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• Publication Date: 11/04/1994
• Publication Type: Final Rules
• Fed Register #: 59:55208-55209
• Standard Number: 1910
• Title: Permit-Required Confined Spaces

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR Part 1910

RIN 1218-AA51

Permit-Required Confined Spaces

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), U.S. Department of Labor.

ACTION: Final rule: technical amendment to preamble.

SUMMARY: On January 14, 1993 at 58 FR 4462, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a final rule on Permit-Required Confined Spaces, 29 CFR 1910.146 in the Federal Register. On June 29, 1993 at 58 FR 34844, OSHA published a corrections document for that final rule which contained corrections to the regulatory text and to several appendices of the final rule. Another document was published on May 19, 1994 at 59 FR 26114 which added a metric equivalent in paragraph (k)(3)(ii) and further revised the "Atmospheric monitoring" section of Appendix E, "Sewer System Entry", of the final rule. This document revises one paragraph of the preamble discussion of the definition of confined space in the January 14, 1993 document.

EFFECTIVE DATE: November 4, 1994.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Office of Information, Division of Consumer Affairs, Room N-3647, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210, Telephone: (202) 219-8151.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: OSHA published its final rule on Permit- Required Confined Spaces (PRCS), 29 CFR 1910.146, on January 14, 1993 at 58 FR 4462. Corrections to the regulatory text and to several appendices were published on June 29, 1993 at 58 FR 34844. A technical amendment was published on May 19, 1994 at 59 FR 26114.

Amendment to Preamble of 29 CFR 1910.146

In the Permit-Required Confined Spaces standard, on pages 4477 and 4478 of the January 14, 1993 Federal Register document preamble, OSHA made the following statement:

As indicated in the preamble to the proposal [54 FR 24089], OSHA notes that doorways and other portals through which a person can walk are not to be considered limited means for entry or exit.

This sentence was intended to limit the application of the definition of confined spaces to those areas where an employee would be forced to enter or exit in a posture that might slow self-rescue, or make rescue more difficult. These spaces warrant additional consideration as to whether they pose a hazard to entrants and would, therefore, be regulated as permit-required confined spaces (permit spaces). For example, even if the door or portal of a space is of sufficient size, obstructions could make entry into or exit from the space difficult. The Agency intended that spaces which otherwise meet the definition of confined spaces, and which have obstructed entry or exits even though the portal is a standard size doorway, be classified as confined spaces. OSHA acknowledges that the preamble to the final rule did not clearly express that intent.

Accordingly, OSHA is adding preamble language to follow the above- mentioned statement. This text will make OSHA's original intent clear, without changing the PRCS standard.

Exemption From Notice and Comment Procedures

With regard to this action, OSHA has determined that it is not required to follow procedures for public notice and comment rulemaking under either section 4 of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) or under section 6(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (29 U.S.C. 655(b)). This action does not affect the substantive requirements or coverage of the standards themselves. This technical amendment does not modify or revoke existing rights or obligations, nor does it establish new ones. This action simply provides additional information on the existing regulatory burden. OSHA, therefore, finds that notice and public procedure are impracticable and unnecessary within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B). For the same reasons, OSHA also finds that, in accordance with 29 CFR 1911.5, good cause exists for dispensing with the public notice and comment procedures prescribed in section 6(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Exemption From Delayed Effective Date Requirement

Under 5 U.S.C. 553, OSHA finds that is good cause for making this technical amendment effective upon publication in the Federal Register. This technical amendment simply provides additional information on the existing regulatory burden without increasing that burden.

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.

Signed at Washington, DC, this 1st day of November 1994.

Joseph A. Dear,

Assistant Secretary of Labor.

Accordingly, in the January 14, 1993, Final Rule for Permit-Required Confined Spaces for General Industry (58 FR 4462), the preamble section on page 4477, column 3 and page 4478, column 1, is revised to read as follows:

As indicated in the preamble to the proposal [54 FR 24089], OSHA notes that doorways and other portals through which a person can walk are not to be considered limited means for entry or exit. However, a space containing such a door or portal may still be deemed a confined space if an entrant's ability to escape in an emergency would be hindered.

[FR Doc. 94-27413 Filed 11-3-94; 8:45 am]


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