Federal Registers - Table of Contents Federal Registers - Table of Contents
• Publication Date: 01/07/2014
• Publication Type: Notices
• Fed Register #: 79: 844-853
• Standard Number: 1904; 1905.11; 1905.13; 1905.15; 1910.146(b); 1926; 1926.20(b)(2); 1926.32(f); 1926.32(m); 1926.803; 1926.803(e)(5); 1926.803(f)(1); 1926.803(g)(1)(iii); 1926.803(g)(1)(xvii); 1926.803(g)(2)(vii)
• Title: Tully/OHL USA Joint Venture: Application for Permanent Variance and Interim Order; Grant of Interim Order; Request for Comments

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 4 (Tuesday, January 7, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 844-853]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-00008]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

[Docket No. OSHA-2012-0036]


Tully/OHL USA Joint Venture: Application for Permanent Variance 
and Interim Order; Grant of Interim Order; Request for Comments

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

ACTION: Notice of application for a permanent variance and interim 
order; grant of interim order; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces the application of Tully/OHL USA Joint 
Venture ("Tully" or "the applicant") for a permanent variance from 
the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration 
("OSHA" or "the Agency") construction standard that regulate work 
in compressed air. In addition, the applicant requested an interim 
order based on the alternate conditions specified by its variance 
application. Based on its review of the application, including the 
alternate conditions, OSHA concludes that an interim order will provide 
Tully's employees with the requisite protection while OSHA considers 
Tully's application for a permanent variance. Therefore, OSHA is 
granting an interim order to the applicant subject to the conditions 
described in this notice. OSHA also invites the public to submit 
comments on the variance application.

DATES: Submit comments, information, documents in response to this 
notice, and requests for a hearing on or before February 6, 2014. The 
interim order specified by this notice becomes effective on January 7, 
2014.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments by any of the following methods:
    Electronically: Tender submissions electronically to the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions online for making electronic submissions.
    Facsimile: If submissions, including attachments, are not longer 
than ten (10) pages, commenters may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office 
at (202) 693-1648.
    Regular or express mail, hand delivery, or messenger (courier) 
service: Tender submissions to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-
2012-0036, Technical Data Center, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 
Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-2625, Washington, DC 20210; telephone: 
(202) 693-2350 (TTY number: (877) 889-5627). Note that security 
procedures may result in significant delays in receiving submissions 
sent by regular mail. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information 
about security procedures concerning delivery of materials by regular 
or express mail, hand delivery, or messenger (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 (OSHA-2012-0036). OSHA places comments and other 
materials, including any personal information, in the public docket 
without revision, and these materials may be available online at 
http://www.regulations.gov. 
Therefore, the Agency cautions commenters about 
submitting statements they do not want made available to the public, or 
submitting comments that contain personal information (either about 
themselves or others) such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, and 
medical data.
    Docket: To read or download submissions or other material in the 
docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov or to the OSHA Docket Office 
at the address above. The http://www.regulations.gov index lists all 
documents in the docket; 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Information regarding this notice is 
available from the following sources:
    Press inquiries: Contact Mr. Frank Meilinger, Director, OSHA Office 
of Communications, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue 
NW., Room N-3647, Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-1999; 
email: Meilinger.francis2@dol.gov.
    General and technical information: Contact David Johnson, Director, 
Office of Technical Programs and Coordination Activities, Directorate 
of Technical Support and Emergency Management, Occupational Safety and 
Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution 
Avenue NW., Room N-3655, Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-
2110; email: johnson.david.w@dol.gov. OSHA's Web page includes 
information about the Variance Program (see 
http://www.osha.gov/dts/otpca/variances/index.html).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Copies of this Federal Register notice. Electronic copies of this 
Federal Register notice are available at http://www.regulations.gov. 
This Federal Register notice, as well as news releases and other 
relevant information, also are available at OSHA's Web page at http://www.osha.gov.
    Hearing requests. According to 29 CFR 1905.15, hearing requests 
must include: (1) A short and plain statement detailing how the 
variance would affect the requesting party; (2) a specification of any 
statement or representation in the variance application that the 
commenter denies, and a concise summary of the evidence adduced in 
support of each denial; and (3) any views or arguments on any issue of 
fact or law presented in the variance application.

