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• Publication Date: 11/10/2008
• Publication Type: Notice
• Fed Register #: 73:66683-66685
• 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: November 10, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 218)]
[Notices]               
[Page 66683-66685]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr10no08-87]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

[Docket No. OSHA-2008-0044]

 
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 comments concerning its proposal to extend OMB 
approval of the information collection requirement contained in the 
Standard on Permit-Required Confined Spaces (29 CFR 1910.146). 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.

DATES: Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent, or received) by 
January 9, 2009.

ADDRESSES: 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 
comments.
    Facsimile: If your comments, including attachments, are not longer 
than 10 pages, you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-
1648.
    Mail, hand delivery, express mail, messenger, or courier service: 
When using this method, you must submit three copies of your comments 
and attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2008-0044, 
U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, 
DC 20210. Deliveries (hand, express mail, messenger, and courier 
service) are accepted during the Department of Labor's and Docket 
Office's normal business hours, 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., e.t.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and OSHA 
docket number for the ICR (OSHA-2008-0044). All comments, including any 
personal information you provide, are placed in the public docket 
without change, and may be made available online at http://
www.regulations.gov. For further information on submitting comments see 
the "Public Participation" heading in the section of this notice 
titled SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
    Docket: To read or download comments or other material in the 
docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov or the OSHA Docket Office at 
the address above. All documents in the docket (including this Federal 
Register notice) 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 Web site. All submissions, 
including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and 
copying at the OSHA Docket Office. You may also contact Theda Kenney at 
the address below to obtain a copy of the ICR.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Theda Kenney or Todd Owen, Directorate 
of Standards and Guidance, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 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 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 (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 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).
    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 "permit-space program" when 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)(8)(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.
    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.
    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.
    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) has been 
accomplished by preparing a written certification record.
    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.
    Section 1910.146(l)(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 is requesting that OMB extend its approval of the information 
collection requirements contained in the Standard on Permit-Required 
Confined Spaces (29 CFR 1910.146). OSHA is proposing to decrease the 
existing burden hour estimate for the collection of information 
requirements specified by the Standard from 1,523,763 hours to 
1,475,091 hours, for a total decrease of 48,672 hours. This adjustment 
decrease was due to updated data that indicated a slight decline in the 
numbers of establishments with permit spaces, permit spaces, and permit 
space entrants. The Agency will summarize the comments submitted in 
response to this notice and will include this summary in the request to 
OMB.
    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.
    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: 219,456.
    Frequency of Response: On occasion.
    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: 1,475,091.
    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 material must identify the Agency name 
and the OSHA docket number for the ICR (Docket No. OSHA-2008-0044). 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. For information about 
security procedures concerning the delivery of materials by hand, 
express delivery, messenger, or courier service, please contact the 
OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-2350 (TTY (877) 889-5627).
    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 through this 
Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are 
available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. 
Information on using the http://www.regulations.gov Web site to submit 
comments and access the docket is available at the Web site's "User 
Tips" link. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about 
materials not available through the Web site, and for assistance in 
using the Internet to locate docket submissions.

V. Authority and Signature

    Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., 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. 5-2007 (72 FR 31159).

    Signed at Washington, DC, on November 3, 2008.
Edwin G. Foulke, Jr.,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. E8-26585 Filed 11-7-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-26-P

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