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• Publication Date: 11/16/1995
• Publication Type: Notice
• Fed Register #: 60:57598-57599
• Title: Proposed Information Collection Request Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations; Permissible Exposure Limits Site Visits.

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Health and Safety Administration

Proposed Information Collection Request Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations; Permissible Exposure Limits Site Visits

ACTION: Notice.



SUMMARY: The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A). This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is soliciting comments concerning the proposed new collection of information to develop the economic analysis for a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) rulemaking that the Agency is undertaking.

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before January 16, 1996. The Department of Labor is particularly interested in comments that:

evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

ADDRESSES: Comments are to be submitted to the Docket Office, Docket No. ICR-95-1, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Ave, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20010, telephone (202) 219-7894 (not a toll-free number). Written comments of 10 pages or less may also be transmitted by facsimile to (202) 219-5046.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

The Agency proposed new permissible exposure limits (PELs) for more than 400 substances of 1988 (53 FR No. 109, June 7, 1989). Final PELs for these substances were published in 1989 (54 FR No. 12, January 19, 1989). The United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, vacated the standard on July 7, 1992, stating that OSHA had not met its burden of establishing that the new exposure limits were either economically or technologically feasible; that existing limits presented a significant risk of material health impairment; or that the new limits would eliminate or substantially reduce the risk. OSHA has begun a new rulemaking effort to meet the burdens imposed by the Court. This rulemaking will set new PELs for fewer chemical substances than the original 1988-89 effort. To determine economic and technological feasibility for these substances, the Agency proposes to gather information from affected industries and other sources. The Agency proposes to conduct as many as 50 site visits to affected employers and to contact and interview by phone as many as 200 firms, trade associations, labor organizations, or experts.

II. Current Actions

The proposed collection of information consists of site visits to as many as 50 establishments within industries affected by the proposed standard and phone interviews with as many as 200 employers, trade associations, labor organizations, or experts in the field. Information to be sought by these site visits will consist of identifying processes that have exposures to the PEL substances; a description of the production technology, controls, and occupations of each process; occupational exposure levels of employees at those processes; potential new technologies or controls that may reduce exposures; estimates of costs of current technology as well as technology that could reduce exposure levels; other means used to control or reduce exposure levels such as administrative controls or work practices.

Type of Review: New.

Agency: Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

Title: Permissible Exposure Limit Site Visits.

OMB Number: None.

Agency Number: ICR-95-1.

Frequency: Once.

Affected Public: Private businesses, state and federal government.

Number of Respondents: 250.

Estimated time per Respondent: 30 hours, on average, for site visits; 1 hour on average for phone interviews.

Total Estimated Cost: $85,000.

For Further Information Contact: Anne C. Cyr, Acting Director, Office of Information and Consumer Affairs, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3647, 200 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20210. Telephone (202) 219-8148. Copies of the information collection request are available for inspection and copying in the Docket Office and will be immediately mailed to persons who request copies by telephoning Vivian Allen at (202) 219-8076. For electronic copies, contact the Labor News bulletin Board (202) 219-4784; or OSHA's WebPage on Internet at http://www.osha.gov/.

Dated: November 9, 1995.

Marthe Kent,
Director, Office of Regulatory Analysis, Directorate of Policy, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor.

Collection of information sought by OSHA for each substance in the proposed permissible exposure limit rulemaking:

1. Identification of processes or operations that may result in exposures to employees.

2. A description of the production process, its technology, and control technology.

3. A description of activities by occupation that result in worker exposures. How are employees exposed? During what work activities? What is the length and frequency of exposure?

4. How many employees work in each process with exposures to the substance in question? How many employees are in each occupation at that process?

5. What data is available of exposure levels of each occupation of the process? Is historical data available?

6. What technology or controls are capable of reducing exposures? What exposure levels could be achieved with other control technologies? Are there substitutes for the substance in question? Are there other technologies employed by the industry?

7. Are there changes in administrative controls or work practices that could affect employee exposures?

8. Estimates of the cost of the various means of reducing occupational exposure levels. Estimates of the cost of current controls.

9. General information from the establishment on number of employees, number of production employees, products and production levels.

10. Information about the technology, controls, and exposures for the rest of the industry.

11. What are the economic benefits of installing production technology that reduces exposures?

[FR Doc. 95-28301 Filed 11-15-95; 8:45 am]


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