I. Notice of Application

    On July 12, 2012, Tully/OHL USA Joint Venture (hereafter, "Tully" 
or "the applicant"), 355 Front Street, Construction Site, Staten 
Island, NY 10304, submitted under Section 6(d) of the Occupational 
Safety and Health Act of 1970 ("OSH Act"; 29 U.S.C. 655) and 29 CFR 
1905.11 ("Variances and other relief under section 6(d)") an 
application for a permanent variance from several provisions of the 
OSHA standard that regulates work in compressed air at 29 CFR 1926.803, 
as well as a request for an interim order
pending OSHA's decision on the application for a variance (Ex. OSHA-
2012-0036-0001). Specifically, Tully seeks a variance from the 
provisions of the standard that: (1) Prohibit compressed-air worker 
exposure to pressures exceeding 50 pounds per square inch (p.s.i.) 
except in an emergency (29 CFR 1926.803(e)(5)); \1\ (2) require the use 
of the decompression values specified in decompression tables in 
Appendix A of the compressed-air standard for construction (29 CFR 
1926.803(f)(1)); and (3) require the use of automated operational 
controls and a special decompression chamber (29 CFR 
1926.803(g)(1)(iii) and .803(g)(1)(xvii), respectively).
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    \1\ The decompression tables in Appendix A of subpart S express 
the maximum working pressures as pounds per square inch gauge 
(p.s.i.g.), with a maximum working pressure of 50 p.s.i.g. 
Therefore, throughout this notice, OSHA expresses the 50 p.s.i. 
value specified by Sec.  1926.803(e)(5) as 50 p.s.i.g., consistent 
with the terminology in Appendix A, Table 1 of subpart S.
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    Tully is a contractor that works on complex tunnel projects using 
recently developed equipment and procedures for soft-ground tunneling. 
Tully workers engage in the construction of subaqueous tunnels using 
advanced shielded mechanical excavation techniques in conjunction with 
an Earth Pressure Balanced Tunnel Boring Machine (EPBTBM).
    According to its application, Tully is currently the managing 
partner of Tully/OHL USA Joint Venture, the general contractor for the 
New York Economic Development Corporation's New York Siphon Tunnel 
Project. The project consists of a 12-foot diameter tunnel beneath New 
York Harbor between Staten Island and Brooklyn. Tully will bore the 
tunnel below the water table through soft soils consisting of clay, 
silt, and sand. Tully would employ specially trained personnel for the 
construction of the tunnel, and states that this construction will use 
shielded mechanical-excavation techniques. Tully asserts that its 
workers would perform hyperbaric interventions at pressures greater 
than 50 p.s.i.g. in the excavation chamber of the EPBTBM; these 
interventions consist of conducting inspections and maintenance work on 
the cutter-head structure and cutting tools of the EPBTBM.
    Tully asserts that innovations in tunnel excavation, specifically 
with EPBTBMs, have, in most cases, eliminated the need to pressurize 
the entire tunnel. This technology negates the requirement that all 
members of a tunnel-excavation crew work in compressed air while 
excavating the tunnel. These advances in technology modified 
substantially the methods used by the construction industry to excavate 
subaqueous tunnels compared to the caisson work regulated by the 
current OSHA compressed-air standard for construction at 29 CFR 
1926.803. Such advances reduce the number of workers exposed, and the 
total duration of exposure, to hyperbaric pressure during tunnel 
construction.
    Using shielded mechanical-excavation techniques, in conjunction 
with precast concrete tunnel liners and backfill grout, EPBTBMs provide 
methods to achieve the face pressures required to maintain a stabilized 
tunnel face through various geologies, and isolate that pressure to the 
forward section (the working chamber) of the EPBTBM. Interventions in 
the working chamber (the pressurized portion of the EPBTBM) take place 
only after halting tunnel excavation and preparing the machine and crew 
for an intervention. Interventions occur to inspect or maintain the 
mechanical-excavation components located in the working chamber. 
Maintenance conducted in the working chamber includes changing 
replaceable cutting tools and disposable wear bars, and, in rare cases, 
repairing structural damage to the cutter head.
    In addition to innovations in tunnel-excavation methods, Tully 
asserts that innovations in hyperbaric medicine and technology improve 
the safety of decompression from hyperbaric exposures. According to 
Tully, the use of decompression protocols incorporating oxygen is more 
efficient, effective, and safer for tunnel workers than compliance with 
the decompression tables specified by the existing OSHA standard (29 
CFR Part 1926, subpart S, Appendix A decompression tables). These 
hyperbaric exposures are possible due to advances in technology, a 
better understanding of hyperbaric medicine, and the development of a 
project-specific Hyperbaric Operations Manual (HOM) that requires 
specialized medical support and hyperbaric supervision to provide 
assistance to a team of specially trained man-lock attendants and 
hyperbaric or compressed-air workers.
    OSHA initiated a preliminary technical review of the Tully's 
variance application and developed a set of follow-up questions that it 
sent to Tully on August 29, 2012 (Ex. OSHA-2012-0036-0002). On October 
9, 2012, Tully submitted its response and a request for an interim 
order (Ex. OSHA-2012-0036-0003). In its response to OSHA's follow-up 
questions, Tully indicated that the maximum pressure to which it is 
likely to expose workers during interventions for the New York Economic 
Development Corporation's New York Siphon Tunnel Project is 58 p.s.i.g. 
Therefore, to work effectively on this project, Tully must perform 
hyperbaric interventions in compressed air at pressures higher than the 
maximum pressure specified by in the existing OSHA standard, 29 CFR 
1926.803(e)(5), which states: "No employee shall be subjected to 
pressure exceeding 50 p.s.i.g. except in emergency" (see footnote 1 in 
this notice).

II. The Variance Application

A. Background

    The applicant asserts that the advances in tunnel excavation 
technology described in Section I of this notice modified significantly 
the equipment and methods used by contractors to construct subaqueous 
tunnels, thereby making several provisions of OSHA's compressed-air 
standard for construction at 29 CFR 1926.803 inappropriate for this 
type of work. These advances reduce both the number of employees 
exposed, and the total duration of exposure, to the hyperbaric 
conditions associated with tunnel construction.
    Using shielded mechanical-excavation techniques, in conjunction 
with pre-cast concrete tunnel liners and backfill grout, EPBTBMs 
provide methods to achieve the face pressures required to maintain a 
stabilized tunnel face, through various geologies, while isolating that 
pressure to the forward section (working or excavation chamber) of the 
EPBTBM.
    Interventions involving the working chamber (the pressurized 
chamber at the head of the EPBTBM) would take place only after the 
applicant halts tunnel excavation and prepares the machine and crew for 
an intervention. Interventions occur to inspect or maintain the 
mechanical-excavation components located in the forward portion of the 
working chamber. Maintenance conducted in the forward portion of the 
working chamber includes changing replaceable cutting tools, disposable 
wear bars, and, in rare cases, repairs to the cutter head due to 
structural damage.
    In addition to innovations in tunnel-excavation methods, research 
conducted after OSHA published its compressed-air standard for 
construction in 1971 resulted in advances in hyperbaric medicine. In 
this regard, the applicant asserts that the use of decompression 
protocols incorporating oxygen is more efficient, effective, and safer 
for tunnel
workers than compliance with the existing OSHA standard (29 CFR Part 
1926, subpart S, Appendix A decompression tables). According to the 
applicant, contractors routinely and safely expose employees performing 
interventions in the working chamber of EPBTBMs to hyperbaric pressures 
up to 75 p.s.i.g., which is 50% higher than maximum pressure specified 
by the existing OSHA standard (see 29 CFR 1926.803(e)(5)). The 
applicant asserts that these hyperbaric exposures are possible because 
of advances in hyperbaric technology, a better understanding of 
hyperbaric medicine, and the development of a project-specific HOM 
(Hyperbaric Operations Manual) that requires specialized medical 
support and hyperbaric supervision to provide assistance to a team of 
specially trained man-lock attendants and hyperbaric workers.
    The applicant contends that a permanent variance would provide its 
workers with a place of employment that is at least as safe and 
healthful as they would obtain under the existing provisions of OSHA's 
compressed-air standard for construction. The applicant certifies that 
it provided employee representatives of affected workers \2\ with a 
copy of the variance application. The applicant also certifies that it 
notified its workers of the variance application by posting, at 
prominent locations where it normally posts workplace notices, a 
summary of the application and information specifying where the workers 
can examine a copy of the application. In addition, the applicant 
informed its workers and their representatives of their rights to 
petition the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and 
Health for a hearing on the variance application.
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    \2\ See the definition of "Affected employee or worker" below 
in section V. D of this notice.
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B. Variance From Paragraph (e)(5) of 29 CFR 1926.803, Prohibition of 
Exposure to Pressure Greater Than 50 p.s.i.g. (see Footnote 1 in This 
Notice)

