[Federal Register: November 12, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 218)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
29 CFR Part 1910
[Docket No. OSHA-2007-0072]
Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment (Fall
AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.
ACTION: Proposed rule; notice of informal public hearings.
SUMMARY: OSHA is convening an informal public hearing to receive
testimony and documentary evidence on the Walking-Working Surfaces and
Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection Systems) proposed rule
(29 CFR part 1910, subparts D and I), published on May 24, 2010 (73 FR
DATES: Informal public hearings: OSHA will hold an informal public
hearing in Washington, DC, beginning at 9:30 a.m., January 18, 2011. If
necessary, the hearing will continue on subsequent days at the same
time and location.
Notice of intention to appear to provide testimony at the informal
public hearing: Parties who intend to present testimony or question
witnesses at the informal public hearing must notify OSHA in writing of
their intention to do so by November 30, 2010.
Hearing testimony and documentary evidence: Parties requesting more
than 10 minutes to present their testimony, or who will be submitting
documentary evidence at the hearing must submit the full text of their
testimony and all documentary evidence to OSHA by December 21, 2010.
ADDRESSES: Informal public hearing: The hearing will be held in the
auditorium of the Frances Perkins Building, U.S. Department of Labor,
200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC.
Notices of intention to appear, hearing testimony, and documentary
evidence: Submit notices of intention to appear, hearing testimony, and
documentary evidence, identified by the docket number (OSHA-2007-0072)
or the regulation identifier number (RIN 1218-AB80) using any of the
Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
Follow the instructions online for electronically submitting materials,
Fax: Send written submissions not exceeding 10 pages in
length, including attachments, to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-
1648. Hard copies of these documents are not required. Instead of
transmitting facsimile copies of attachments that supplement these
documents (e.g., studies, journal articles), submit these attachments
in hard copy to the OSHA Docket Office, Technical Data Center, Room N-
2625, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW.,
Washington, DC 20210. These attachments must clearly identify the
sender's name, date, subject, and docket number (i.e., OSHA-2007-0072)
so that OSHA can attach them to the appropriate document.
Regular mail, express delivery, hand delivery, and
messenger and courier service: Send materials to the OSHA Docket
Office, Docket No. OSHA-2007-0072, Technical Data Center, U.S.
Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW.,
Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2350 (TTY number (877) 889-
5627). Note that security-related problems may result in significant
delays in receiving submissions by regular mail. Please contact the
OSHA Docket Office for information about security procedures concerning
delivery of materials by express delivery, hand delivery, or courier
service. Deliveries (express mail, hand delivery, and messenger and
courier service) are accepted during the Department of Labor's and OSHA
Docket Office's normal hours of operation, 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., e.t.
Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and
docket number (OSHA-2007-0072). All submissions, including any personal
information, are placed in the public docket without change, and will
be available online at http://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA
cautions members of the public against submitting information and
statements that should remain private, including comments that contain
personal information (either about themselves or others) such as Social
Security numbers, birthdates, and medical information. For additional
information on submitting notices of intention to appear, hearing
testimony, or documentary evidence, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION
section of this notice below.
Docket: To read or download comments and other material in the
docket, go to Docket No. OSHA-2007-0072 at http://www.regulations.gov
or to the OSHA Docket Office at the address above. While all
submissions to the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov,
some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available
to read or download through this Web site. However, all submissions,
including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and
copying in the OSHA Docket Office. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for
assistance in locating docket submissions, including notices of
intention to appear, the text of testimony, and documentary evidence.
The hours of operation for the OSHA Docket Office are 8:15 a.m. to 4:45
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Press inquiries: MaryAnn Garrahan,
Office of Communications, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety
and Health Administration, Room N-3647, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW.,
Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-1999.
Technical inquiries and inquiries about the hearing: Virginia
Fitzner, Office of Safety Systems, Directorate of Standards and
Guidance, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health
Administration, Room N-3609, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington,
DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2052.
Copies of this Federal Register notice: Electronic copies of this
Federal Register notice are available at http://www.regulations.gov.
This notice, as well as news releases and other relevant information
regarding the hearing, also are available at OSHA's Web page at http://www.osha.gov.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background. On May 24, 2010, OSHA published
a proposed rule to update, revise, and reorganize the standards on
walking-working surfaces and to add personal fall protection systems to
the Personal Protective Equipment standard (73 FR 28862). OSHA invited
written comments and requests for hearings on the proposed rule. The
deadline for submitting comments and hearing requests was August 23,
2010. During this period, a number of commenters submitted requests for
an informal public hearing (see, e.g., Ex. OSHA-2007-0072-0150.1).
Accordingly, OSHA will hold an informal public hearing on the propo
(Fall Protection Systems) in general industry on January 18, 2011,
at the Department of Labor's Frances Perkins Building, Washington,
DC. If necessary, the hearing will continue on subsequent days at
the same time and location. This notice describes the procedures
the public must use to participate in the hearings.
