iv) read as follows:

(iv) Counterweights shall be removed from a scaffold until the scaffold is disassembled.

The preamble discussion for proposed 1915.252(b)(18)(iv) (53 FR 48188) clearly states that OSHA intended to prohibit the removal of counterweights until the scaffold is disassembled. In addition, the Agency notes that the corresponding provision in proposed part 1926, subpart L (1926.451(b)(18)(iv)) states that "counterweights shall not be removed * * *." Proposed paragraph 1915.252(b)(18)(iv) should have read as follows:

(iv) Counterweights shall not be removed from a scaffold until the scaffold is disassembled (emphasis added).

OSHA seeks public comment on the appropriateness of the proposed provision as corrected.

H. Performance of Electric Welding Operations From Suspension Scaffolds

OSHA raised the issue of the regulation of electric welding on suspension scaffolds in Issue 2 of the NPRM (53 FR 46197). The Agency asked for input on six precautions that might reduce the possibility of the welding current arcing through the wire rope when welding is performed by employees on suspension scaffolds. OSHA received only one response to Issue 2. That commenter (Ex. 6-7) stated that the use of welding equipment on suspended platforms has not caused any safety hazards.

On the issue of welding work performed while on scaffolds, OSHA seeks public comment on the following provisions that are being considered for inclusion in the final rule. These requirements are the same as those found in section 6.2.9 of ANSI A10.8-1988 except that in paragraph (b) the term "unit" has been changed to "scaffold" so that the language clearly indicates the Agency's intent.

To reduce the possibility of the welding current arcing through the suspension wire rope during the course of welding from suspension scaffolds, the following precautions shall be taken:

(a) An insulated thimble shall be used to attach each suspension wire rope to its hanging support (such as cornice hook or outrigger). Excess suspension wire rope and any additional independent lines from grounding shall be insulated.

(b) The suspension wire rope shall be covered with insulating materials at least 4 feet (1.22 m) above the hoist. In the event a tail line exists below the hoist, it shall be insulated to prevent contact with the platform. The portion of the tail line that hangs free below the scaffold shall be guided or retained, or both, so that it does not become grounded.

(c) Each hoist shall be covered with protective cover made from insulating materials.

(d) In addition to a work lead attachment required by the welding process, a grounding conductor shall be connected from the scaffold to the structure. The size of this conductor shall be equal to or greater than the size of the welding process work lead and shall not be in series with the welding process or the work piece.

(e) If the scaffold grounding lead is disconnected at any time, the welding machine shall be shut off.

(f) At no time shall an active welding rod or an uninsulated welding lead be allowed to contact the scaffold or its suspension system.

Paragraph (b) above addresses suspension scaffolds with hoists but does not specifically address non-adjustable suspension scaffolds (i.e., scaffolds that do not have hoists). The Agency believes that employees performing welding operations from non-adjustable suspension scaffolds are exposed to the same or similar hazards as those faced by employees on adjustable suspension scaffolds. Accordingly, the Agency seeks public comment on the following issues:

1. Should OSHA require that wire ropes on non-adjustable suspension scaffolds from which employees are performing welding operations be insulated to a height above the scaffold sufficient to prevent accidental contact between the ropes and an active welding rod or an uninsulated welding lead? If so, what should that height be? 2. Should OSHA require that an insulated thimble or equivalent be used to attach each suspension wire rope to the platform of a non-adjustable suspension scaffold used for welding operations? 3. What other measures should OSHA require for the protection of employees performing welding from suspended scaffolds?

I. Incorporation of Dockets S-205, S-205A, and S-205B (Part 1926, Subpart L, Scaffolds Used in the Construction Industry)

On November 25, 1986, the Agency proposed to update the requirements for protection of employees on scaffolds used in construction (part 1926, subpart L, 51 FR 42680). The public record on scaffolds used in construction was reopened on March 29, 1993 (58 FR 16509), and again on February 1, 1994 (59 FR 4615). The proposed construction industry requirements for scaffolds were generally consistent with those proposed for shipyards in 1988. The construction proposal and the two notices of limited reopening generated public input which OSHA is considering as the Agency drafts the final rule for scaffolds covered by part 1926, subpart L. Many of those materials contain relevant information or raise scaffold-related concerns not yet addressed in the comments on part 1915, proposed subpart N. The Agency believes that, in developing separate standards for the construction industry (part 1926) and for the shipyard industry (part 1915), the substance of those standards should be consistent, except where there are demonstrable differences in scaffold use which would justify differences in coverage. Therefore, OSHA has determined that the Agency needs to consider the information generated in the subpart L rulemaking when the Agency drafts the final rule for scaffolds in the shipyard industry. In addition, OSHA notes that Docket S-205B also contains scaffold-related materials from the proposed general industry standard for walking and working surfaces (Docket S-041, part 1910, subpart D) and an August, 1993, NIOSH study of construction-related fatalities titled Fatal Injuries to Workers in the United States, 1980-1989: A Decade of Surveillance. In order to assure that those relevant materials are considered by both the Agency and the public as they relate to scaffold use in shipyards, OSHA is incorporating pertinent exhibits from the construction industry rulemaking record (Dockets S-205, S-205A, and S-205B) into the part 1915, subpart N rulemaking (Docket S-047). All the materials incorporated from subpart L will be identified in the subpart N docket as Exhibit 8, with attachments.

J. Costs, Benefits, and Technological Feasibility

In the regulatory analysis accompanying the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on November 29, 1988, the Agency identified three provisions that would impose compliance burdens: (1) Requiring scaffolds to be no more than 14 inches from the vertical work area unless there was a guardrail or body belt employed; (2) prohibiting the use of ladders on top scaffolds; (3) forbidding workers to ride on mobile scaffolds unless the surface to be driven over was free of hazards.

The Agency requests comments from the shipyard industry about the costs of these provisions, other provisions in the original proposed rule, and the issues raised in this notice, especially the use of interior hung scaffolds.

In order to update the rulemaking record, the Agency solicits information regarding: (1) The annual number of accidents (especially falls) that occur while workers are engaged in erecting or working on scaffolds; (2) the annual number of workers injured; (3) the severity of injuries; and (4) the causes of accidents. OSHA also solicits comments regarding the extent to which shipyard scaffold accidents will be avoided by complying with the proposed rule.

The Agency also requests comments, with supporting information, about the technological feasibility of applying the proposed standard, including the alternatives set out in this notice, to the shipyard industry.

II. Public Participation

Comments

Written comments regarding the materials incorporated into the subpart N record through this notice must be postmarked by June 13, 1994. Four copies of these comments must be submitted to the Docket Office, Docket No. S-047A, U.S. Department of Labor, room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. (202) 219-7894. All materials submitted will be available for inspection and copying at the above address. Materials previously submitted to the Docket for this rulemaking need not be resubmitted.

III. Authority

This document was prepared under the direction of Joseph A. Dear, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210.

It is issued under section 6(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (29 U.S.C. 655), section 41 of the Longshore and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act, as amended (33 U.S.C. 941), and 29 CFR part 1911.

Signed at Washington, DC, this 6th day of April, 1994.

Joseph A. Dear,
Assistant Secretary of Labor.

[FR Doc. 94-8687 Filed 4-11-94; 8:45 am]


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