    The applicant states that it may perform hyperbaric interventions 
at pressures greater than 50 p.s.i.g. in the working chamber of the 
EPBTBM; this pressure exceeds the pressure limit of 50 p.s.i.g. 
specified for nonemergency purposes by 29 CFR 1926.803(e)(5). The 
EPBTBM has twin man locks, with each man lock having two compartments. 
This configuration allows workers to access the man locks for 
compression and decompression, and medical personnel to access the man 
locks if required in an emergency.
    EPBTBMs are capable of maintaining pressure at the tunnel face, and 
stabilizing existing geological conditions, through the controlled use 
of propel cylinders, a mechanically driven cutter head, bulkheads 
within the shield, ground-treatment foam, and a screw conveyor that 
moves excavated material from the working chamber. As noted earlier, 
the forward-most portion of the EPBTBM is the working chamber, and this 
chamber is the only pressurized segment of the EPBTBM. Within the 
shield, the working chamber consists of two sections: the staging 
chamber and the forward working chamber. The staging chamber is the 
section of the working chamber between the man-lock door and the entry 
door to the forward working chamber. The forward working chamber is 
immediately behind the cutter head and tunnel face.
    The applicant will pressurize the working chamber to the level 
required to maintain a stable tunnel face. Pressure in the staging 
chamber ranges from atmospheric (no increased pressure) to a maximum 
pressure equal to the pressure in the working chamber. The applicant 
asserts that most of the hyperbaric interventions will be around 14.7 
p.s.i.g. Nevertheless, the applicant maintains that they may have to 
perform interventions at pressures up to 58 p.s.i.g.
    During interventions, workers enter the working chamber through one 
of the twin man locks that open into the staging chamber. To reach the 
forward part of the working chamber, workers pass through a door in a 
bulkhead that separates the staging chamber from the forward working 
chamber. The maximum crew size allowed in the forward working chamber 
is three. At certain hyperbaric pressures (i.e., when decompression 
times are greater than work times), the twin man locks allow for crew 
rotation. During crew rotation, one crew can be compressing or 
decompressing while the second crew is working. Therefore, the working 
crew always has an unoccupied man lock at its disposal.
    The applicant developed and proposes to use a project-specific HOM 
(Ex. OSHA-2012-0036-0004) that describes in detail the hyperbaric 
procedures and required medical examinations used during the tunnel-
construction project. The HOM is project specific, and discusses 
standard operating procedures and emergency and contingency procedures. 
The procedures include using experienced and knowledgeable man-lock 
attendants who have the training and experience necessary to recognize 
and treat decompression sickness and diving-related illnesses and 
injuries. The attendants are under the direct supervision of the 
hyperbaric supervisor and attending physician. In addition, procedures 
include medical screening and review of prospective compressed-air 
workers (CAWs). The purpose of this screening procedure is to vet 
prospective CAWs with medical conditions (e.g., deep vein thrombosis, 
poor vascular circulation, and muscle cramping) that could be 
aggravated by sitting in a cramped space (e.g., a man lock) for 
extended periods or by exposure to elevated pressures and compressed 
gas mixtures. A transportable recompression chamber (shuttle) will be 
available to extract workers from the hyperbaric working chamber for 
emergency evacuation and medical treatment; the shuttle attaches to the 
topside medical lock, which is a large recompression chamber. The 
applicant believes that the procedures included in the HOM provide safe 
work conditions when interventions are necessary, including 
interventions above 50 p.s.i.g.

C. Variance From Paragraph (f)(1) of 29 CFR 1926.803, Requirement To 
Use OSHA Decompression Tables

    OSHA's compressed-air standard for construction requires 
decompression in accordance with the decompression tables in Appendix A 
of 29 CFR Part 1926, subpart S (see 29 CFR 1926.803(f)(1)). As an 
alternative to the OSHA decompression tables, the applicant proposes to 
use newer decompression schedules that supplement breathing air used 
during decompression with pure oxygen. The applicant asserts that these 
decompression protocols are safer for tunnel workers than the 
decompression protocols specified in Appendix A of 29 CFR Part 1926, 
subpart S. Accordingly, the applicant proposes to use the 1992 French 
Decompression Tables to decompress CAWs after they exit the hyperbaric 
conditions in the working chamber.
    Depending on the maximum working pressure and exposure times, the 
1992 French Decompression Tables provide for air decompression with or 
without oxygen. Tully asserts that oxygen decompression has many 
benefits, including reducing decompression time by about 33 percent, 
and significantly lowering the rate of decompression illness (DCI), 
compared to the air-decompression tables in Appendix A of 29 CFR Part 
1926, subpart S. In addition, the HOM requires a physician certified in 
hyperbaric medicine to manage the medical condition of CAWs during 
hyperbaric exposures and
decompression. A trained and experienced man-lock attendant also will 
be present during hyperbaric exposures and decompression. This man-lock 
attendant will operate the hyperbaric system to ensure compliance with 
the specified decompression table. A hyperbaric supervisor (competent 
person), trained in hyperbaric operations, procedures, and safety, will 
directly oversee all hyperbaric interventions, and ensure that staff 
follow the procedures delineated in the HOM or by the attending 
physician.
    The applicant asserts that at higher hyperbaric pressures, 
decompression times exceed 75 minutes. The HOM establishes protocols 
and procedures that provide the basis for alternate means of protection 
for CAWs under these conditions. Accordingly, based on these protocols 
and procedures, the applicant requests to use the 1992 French 
Decompression Tables for hyperbaric interventions up to 58 p.s.i.g. for 
the New York Siphon Tunnel Project. The applicant will follow the 
decompression procedures described in the project-specific HOM during 
these interventions.

D. Variance From Paragraph (g)(1)(iii) of 29 CFR 1926.803, 
Automatically Regulated Continuous Decompression

    According to the applicant, breathing air under hyperbaric 
conditions increases the amount of nitrogen gas dissolved in a CAW's 
tissues. The greater the hyperbaric pressure under these conditions, 
and the more time spent under the increased pressure, the greater the 
amount of nitrogen gas dissolved in the tissues. When the pressure 
decreases during decompression, tissues release the dissolved nitrogen 
gas into the blood system, which then carries the nitrogen gas to the 
lungs for elimination through exhalation. Releasing hyperbaric pressure 
too rapidly during decompression can increase the size of the bubbles 
formed by nitrogen gas in the blood system, resulting in DCI, commonly 
referred to as "the bends." This description of the etiology of DCI 
is consistent with current scientific theory and research on the issue 
(see footnote 8 below discussing a 1985 NIOSH report on DCI).
    The 1992 French Decompression Tables proposed for use by the 
applicant provide for stops during worker decompression (i.e., staged 
decompression) to control the release of nitrogen gas from tissues into 
the blood system. Studies show that staged decompression, in 
combination with other features of the 1992 French Decompression Tables 
such as the use of oxygen, result in a lower incidence of DCI than the 
OSHA decompression requirements of 29 CFR 1926.803, which specify the 
use of automatically regulated continuous decompression (see footnotes 
5 through 10 below for references to these studies).\3\ In addition, 
the applicant asserts that staged decompression is at least as 
effective as an automatic controller in regulating the decompression 
process because:
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    \3\ In the study cited in footnote 6, starting at page 338, Dr. 
Eric Kindwall notes that the use of automatically regulated 
continuous decompression in the Washington State safety standards 
for compressed-air work (from which OSHA derived its decompression 
tables) was at the insistence of contractors and the union, and 
against the advice of the expert who calculated the decompression 
table, who recommended using staged decompression. Dr. Kindwall then 
states, "Continuous decompression is inefficient and wasteful. For 
example, if the last stage from 4 psig . . . to the surface took 1 
h, at least half the time is spent at pressures less than 2 psig . . 
., which provides less and less meaningful bubble suppression. . . 
." In addition, the report referenced in footnote 5 under the 
section titled "Background on the Need for Interim Decompression 
Tables" addresses the continuous-decompression protocol in the OSHA 
compressed-air standard for construction, noting that "[a]side from 
the tables for saturation diving to deep depths, no other widely 
used or officially approved diving decompression tables use straight 
line, continuous decompressions at varying rates. Stage 
decompression is usually the rule, since it is simpler to control."
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    A. A hyperbaric supervisor (a competent person experienced and 
trained in hyperbaric operations, procedures, and safety) directly 
supervises all hyperbaric interventions and ensures that the man-lock 
attendant, who is a competent person in the manual control of 
hyperbaric systems, follows the schedule specified in the decompression 
tables, including stops; and
    B. The use of the 1992 French Decompression Tables for staged 
decompression offers an equal or better level of management and control 
over the decompression process than an automatic controller and results 
in lower occurrences of DCI.
    Accordingly, the applicant is applying for a permanent variance 
from the OSHA standard at 29 CFR 1926.803(g)(1)(iii), which requires 
automatic controls to regulate decompression. As noted above, the 
applicant will conduct the staged decompression according to the 1992 
French Decompression Tables under the direct control of the trained 
man-lock attendant and under the oversight of the hyperbaric 
supervisor.

