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Regulations (Preambles to Final Rules) - Table of Contents
• Record Type: Abatement Verification
• Section: 5
• Title: Section 5 - V. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

V. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

The final rule does not contain a collection of information within the meaning of the Paperwork Reduction Act ("PRA"). The PRA applies to collections of information that establish "identical" recordkeeping or reporting requirements applicable to ten or more persons. The Act exempts information obtained "during the conduct of * * * an administrative action or investigation involving an agency against specific individuals or entities * * *" 44 U.S.C. 3518(c)(1)(B)(ii). In addition, "information" does not include simple certifications.

The final rule addresses OSHA's investigation procedures for assuring abatement in specific cases, i.e., those where a case file is open for the conduct of an inspection of safety and health conditions in the particular employer's workplace and where specific violations are found. The purpose of an OSHA inspection or administrative action is to protect employees by achieving abatement of the hazards identified at the workplace. This purpose is not fulfilled, and the case file is not closed, until OSHA is satisfied that abatement has in fact occurred. The hazards cited and the abatement measures undertaken are specific to the equipment, workplace configuration, and other characteristics of a given workplace and the work operations conducted at that site.

OSHA has tailored the requirements of the final rule to the seriousness of the particular cited hazard, the time that will be needed for abatement, and the response the employer has taken toward abating the hazard. If the employer abates the hazard during inspection or within 24 hours thereafter, no abatement certification is required. Further, if the cited condition involves an other-than-serious violation or where the circumstances otherwise make it appropriate, only a certification of abatement is required. Only in individual cases where more serious hazards are encountered (e.g., violative conditions resulting in a willful or repeat citation or in a serious citation which the Agency specifically identifies as requiring additional evidence) does the final rule require a cited employer to submit additional proof of abatement. The documentation submitted will vary with the individual circumstances of the case.

The determination that this final rule is not within the coverage of the Paperwork Reduction Act has been made by OSHA after careful review of the Act, its legislative history, the implementing regulations (5 CFR Part 1320), and OMB's 1989 "Information Collection Handbook." This determination is consistent with OSHA's traditional practice. As discussed above, OSHA's field offices have traditionally collected from employers evidence that cited violations have been abated, and these submissions have not been treated as subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act. OSHA notes, however, that at the time the proposed rule was published in 1994, the Agency submitted a request for clearance of the rule under the PRA to OMB and invited public comment on the request. OSHA has now determined that the final rule does not contain a collection of information within the meaning and scope of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

[62 FR 15324, March 31, 1997]

Regulations (Preambles to Final Rules) - Table of Contents

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