Public participation––comments and hearings. OSHA invites members
of the public to participate in this rulemaking by providing oral
testimony and documentary evidence at the informal public hearings. In
particular, OSHA invites interested parties who have knowledge of, or
experience with, walking-working surfaces and the issues raised in the
proposed rule to participate in the hearings. OSHA also welcomes data
and documentary evidence that will provide the Agency with the best
available evidence to use in developing the final rule.
Hearing arrangements. Pursuant to section 6(b)(3) of the
Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) (29 U.S.C. 655),
members of the public have an opportunity at the informal public
hearing to provide oral testimony and documentary evidence concerning
the issues raised in the proposal. An administrative law judge (ALJ)
presides over the hearing and will resolve procedural matters relating
to the hearing on the first day.
Purpose of the hearing. The legislative history of Section 6 of the
OSH Act, as well as OSHA's rules governing public hearings (29 CFR
1911.15), establish the purpose and procedures of informal public
hearings. Although the presiding officer of the hearing is an ALJ, and
questioning of witnesses is allowed on pertinent issues, the proceeding
is largely informal and legislative in purpose. Therefore, the hearing
provides interested parties with an opportunity to make effective and
expeditious oral presentations in the absence of procedural restraints
or rigid procedures that could impede or protract the rulemaking
process. The hearing is not an adjudicative proceeding subject to the
technical rules of evidence. Instead, it is an informal administrative
proceeding convened to gather information and clarify the record.
OSHA's regulations governing public hearings and the pre-hearing
guidelines that the ALJ issues for the hearings will ensure fairness
and due process for participants, as well as facilitate the development
of a clear, accurate, and complete record. Accordingly, application of
these rules and guidelines will be such that questions regarding
relevance, procedures, and participation generally will be resolved in
favor of developing a complete record.
Conduct of the hearing. Conduct of the hearing will conform to the
provisions of 29 CFR part 1911 (Rules of Procedure for Promulgating,
Modifying, or Revoking Occupational Safety and Health Standards).
Although the ALJ who presides over the hearings makes no decisions or
recommendations on the merits of the proposed or final rules, the ALJ
has the responsibility and authority to ensure that the hearing
progresses at a reasonable pace and in an orderly manner. To ensure
that interested persons receive a full and fair hearing, the ALJ has
the authority to: Regulate the course of the proceedings; dispose of
procedural requests, objections, and similar matters; confine
presentations to matters pertinent to the issues raised in the proposed
rule; use appropriate means to regulate the conduct of the parties who
are present at the hearing; question witnesses, and permit others to do
so; and limit the time for such questioning.
At the close of the hearing, the ALJ will establish a post-hearing
comment period for parties who filed a timely notice of intention to
appear at the hearing. During the first part of this post-hearing
period, these parties may submit additional data and information to
OSHA, and, during the second part of this period, they may submit
briefs, arguments, and summations.
Notice of intention to appear to provide testimony at the informal
public hearing. Hearing participants must file a written notice of
intention to appear prior to the hearing that provides the following
Name, address, and telephone number of each individual who
will give oral testimony;
Name of the establishment or organization each individual
represents, if any;
Occupational title and position of each individual
Approximate amount of time required for each individual's
A brief statement of the position each individual will
take with respect to the issues identified in the proposed rule; and
A brief summary of documentary evidence each individual
intends to present.
OSHA emphasizes that, while the hearings are open to the public and
interested parties are welcome to attend, only a party that files a
notice of intention to appear may question witnesses and participate
fully at the hearing. If time permits, and at the discretion of the
ALJ, a party that did not file a notice of intention to appear may be
allowed to testify at the hearing, but for no more than 10 minutes.
Hearing testimony and documentary evidence. Parties who request
more than 10 minutes to present oral testimony at the hearing, or will
submit documentary evidence at the hearing, must submit the full text
of their testimony and all documentary evidence no later than December
21, 2010. The Agency will review each submission and determine if the
information it contains warrants the amount of time the party requested
for the presentation. If OSHA determines that the requested time is
excessive, the Agency will allocate an appropriate amount of time for
the presentation; OSHA then will notify the participants of the time
allotted for their presentations, and will provide the reasons for this
determination. The Agency also may limit to 10 minutes the presentation
of any participant who fails to comply substantially with these
procedural requirements. During the hearing, OSHA may request that a
participant return for questioning at a later time. Before the hearing,
OSHA will provide the pre-hearing guidelines and hearing schedule to
each hearing participant.
Certification of the record and final determination after the
informal public hearing. Following the close of the hearing and the
post-hearing comment periods, the ALJ will certify the record to the
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. The
record will consist of all of the written comments, oral testimony, and
documentary evidence received during the hearing. The ALJ, however,
will not make or recommend any decisions as to the content of the final
standard. Following certification of the record, OSHA will review all
the evidence received as part of the record, and then will issue the
final rule based on the record as a whole.
Authority and Signature
David Michaels, PhD, MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for
Occupational Safety and Health, directed the preparation of this notice
under the authority granted by Section 6(b) of the Occupational Safety
and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 655), Secretary of Labor's Order 4-
2010 (75 FR 55355), and 29 CFR part 1911.
Signed at Washington, DC, on November 8, 2010.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2010-28544 Filed 11-10-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-26-P