E. Variance From Paragraph (g)(1)(xvii) of 29 CFR 1926.803, Requirement 
of Special Decompression Chamber

    The OSHA compressed-air standard for construction requires 
employers to use a special decompression chamber when total 
decompression time exceeds 75 minutes (see 29 CFR 
1926.803(g)(1)(xvii)). Another provision of OSHA's compressed-air 
standard calls for locating the special decompression chamber adjacent 
to the man lock on the atmospheric pressure side of the tunnel bulkhead 
(see 29 CFR 1926.803(g)(2)(vii)). However, since only the working 
chamber of the EPBTBM is under pressure, and only a few workers out of 
the entire crew are exposed to hyperbaric pressure, the man locks 
(which, as noted earlier, connect directly to the working chamber) are 
of sufficient size to accommodate the exposed workers. In addition, 
available space in the EPBTBM does not allow for an additional special 
decompression lock. Again, the applicant uses the man locks, each of 
which will adequately accommodate a three-member crew, for this purpose 
when decompression lasts up to 75 minutes. When decompression exceeds 
75 minutes, crews can open the door connecting the two compartments in 
each man lock during decompression stops or exit the man lock and move 
into the staging chamber where additional space is available. This 
alternative will enable CAWs to move about and flex their joints to 
prevent neuromuscular problems during decompression.

F. Multi-State Variance

    Tully only applied for an interim order and variance for one site, 
the New York Siphon Tunnel Project, so any variance OSHA grants Tully 
will have effect only in the State of New York. While the State of New 
York has an OSHA-approved safety and health program, that program 
covers only public-sector employers and not private-sector employers 
such as Tully; therefore, Federal OSHA continues to cover private-
sector employers in the State of New York.

III. Description of the Conditions Specified by the Interim Order and 
the Application for a Permanent Variance

    This section describes the conditions that comprise the alternative 
means of compliance with 29 CFR 1926.803(e)(5), (f)(1), (g)(1)(iii), 
and (g)(1)(xvii). These conditions form the basis of the interim
order and Tully's application for a permanent variance.\4\
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    \4\ In these conditions, the present tense form of the verb 
(e.g., "must") pertains to the interim order, while the future 
conditional form of the verb (e.g., "would") pertains to the 
application for a permanent variance (designated as "permanent 
variance").
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Condition A: Scope

    The scope of the interim order/permanent variance limits/would 
limit coverage of the conditions of the interim order/permanent 
variance to the work situations specified under this condition. Clearly 
defining the scope of the interim order/permanent variance provides 
Tully, Tully's employees, and OSHA with necessary information regarding 
the work situations in which the interim order/permanent variance 
applies/would apply.

Condition B: Application

    This condition specifies the circumstances under which the interim 
order/permanent variance is/would be in effect, notably only for 
hyperbaric work performed during interventions. The condition places 
clear limits on the circumstances under which the applicant can expose 
its employees to hyperbaric pressure.

Condition C: List of Abbreviations

    Condition C defines/would define a number of abbreviations used in 
the interim order/permanent variance. OSHA believes that defining these 
abbreviations will serve to clarify and standardize their usage, 
thereby enhancing the applicant's and its employees' understanding of 
the conditions specified by the interim order/permanent variance.

Condition D: Definitions

    The condition defines/would define a series of terms, mostly 
technical terms, used in the interim order/permanent variance to 
standardize and clarify their meaning. Defining these terms will 
enhance the applicant's and its employees' understanding of the 
conditions specified by the interim order/permanent variance.

Condition E: Safety and Health Practices

    This condition requires/would require the applicant to develop and 
submit to OSHA a project-specific HOM at least six months before using 
the EPBTBM for tunneling operations. This requirement ensures/would 
ensure that the applicant develops hyperbaric safety and health 
procedures suitable for each specific project. The HOM enables/would 
enable OSHA to determine that the specific safety and health 
instructions and measures specified by the HOM are/would be appropriate 
and will/would adequately protect the safety and health of the CAWs, 
and, if found appropriate, enables/would enable OSHA to enforce these 
instructions and measures. Additionally, the condition includes/would 
include a series of related hazard prevention and control requirements 
and methods (e.g., decompression tables, job hazard analyses (JHA), 
operations and inspections checklists) designed to ensure the continued 
effective functioning of the hyperbaric equipment and operating system.

Condition F: Communication

    Condition F requires/would require the applicant to develop and 
implement an effective system of information sharing and communication. 
Effective information sharing and communication will/would ensure that 
affected workers receive updated information regarding any safety-
related hazards and incidents, and corrective actions taken, prior to 
the start of each shift. The condition also requires/would require the 
applicant to ensure that reliable means of emergency communications 
are/would be available and maintained for affected workers and support 
personnel during hyperbaric operations, which will/would enable 
affected workers and support personnel to respond quickly and 
effectively to hazardous conditions that may develop during EPBTBM 
operations.

Condition G: Worker Qualification and Training

    This condition requires/would require the applicant to develop and 
implement an effective qualification and training program for affected 
workers. The condition specifies/would specify the factors that an 
affected worker must know to perform safely during hyperbaric 
operations, including how to enter, work in, and exit from hyperbaric 
conditions under both normal and emergency conditions. Having well-
trained and qualified workers performing hyperbaric intervention work 
will/would ensure that they recognize, and respond appropriately to, 
hyperbaric safety and health hazards. These qualification and training 
requirements will/would enable affected workers to cope effectively 
with emergencies, as well as the discomfort and physiological effects 
of hyperbaric exposure, thereby preventing injury, illness, and 
fatalities among the workers.
    Paragraph (2)(e) of this condition also requires/would require the 
applicant to provide affected workers with information the workers can 
use to contact the appropriate healthcare professionals should the 
workers believe they may be developing hyperbaric-related health 
effects from their exposure to hyperbaric conditions. This requirement 
will/would provide for early intervention and treatment of DCI and 
other health effects resulting from hyperbaric exposure, thereby 
reducing the severity of these effects.

