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• Publication Date: 08/31/2005
• Publication Type: Notice
• Fed Register #: 70:51849-51851
• Standard Number: 1910.146
• Title: Permit-Required Confined Spaces; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) Requirements

[Federal Register: August 31, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 168)]
[Notices]               
[Page 51849-51851]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr31au05-163]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

[Docket No. ICR 1218-0203 (2005)]

 
Permit-Required Confined Spaces; Extension of the Office of 
Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection 
(Paperwork) Requirements

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION: Request for public comment.

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SUMMARY: OSHA solicits public comment concerning its request for an 
extension of the information collection requirement contained in its 
Standard on Permit-Required Confined Spaces (29 CFR 1910.146).

DATES: Comments must be submitted by the following dates:
    Hard copy: Your comments must be submitted (postmarked or received) 
by October 31, 2005.
    Facsimile and electronic transmission: Your comments must be 
received by October 31, 2005.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by OSHA Docket No. ICR-
1218-0203(2005), by any of the following methods:
    Regular mail, express delivery, hand delivery, and messenger 
service: Submit your comments and attachments to the OSHA Docket 
Office, Room N-2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, 
NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2350 (OSHA's TTY number 
is (877) 889-5627). OSHA Docket Office and Department of Labor hours 
are 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., e.t.
    Facsimile: If your comments are 10 pages or fewer in length, 
including attachments, you may fax them to the OSHADocket Office at 
(202) 693-1648.
    Electronic: You may submit comments through the Internet at http://ecomments.osha.gov.
 Follow instructions on the OSHA Web page for submitting comments.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read or download comments or 
background materials, such as the complete Information Collection 
Request (ICR) (containing the Supporting Statement, OMB-83-I Form, and 
attachments), go to OSHA's Web page at http://www.OSHA.gov. In 
addition, the ICR, comments, and submissions are available for 
inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office at the address above. 
You also may contact Theda Kenney at the address below to obtain a copy 
of the ICR. For additional information on submitting comments, please 
see the ``Public Participation'' heading in the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Theda Kenney or Todd Owen, Directorate 
of Standards and Guidance, OSHA, Room N-3609, 200 Constitution Avenue, 
NW., Washington, DC 20210, telephone: (202) 693-2222.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing efforts 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-95) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).
    This program ensures that information is in the desired format, 
reporting burden (time and costs) is minimal, collection instruments 
are clearly understood, and OSHA's estimate of the information 
collection burden is accurate. The Occupational Safety and Health Act 
of 1970 (the 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 Standard specifies a number of collection of information 
requirements. The collections of information are used by employers and 
employees whenever entry is made into permit-required confined spaces. 
The following sections describe who uses the information collected 
under each requirement, as well as how they use it. The purpose of the 
information 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. In 
addition, the information is needed to determine, during an OSHA 
inspection by a compliance safety and health officer, if employers are 
in compliance with the Standard.
    Section 1910.146(c)(2) requires the employer to post danger signs 
to inform exposed employees of the existence and location of, and the 
danger posed by, permit spaces.
    Section 1910.146(c)(4) requires the employer to develop and 
implement a written a ``permit space program'' if 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 (``permit 
space program'') required under this paragraph.
    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 
contractor that 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)(i)(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 entry operations.\1\
    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.\1\
    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 accordance 
with paragraph (d) of this section.\1\
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    \1\ These sections identify usual and customary communications 
between employers, contractors, and employees; therefore, they do 
not impose burden hours or costs on the employer. For example, as a 
matter of business practice, information about hazards and permit-
required confined spaces, etc., would be conveyed to contractors 
during initial discussions of work to be performed.
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    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.
    Section 1910.146(g)(4) requires that the employer certify that the 
training required by paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(3) \2\ has been 
accomplished by preparing a written certification record.
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    \2\ The Agency concludes that the training required under Sec.  
1910.146(g)(1) through (g)(3) and (k)(2)(i) and (k)(2)(ii) Sec.  
1910.146(k)(iii) is written in performance-oriented language and, 
thus, not considered a collection of information under the 
implementing rules and guidelines of PRA-95.
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    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)(2)(ii) requires that the employer train 
affected employees to perform assigned rescue duties. The employer must 
ensure that such employees successfully complete the training required 
to establish proficiency as an authorized entrant, as provided by 
paragraphs (g) and (h) of this section. Section 1910.146(k)(2)(iii) 
requires that the employer train affected employees in basic first-aid 
and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The employer shall ensure that 
at least one member of the rescue team or service holding a current 
certification in first aid and CPR is available.
    Section 1910.146(k)(4) requires that if an injured entrant is 
exposed to a substance for which a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) 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.\3\
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    \3\ The burden hours and cost for MSDS accessibility is taken 
under OMB Control Number 1218-0072 (the Hazard Communication 
Standard (HCS) ICR).
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    Section Sec.  1910.146(1)(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 
collected; and
     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 proposes to extend the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) 
approval of the collection of information (paperwork) requirements 
contained in the Standard on Permit-Required Confined Spaces (29 CFR 
1910.146). The Agency will summarize the comments submitted in response 
to this notice, and will include this summary in its request to OMB to 
extend the approval of the collection of information requirements 
contained in the Standard.
    Type of Review: Extension of currently approved information 
collection requirements.
    Title: Permit-Required Confined Spaces (29 CFR 1910.146).
    OMB Number: 1218-0203.
    Affected Public: Business or other for-profits; not-for-profit 
organizations; Federal government; State, local, or tribal government.
    Number of Respondents: 238,853.
    Frequency of Response: On occasion.
    Total Responses: 9,163,736.
    Average Time Per Response: Varies from one minute (.02 hour) to 
maintain a certificate to 16 hours to develop a written permit space 
entry program.
    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 1,523,810.
    Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): 50.

IV. Public Participation-Submission of Comments on This Notice and 
Internet Access to Comments and Submissions

    You may submit comments and supporting materials in response to 
this notice by (1) hard copy, (2) fax transmission (facsimile), or (3) 
electronically through the OSHA Web page. Because of security-related 
problems, a significant delay may occur in the receipt of comments by 
regular mail. Please contact the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-2350 
(TTY (877) 889-5627) for information about security procedures 
concerning the delivery of submissions by express delivery, hand 
delivery, and courier service.
    All comments, submissions and background documents are available 
for inspection and copying a the OSHA Docket Office at the above 
address. Comments and submissions posted on OSHA's Web page are 
available at http://www.OSHA.gov. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for 
information about materials not available through the OSHA Web page and 
for assistance using the Web page to locate docket submissions.
    Electronic copies of this Federal Register notice, as well as other 
relevant documents, are available on OSHA's Web page. Since all 
submissions become public, private information such as social security 
numbers should not be submitted.

V. Authority and Signature

    Jonathan L. Snare, Deputy 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. 5-
2002 (67 FR 65008).

    Signed at Washington, DC, on August 25, 2005.
Jonathan L. Snare,
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor.
[FR Doc. 05-17346 Filed 8-30-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-26-M

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