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• Publication Date: 02/08/2010
• Publication Type: Notice
• Fed Register #: 75:6220-6222
• Standard Number: 1905.10; 1905.11; 1905.12
• Title: Information Collection Requirements for the Variance Regulations; Submission for Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) Requirements

[Federal Register: February 8, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 25)]
[Notices]               
[Page 6220-6222]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr08fe10-79]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

[Docket No. OSHA-2009-0024]

 
Information Collection Requirements for the Variance Regulations; 
Submission for 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 obtain OMB 
approval for the information collection requirements contained in 
Sections 6(b)6(A), 6(b)6(B), 6(b)6(C), 6(d), and 16 of the Occupational 
Safety and Health Act of 1970, and 29 CFR 1905.10, 1905.11, and 
1905.12. These statutory and regulatory provisions specify the 
requirements for submitting applications to OSHA for temporary, 
experimental, permanent, and national defense variances.

DATES: Comments must be submitted (postmarked, transmitted, or 
received) by April 9, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments as follows:
     Electronically: Submit comments and attachments 
electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking 
Portal. Follow the instructions online for submitting comments.
     Facsimile: OSHA allows facsimile transmission of comments, 
including attachments, that are no longer than 10 pages in length. Send 
these documents to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648; OSHA does 
not require hard copies of these documents. However, if commenters do 
not transmit attachments (e.g., studies, journal articles), they must 
submit one hard copy of the attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, 
Technical Data Center, Room N-2625, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 
Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20910. These attachments must 
clearly identify the sender's name, date, subject, and docket number 
(i.e., OSHA-2009-0024) so that the Agency can attach them to the 
appropriate comments.
     Regular mail, express mail, or messenger or courier 
service: When using one of these methods, submit one hard copy of 
comments and attachments (e.g., studies, journal articles) to the OSHA 
Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2009-0024, Technical Data Center, Room 
N-2625, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., 
Washington, DC 20210 (telephone: 202-693-2350) (TTY: 877-889-5627). 
Note that security-related procedures may result in significant delays 
in receiving comments and other written materials by regular mail. 
Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about security 
procedures concerning delivery of materials by express mail, or 
messenger or courier service. The hours of operation for the OSHA 
Docket Office are 8:15 a.m.-4:45 p.m., e.t.
     Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name 
and the OSHA docket number for this Information Collection Request 
(ICR) (OSHA Docket No. OSHA-2009-0024). OSHA places comments and other 
material, including any personal information, in the public docket 
without revision, and will make this information available online at 
http://www.regulations.gov. For further information on submitting 
comments, see section IV ("Public Participation") of this notice.
     Docket: To read or download comments or other material in 
the docket, including the companion supporting statement, go to http://
www.regulations.gov or the OSHA Docket Office at the address above. 
However, 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. 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 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 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 correct format, reporting burden (time and costs) 
is minimal, collection instruments are clearly understandable, and 
OSHA's estimate of the information collection burden is correct. The 
Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act; 29 U.S.C. 651 et 
seq.) authorizes information collection by employers as necessary or 
appropriate for enforcement of the OSH Act or developing information 
regarding the causes and prevention of occupational injuries, 
illnesses, and accidents (29 U.S.C. 657).
    Sections 6(b)6(A), 6(b)6(B), 6(b)6(C), 6(d), and 16 of the OSH Act, 
and 29 CFR 1905.10, 1905.11, and 1905.12, specify the procedures that 
employers must follow to apply for a variance from the requirements of 
an OSHA standard. OSHA uses the information collected under these 
procedures to: (1) Evaluate the employer's claim that the alternative 
means of compliance would provide affected employees with the requisite 
level of health and safety protection; (2) assess the technical 
feasibility of the alternative means of compliance; (3) determine that 
the employer properly notified affected employees of the variance 
application and their right to a hearing; and (4) verify that the 
application contains the administrative information required by the 
applicable variance regulation. Currently, no specific forms are 
available for preparing variance applications and other documents that 
may accompany variance applications. OSHA is developing new forms to 
assist employers in preparing variance applications that comply with 
the information collection requirements contained in the OSH Act and 
variance regulations.

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;
     Ways to minimize the burden on employers who must comply; 
for example, by using automated or other technological information 
collection and transmission techniques; and
     Whether providing variance application forms on the 
Agency's Web site would reduce the burden on employers applying for 
variances.

III. Proposed Actions

    OSHA is requesting OMB approval for the information collection 
(paperwork) requirements contained in Sections 6(b)6(A), 6(b)6(B), 
6(b)6(C), 6(d), and 16 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 
1970, and 29 CFR 1905.10, 1905.11, and 1905.12. These statutory and 
regulatory provisions specify the requirements for submitting 
applications to OSHA for temporary, experimental, permanent, and 
national defense variances.
    OSHA also is requesting OMB approval to develop and use variance 
application forms for the four types of variances specified by the OSH 
Act and variance regulations. The four types of variances are: 
Temporary variances (Section 6(b)(6)(A) of the Act; 29 U.S.C. 655; 29 
CFR 1905.10); experimental variances (Section 6(b)(6)(C) of the Act; 29 
U.S.C. 655); permanent variances (Section 6(d) of the Act; 29 U.S.C. 
655; 29 CFR 1905.11); and national defense variances (Section 16 of the 
Act; 29 U.S.C. 665; 29 CFR 1905.12). The variance regulations specify 
the information that employers must provide when requesting one of 
these variances. The variance application forms would organize and 
clarify the information collection requirements for each type of 
variance by specifying the requirements in comprehensible language, and 
providing explanatory material. Employers applying for a variance could 
download and complete the applicable form from OSHA's Web site. The forms 
would expedite the application process for employers, and ensure that the 
information on the application is complete and accurate.
    The Agency will summarize the comments submitted in response to 
this notice, and will include this summary in its request to OMB to 
approve these information collection requirements and variance 
application forms.
    Type of Review: Existing collection in use without an OMB control 
number.
    Title: Information Collection Requirements for the Variance 
Regulations.
    OMB Number: 1218-0NEW.
    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit and not-for-profit 
institutions.
    Number of Respondents: 12.
    Frequency of Recordkeeping: On occasion.
    Total Responses: 12.
    Average Time per Response: Ranges from 2 hours for an employer to 
assemble the application documents to 16 hours to locate and assemble 
information required to complete an application.
    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 366.
    Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $0.

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

    Submit comments in response to this document: (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 (OSHA Docket No. OSHA-2009-0024). To supplement 
electronic submissions, upload document files electronically. Send hard 
copies of materials to supplement electronic or facsimile submissions 
to the OSHA Docket Office (see the ADDRESSES section of this notice). 
The additional materials must clearly identify the associated 
electronic comments by name, date, and docket number so OSHA can attach 
them to the comments. Note that security-related procedures may result 
in significant delays in receiving comments and other written materials 
by regular mail. Contact the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-2350 (TTY 
(877) 889-5627) for information about security procedures concerning 
delivery of materials by express mail, or messenger or courier service. 
The hours of operation for the OSHA Docket Office are 8:15 a.m.-4:45 
p.m., e.t.
    OSHA posts comments and other submissions without revision at 
http://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions commenters about 
submitting personal information such as Social Security numbers and 
birth dates. Some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not 
publicly available to read or download through http://
www.regulations.gov. However, 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

    David Michaels, PhD, MPH, 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 31160).

    Signed at Washington, DC, on January 29, 2010.
David Michaels,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2010-2659 Filed 2-5-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-26-P


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