Condition H: Inspections, Tests, and Accident Prevention

    Condition H requires/would require the applicant to develop, 
implement, and operate a program of frequent and regular inspections of 
the EPBTBM's hyperbaric equipment and support systems, and associated 
work areas. This condition will/would help ensure the safe operation 
and physical integrity of the equipment and work areas necessary to 
conduct hyperbaric operations, thereby enhancing worker safety by 
reducing the risk of a hyperbaric-related emergency.
    Paragraph (3) of this condition requires/would require the 
applicant to document tests, inspections, corrective actions, and 
repairs involving the EPBTBM, and maintain these documents at the job 
site for the duration of the job. This requirement will/would provide 
the applicant with information needed to schedule tests and inspections 
to ensure the continuing safe operation of the equipment and systems, 
and to determine that the actions taken to correct defects in 
hyperbaric equipment and systems were appropriate, prior to returning 
them to service.

Condition I: Compression and Decompression

    This condition requires/would require the applicant to consult with 
its designated medical advisor regarding special compression or 
decompression procedures appropriate for any unacclimated CAW. This 
provision will/would ensure that the applicant consults with the 
medical advisor, and involves the medical advisor in the evaluation, 
development, and implementation of compression or decompression 
protocols appropriate for any CAW requiring acclimation to the 
hyperbaric conditions encountered during EPBTBM operations. 
Accordingly, CAWs requiring acclimation to the hyperbaric conditions in 
the EPBTBM will/would have an opportunity to acclimate prior to 
exposure to these conditions. OSHA believes this condition will/would 
prevent or reduce adverse reactions among CAWs to the effects of
compression or decompression associated with the intervention work they 
perform in the EPBTBM.

Condition J: Recordkeeping

    Condition J requires/would require the applicant to maintain 
records of specific factors associated with each hyperbaric 
intervention. The information gathered and recorded under this 
provision, in concert with the information provided under Condition K, 
will/would enable the applicant and OSHA to determine the effectiveness 
of the interim order/permanent variance in preventing DCI and other 
hyperbaric-related effects.

Proposed Condition K: Notifications

    Under this condition, the applicant must/would, within specified 
periods, notify OSHA of any employee injuries, illnesses, or fatalities 
that occur as a result of hyperbaric exposures during EPBTBM 
operations; provide OSHA with a copy of the incident investigation of 
these events that includes information on the root-cause determination, 
and preventive and corrective actions identified and implemented by the 
applicant; and certify that it informed affected workers of the 
incident and the results of the incident investigation. This condition 
also requires/would require the applicant to: notify OTPCA and the 
Manhattan Area Office within 15 working days should the applicant need 
to revise its HOM to accommodate changes in its compressed-air 
operations that affect/would affect its ability to comply with the 
conditions of the interim order/permanent variance; and provide OTPCA 
and the Manhattan Area Office, at the end of the New York Siphon Tunnel 
Project, with a report evaluating the effectiveness of the 
decompression tables.
    These notification requirements will/would enable the applicant, 
its employees, and OSHA to determine the effectiveness of the interim 
order/permanent variance in providing the requisite level of safety to 
the applicant's workers and, based on this determination, whether to 
revise or revoke the conditions of the interim order/permanent 
variance. Timely notification will/would permit OSHA to take whatever 
action may be necessary and appropriate to prevent further casualties, 
while providing notification to employees will/would inform them of the 
precautions taken by the applicant to prevent similar incidents in the 
future.
    This condition also requires/would require the applicant to notify 
OSHA if it ceases to do business, has a new address or location for its 
main office, or transfers the operations covered by the interim order/
permanent variance to a successor company. In addition, the condition 
specifies/would specify that OSHA must approve the transfer of the 
interim order/permanent variance to a successor company. These 
requirements will/would allow OSHA to communicate effectively with the 
applicant regarding the status of the interim order/permanent variance, 
and expedite the Agency's administration and enforcement of the interim 
order/permanent variance. Stipulating that an applicant must have 
OSHA's approval to transfer a variance to a successor company will/
would provide assurance that the successor company has knowledge of, 
and will/would comply with, the conditions specified by the interim 
order/permanent variance, thereby ensuring the safety of workers 
involved in performing the operations covered by the interim order/
permanent variance.

IV. Grant of Interim Order

    As noted earlier, the applicant requested an interim order that 
would remain in effect until completion of the New York Siphon Tunnel 
Project, or until the Agency makes a decision on its application for a 
permanent variance. During this period, the applicant will fully comply 
with the conditions of the interim order as an alternative to complying 
with the requirements of 29 CFR 1926.803 (hereafter, "the standard") 
that:
    A. Prohibit employers using compressed air under hyperbaric 
conditions from subjecting workers to pressure exceeding 50 p.s.i.g., 
except in emergency (29 CFR 1926.803(e)(5));
    B. Require the use of decompression values specified by the 
decompression tables in Appendix A of the compressed-air standard (29 
CFR 1926.803(f)(1)); and
    C. Require the use of automated operational controls and a special 
decompression chamber (29 CFR 1926.803(g)(1)(iii) and .803(g)(1)(xvii), 
respectively).
    After reviewing the application, OSHA preliminarily determined 
that:
    A. Tully developed, and proposed to implement, effective 
alternative measures to the prohibition of using compressed air under 
hyperbaric conditions exceeding 50 p.s.i.g. The proposed alternative 
measures include use of engineering and administrative controls of the 
hazards associated with work performed in compressed-air conditions 
exceeding 50 p.s.i.g. while engaged in the construction of a subaqueous 
tunnel using advanced shielded mechanical-excavation techniques in 
conjunction with an EPBTBM. Prior to conducting interventions in the 
EPBTBM's pressurized working chamber, the applicant halts tunnel 
excavation and prepares the machine and crew to conduct the 
interventions. Interventions involve inspection, maintenance, or repair 
of the mechanical-excavation components located in the working chamber.
    B. Tully developed, and proposed to implement, safe hyperbaric work 
procedures, emergency and contingency procedures, and medical 
examinations for the project's CAWs. The applicant compiled these 
standard operating procedures into a project-specific HOM. The HOM 
discusses the procedures and personnel qualifications for performing 
work safely during the compression and decompression phases of 
interventions. The HOM also specifies the decompression tables the 
applicant proposes to use. Depending on the maximum working pressure 
and exposure times during the interventions, the tables provide for 
decompression using air, pure oxygen, or a combination of air and 
oxygen. The decompression tables also include delays or stops for 
various time intervals at different pressure levels during the 
transition to atmospheric pressure (i.e., staged decompression). In all 
cases, a physician certified in hyperbaric medicine will manage the 
medical condition of CAWs during decompression. In addition, a trained 
and experienced man-lock attendant, experienced in recognizing 
decompression sickness or illnesses and injuries, will be present. Of 
key importance, a hyperbaric supervisor (competent person), trained in 
hyperbaric operations, procedures, and safety, will directly supervise 
all hyperbaric operations to ensure compliance with the procedures 
delineated in the project-specific HOM or by the attending physician.
    C. Tully developed, and proposed to implement, a training program 
to instruct affected workers in the hazards associated with conducting 
hyperbaric operations.
    D. Tully developed, and proposed to implement, an effective 
alternative to the use of automatic controllers that continuously 
decrease pressure to achieve decompression in accordance with the 
tables specified by the standard. The alternative includes using the 
1992 French Decompression Tables for guiding staged decompression to 
achieve lower occurrences of DCI, using a trained and competent 
attendant for implementing appropriate hyperbaric
entry and exit procedures, and providing a competent hyperbaric 
supervisor, and attending physician certified in hyperbaric medicine, 
to oversee all hyperbaric operations.
    E. Tully developed, and proposed to implement, an effective 
alternative to the use of the special decompression chamber required by 
the standard. EPBTBM technology permits the tunnel's work areas to be 
at atmospheric pressure, with only the face of the EPBTBM (i.e., the 
working chamber) at elevated pressure. The applicant limits 
interventions conducted in the working chamber to performing required 
inspection, maintenance, and repair of the cutting tools on the face of 
the EPBTBM. The EPBTBM's man lock and working chamber provide 
sufficient space for the maximum crew of three CAWs to stand up and 
move around, and safely accommodate decompression times up to 360 
minutes. Therefore, OSHA preliminarily determined that the EPBTBM's man 
lock and working chamber function as effectively as the special 
decompression chamber required by the standard.
    OSHA conducted a review of the scientific literature regarding 
decompression to determine whether the alternative decompression method 
(i.e., the 1992 French Decompression Tables) the applicant proposed 
would provide a workplace as safe and healthful as that provided by the 
standard. Based on this review, OSHA preliminarily determined that 
tunneling operations performed with these tables \5\ result in a lower 
occurrence of DCI than the decompression tables specified by the 
standard.6 7 8
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ In 1992, the French Ministry of Labour replaced the 1974 
French Decompression Tables with the 1992 French Decompression 
Tables, which differ from OSHA's decompression tables in Appendix A 
by using: (1) Staged decompression as opposed to continuous (linear) 
decompression; (2) decompression tables based on air or both air and 
pure oxygen; and (3) emergency tables when unexpected exposure times 
occur (up to 30 minutes above the maximum allowed working time).
    \6\ Kindwall, EP (1997). Compressed air tunneling and caisson 
work decompression procedures: development, problems, and solutions. 
Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine, 24(4), pp. 337-345. This article 
reported 60 treated cases of DCI among 4,168 exposures between 19 
and 31 p.s.i.g. over a 51-week contract period, for a DCI incidence 
of 1.44% for the decompression tables specified by the OSHA 
standard.
    \7\ Sealey, JL (1969). Safe exit from the hyperbaric 
environment: medical experience with pressurized tunnel operations. 
Journal of Occupational Medicine, 11(5), pp. 273-275. This article 
reported 210 treated cases of DCI among 38,600 hyperbaric exposures 
between 13 and 34 p.s.i.g. over a 32-month period, for an incidence 
of 0.54% for the decompression tables specified by the Washington 
State safety standards for compressed-air work, which are similar to 
the tables in the OSHA standard. Moreover, the article reported 51 
treated cases of DCI for 3,000 exposures between 30 and 34 p.s.i.g., 
for an incidence of 1.7% for the Washington State tables.
    \8\ In 1985, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and 
Health (NIOSH) published a report entitled "Criteria for Interim 
Decompression Tables for Caisson and Tunnel Workers"; this report 
reviewed studies of DCI and other hyperbaric-related injuries 
resulting from use of OSHA's tables. This report is available on 
NIOSH's Web site: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/decompression/default.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The review conducted by OSHA found several research studies 
supporting the determination that the 1992 French Decompression Tables 
result in a lower rate of DCI than the decompression tables specified 
by the standard. For example, H. L. Anderson studied the occurrence of 
DCI at maximum hyperbaric pressures ranging from 4 p.s.i.g. to 43 
p.s.i.g. during construction of the Great Belt Tunnel in Denmark (1992-
1996); \9\ this project used the 1992 French Decompression Tables to 
decompress the workers during part of the construction. Anderson 
observed 6 DCS cases out of 7,220 decompression events, and reported 
that switching to the 1992 French Decompression tables reduced the DCI 
incidence to 0.08%. The DCI incidence in the study by H. L. Andersen is 
substantially less than the DCI incidence reported for the 
decompression tables specified in Appendix A. OSHA found no studies in 
which the DCI incidence reported for the 1992 French Decompression 
Tables were higher than the DCI incidence reported for the OSHA 
decompression tables, nor did OSHA find any studies indicating that the 
1992 French Decompression Tables were more hazardous to employees than 
the OSHA decompression tables.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ Anderson HL (2002). Decompression sickness during 
construction of the Great Belt tunnel, Denmark. Undersea and 
Hyperbaric Medicine, 29(3), pp. 172-188.
    \10\ Le P[eacute]chon JC, Barre P, Baud JP, Ollivier F 
(September 1996). Compressed air work--French tables 1992--
operational results. JCLP Hyperbarie Paris, Centre Medical 
Subaquatique Interentreprise, Marseille: Communication a l'EUBS, pp. 
1-5 (see Ex. OSHA-2012-0036-0005).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on a review of available evidence, the experience of State-
Plans that either granted variances (Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) 
\11\ or promulgated a new standard (California) \12\ for hyperbaric 
exposures occurring during similar subaqueous tunnel-construction work, 
and the information provided in the applicant's variance application, 
OSHA is issuing an interim order.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ These state variances are available in the docket: Exs. 
OSHA-2012-0035-0006 (Nevada), OSHA-2012-0035-0007 (Oregon), and 
OSHA-2012-0035-0008 (Washington).
    \12\ See California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Subchapter 7, 
Group 26, Article 154, available at http://www.dir.ca.gov/title8/sb7g26a154.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Under the interim order and variance application, instead of 
complying with the requirements of 29 CFR 1926.803(e)(5), (f)(1), 
(g)(1)(iii), and (g)(1)(xvii), Tully will: (1) Comply with the 
conditions listed below under "Specific Conditions of the Interim 
Order and the Application for a Permanent Variance" for the period 
between the date of this notice and completion of the New York Siphon 
Tunnel Project or the date OSHA publishes its final decision on Tully's 
application in the Federal Register; (2) comply fully with all other 
applicable provisions of 29 CFR part 1926; and (3) provide a copy of 
this Federal Register notice to all employees affected by the 
conditions, including the affected employees of other employers, using 
the same means it used to inform these employees of its application for 
a permanent variance. Additionally, this interim order will remain in 
effect until one of the following conditions occurs: (1) Completion of 
the New York Siphon Tunnel Project; (2) OSHA publishes its final 
decision on the variance application in the Federal Register; or (3) 
OSHA modifies or revokes the interim order in accordance with 29 CFR 
1905.13.

V. Specific Conditions of the Interim Order and the Application for a 
Permanent Variance

    The following conditions apply to the interim order OSHA is 
granting to Tully. In addition, these conditions specify the 
alternative means of compliance with the requirements of paragraphs 29 
CFR 1926.803(e)(5), (f)(1), (g)(1)(iii), and (g)(1)(xvii) that the 
Tully is proposing for its permanent variance. The conditions apply to 
all employees of Tully/OHL USA Joint Venture exposed to hyperbaric 
conditions at the New York Siphon Tunnel Project. These conditions are: 
\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ In these conditions, the present tense form of the verb 
(e.g., "must") pertains to the interim order, while the future 
conditional form of the verb (e.g., "would") pertains to the 
application for a permanent variance (designated as "permanent 
variance").
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

A. Scope

    The interim order/permanent variance applies/would apply only to 
work:
    1. That occurs in conjunction with construction of the New York 
Siphon Tunnel Project, a subaqueous tunnel constructed using advanced 
shielded mechanical-excavation techniques and involving operation of an 
EPBTBM;
    2. Performed under compressed-air and hyperbaric conditions up to 
58 p.s.i.g.;
    3. In the EPBTBM's forward section (the working chamber) and 
associated hyperbaric chambers used to pressurize and decompress 
employees entering and exiting the working chamber; and
    4. Except for the requirements specified by 29 CFR 1926.803(e)(5), 
(f)(1), (g)(1)(iii), and (g)(1)(xvii), Tully must/would comply fully 
with all other applicable provisions of 29 CFR part 1926.

B. Application

    The interim order/permanent variance applies/would apply only when 
Tully stops the tunnel-boring work, pressurizes the working chamber, 
and the CWAs either enter the working chamber to perform interventions 
(i.e., inspect, maintain, or repair the mechanical-excavation 
components), or exit the working chamber after performing 
interventions.

C. List of Abbreviations

    Abbreviations used throughout this interim order/permanent variance 
include the following:

1. CAW--Compressed-air worker
2. CFR--Code of Federal Regulations
3. EPBTBM--Earth Pressure Balanced Tunnel Boring Machine
4. HOM--Hyperbaric Operations and Safety Manual
5. JHA--Job hazard analysis
6. OSHA--Occupational Safety and Health Administration
7. OTPCA--Office of Technical Programs and Coordination Activities

D. Definitions

    The following definitions apply/would apply to this interim order/
permanent variance. These definitions supplement the definitions in 
Tully's project-specific HOM.
    1. Affected employee or worker--an employee or worker who would be 
affected by the conditions of this interim order/permanent variance, or 
any one of his or her authorized representatives. The term "employee" 
has the meaning defined and used under the Occupational Safety and 
Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.)
    2. Atmospheric pressure--the pressure of air at sea level, 
generally 14.7 p.s.i.a., 1 atmosphere absolute, or 0 p.s.i.g.
    3. Compressed-air worker--an individual who is specially trained 
and medically qualified to perform work in a pressurized environment 
while breathing air at pressures up to 58 p.s.i.g.
    4. Competent person--an individual who is capable of identifying 
existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working 
conditions that are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, 
and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to 
eliminate them.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ Adapted from 29 CFR 1926.32(f).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    5. Earth Pressure Balanced Tunnel Boring Machine--the machinery 
used to excavate the tunnel.
    6. Hot work--any activity performed in a hazardous location that 
may introduce an ignition source into a potentially flammable 
atmosphere.\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ Also see 29 CFR 1910.146(b).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    7. Hyperbaric--at a higher pressure than atmospheric pressure.
    8. Hyperbaric intervention--a term that describes the process of 
stopping the EPBTBM and preparing and executing work under hyperbaric 
pressure in the working chamber for the purpose of inspecting, 
replacing, or repairing cutting tools and/or the cutterhead structure.
    9. Hyperbaric Operations Manual--a detailed, project-specific 
health and safety plan developed and implemented by Tully for working 
in compressed air during the New York Siphon Tunnel Project.
    10. Job hazard analysis--an evaluation of tasks or operations to 
identify potential hazards and to determine the necessary controls.
    11. Man lock--an enclosed space capable of pressurization, and used 
for compressing or decompressing any employee or material when either 
is passing into or out of a working chamber.
    12. Pressure--a force acting on a unit area. Usually expressed as 
pounds per square inch (p.s.i.).
    13. p.s.i.--pounds per square inch, a common unit of measurement of 
pressure; a pressure given in p.s.i. corresponds to absolute pressure.
    14. p.s.i.a--pounds per square inch absolute, or absolute pressure, 
is the sum of the atmospheric pressure and gauge pressure. At sea 
level, atmospheric pressure is approximately 14.7 p.s.i. Adding 14.7 to 
a pressure expressed in units of p.s.i.g. will yield the absolute 
pressure, expressed as p.s.i.a.
    15. p.s.i.g.--pounds per square inch gauge, a common unit of 
pressure; pressure expressed as p.s.i.g. corresponds to pressure 
relative to atmospheric pressure. At sea level, atmospheric pressure is 
approximately 14.7 p.s.i. Subtracting 14.7 from a pressure expressed in 
units of p.s.i.a. yields the gauge pressure, expressed as p.s.i.g.
    16. Qualified person--an individual who, by possession of a 
recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who, by 
extensive knowledge, training, and experience, successfully 
demonstrates an ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the 
subject matter, the work, or the project.\16\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ Adapted from 29 CFR 1926.32(m).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    17. Working chamber--an enclosed space in the EPBTBM in which CAWs 
perform interventions, and which is accessible only through a man lock.

E. Safety and Health Practices

    1. Tully must/would develop and implement a project-specific HOM, 
and submit the HOM to OSHA at least six months before using the EPBTBM. 
Tully must/would receive a written acknowledgement from OSHA regarding 
the acceptability of the HOM.\17\ The HOM shall provide/would provide 
the governing safety and health requirements regarding hyperbaric 
exposures during the tunnel-construction project.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \17\ The grant of this interim order constitutes such 
acknowledgement by OSHA of the acceptability of the HOM provided by 
Tully for the New York Siphon Tunnel Project.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2. Tully must/would implement the safety and health instructions 
included in the manufacturer's operations manuals for the EPBTBM, and 
the safety and health instructions provided by the manufacturer for the 
operation of decompression equipment.
    3. Tully must/would use air as the only breathing gas in the 
working chamber.
    4. Tully must/would use the 1992 French Decompression Tables for 
air, air-oxygen, and oxygen decompression specified in the HOM, 
specifically the tables titled "French Regulation Air Standard 
Tables."
    5. Tully must/would equip man locks used by its employees with an 
oxygen-delivery system as specified by the HOM. Tully must/would not 
store oxygen or other compressed gases used in conjunction with 
hyperbaric work in the tunnel.
    6. Workers performing hot work under hyperbaric conditions must/
would use flame-retardant personal protective equipment and clothing.
    7. In hyperbaric work areas, Tully must/would maintain an adequate 
fire-suppression system approved for hyperbaric work areas.
    8. Tully must/would develop and implement one or more JHAs for work 
in the hyperbaric work areas, and review, periodically and as necessary

(e.g., after making changes to a planned intervention that affects its 
operation), the contents of the JHAs with affected employees. The JHAs 
must/would include all the job functions that the risk assessment \18\ 
indicates are essential to prevent injury or illness.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ See ANSI/AIHA Z10-2012, American National Standard for 
Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems, for reference.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    9. Tully must/would develop a set of checklists to guide 
compressed-air work and ensure that employees follow/would follow the 
procedures required by this interim order/permanent variance (including 
all procedures required by the HOM, which this interim order/permanent 
variance incorporates/would incorporate by reference). The checklists 
must/would include all steps and equipment functions that the risk 
assessment indicates/would indicate are essential to prevent injury or 
illness during compressed-air work.
    10. Tully must/would ensure that the safety and health provisions 
of the HOM adequately protect/would protect the workers of all 
contractors and subcontractors involved in hyperbaric operations.\19\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ See ANSI/ASSE A10.33-2011, American National Standard for 
Construction and Demolition Operations--Safety and Health Program 
Requirements for Multi-Employer Projects, for reference.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

F. Communication

    1. Prior to beginning a shift, Tully must/would implement a system 
that informs/would inform workers exposed to hyperbaric conditions of 
any hazardous occurrences or conditions that might affect their safety, 
including hyperbaric incidents, gas releases, equipment failures, earth 
or rock slides, cave-ins, flooding, fires, or explosions.
    2. Tully must/would provide a power-assisted means of communication 
among affected workers and support personnel in hyperbaric conditions 
where unassisted voice communication is inadequate.
    a. Tully must/would use an independent power supply for powered 
communication systems, and these systems must operate such that use or 
disruption of any one phone or signal location will not disrupt the 
operation of the system from any other location.
    b. Tully must/would test communication systems at the start of each 
shift and as necessary thereafter to ensure proper operation.

G. Worker Qualifications and Training

    Tully must/would:
    1. Ensure that each affected worker receives/would receive 
effective training on how to safely enter, work in, exit from, and 
undertake emergency evacuation or rescue from, hyperbaric conditions, 
and document this training.
    2. Provide effective instruction, before beginning hyperbaric 
operations, to each worker who performs/would perform work, or 
controls/would control the exposure of others, in hyperbaric 
conditions, and document this instruction. The instruction must/would 
include topics such as:
    a. The physics and physiology of hyperbaric work;
    b. Recognition of pressure-related injuries;
    c. Information on the cause, signs, and symptoms of decompression 
illness;
    d. How to avoid discomfort during compression and decompression; 
and
    e. Information the workers can use to contact the appropriate 
healthcare professionals should the workers have concerns that they may 
be experiencing adverse health effects from hyperbaric exposure.
    3. Repeat the instruction specified in paragraph (b) of this 
condition periodically and as necessary (e.g., after making changes to 
its hyperbaric operations).
    4. When conducting training for its hyperbaric workers, make this 
training available to OSHA personnel and notify the OTPCA at OSHA's 
national office and OSHA's Manhattan Area Office before the training 
takes place.

H. Inspections, Tests, and Accident Prevention

    1. Tully must/would initiate and maintain a program of frequent and 
regular inspections of the EPBTBM's hyperbaric equipment and support 
systems (such as temperature control, illumination, ventilation, and 
fire-prevention and fire-suppression systems), and hyperbaric work 
areas, as required under 29 CFR 1926.20(b)(2) by:
    a. Developing a set of checklists to be used by a competent person 
in conducting weekly inspections of hyperbaric equipment and work 
areas; and
    b. Ensuring that a competent person conducts daily visual checks 
and weekly inspections of the EPBTBM.
    2. If the competent person determines that the equipment 
constitutes/would constitute a safety hazard, Tully must/would remove 
the equipment from service until it corrects the hazardous condition 
and has the correction approved by a qualified person.
    3. Tully must/would maintain records of all tests and inspections 
of the EPBTBM, as well as associated corrective actions and repairs, at 
the job site for the duration of the job.

I. Compression and Decompression

    Tully must/would consult with its attending physician concerning 
the need for special compression or decompression exposures appropriate 
for CAWs not acclimated to hyperbaric exposure.

J. Recordkeeping

    In addition to the requirements of 29 CFR part 1904 (Recording and 
Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses), Tully must/would 
maintain records of:
    1. The date, times, and pressure for each hyperbaric intervention.
    2. The name of each individual worker exposed to hyperbaric 
pressure and the decompression protocols and results for each worker.

K. Notifications

    1. To assist OSHA in administering the conditions specified herein, 
Tully must/would:
    a. Notify the OTPCA and the Manhattan Area Office of any injury, 
illness, or fatality resulting from exposure of an employee to 
hyperbaric conditions within 8 hours of the incident, and provide a 
copy of the incident investigation within 24 hours of the incident. The 
incident-investigation report must include a root-cause determination, 
and the preventive and corrective actions identified and implemented.
    b. Provide certification within 15 days of the incident that it 
informed affected workers of the incident and the results of the 
incident investigation (including the root-cause determination and 
preventive and corrective actions identified and implemented).
    c. Notify the OTPCA and the Manhattan Area Office within 15 working 
days and in writing, of any change in the compressed-air operations 
that affects Tully's ability to comply with the conditions specified 
herein.
    d. Upon completion of the New York Siphon Tunnel Project, evaluate 
the effectiveness of the decompression tables used throughout the 
project, and provide a written report of this evaluation to the OTPCA 
and the Manhattan Area Office.
    e. To assist OSHA in administering the conditions specified herein, 
inform the OTPCA and the Manhattan Area Office as soon as possible 
after it has knowledge that it will:
    i. Cease to do business;
    ii. Change the location and address of the main office for managing 
the tunneling operations specified herein; or
    iii. Transfer the operations specified herein to a successor 
company.
    f. Notify all affected employees of this interim order/permanent 
variance by the same means required to inform them of its application 
for a variance.
    2. OSHA must/would approve the transfer of this interim order/
permanent variance to a successor company.

Authority and Signature

    David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for 
Occupational Safety and Health, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20210, authorized the preparation of this notice. 
Accordingly, the Agency is issuing this notice pursuant to Section 29 
U.S.C. 655(6)(d), Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2012 (77 FR 3912, 
Jan. 25, 2012), and 29 CFR 1905.11.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on January 2, 2014.
David Michaels,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2014-00008 Filed 1-6-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-26-P[FEDREG][VOL]*[/VOL][NO]*[/NO][DATE]*[/
DATE][NOTICES]


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