Regulations (Preambles to Final Rules) - Table of Contents Regulations (Preambles to Final Rules) - Table of Contents
• Record Type: Occupational Exposure to Asbestos, Tremolite, Anthophyllite and Actinolite [1988]
• Section: 3
• Title: Section 3 - III. Regulatory Analysis

III. REGULATORY ANALYSIS

Executive Order 12291 (46 FR 13197, Feb. 19, 1981) requires that a regulatory analysis be conducted for any rule having major economic consequences. OSHA has analyzed the economic consequences of the asbestos standards as promulgated in 1986 at that time. The further analysis required for these revisions follows.

A. Population-At-Risk and Benefits

As part of this analysis, OSHA estimates that, under the current asbestos rule, at least 36,000 workers in general industry and construction remain unprotected from asbestos fiber levels above the 1 f/cc excursion limit. For general industry, about one-tenth of the workers within plant operations with 8-hour TWA exposures of between 0.1 and 0.2 f/cc may exceed the excursion limit for thirty minutes a day. This fraction was applied to the sectorial exposure data reported in the Asbestos Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA)[App. G] to yield OSHA's estimate of 2,703 workers affected by the excursion limit in general industry.

In automotive repair, approximately five percent of the population at risk to asbestos fibers are estimated to exceed the excursion limit. Hence, of the 527,000 workers exposed to asbestos in this sector, approximately 26,000 face thirty-minute exposures above 1 f/cc. In its RIA, OSHA estimated the costs and benefits of using solvent spray on brake-repair work in all affected establishments under the assumption that all firms would find it cost-effective to keep exposures below the action level by using the solvents on all repair jobs. OSHA now believes that some establishments are able to comply with the current standard without excursion-level controls and that the costs and benefits estimated for this industry sector in the RIA were too high.

To comply with the proposed excursion limit provisions, these brake-repair establishments would now be required to use the solvent spray, thereby ensuring protection of the total population-at-risk in the sector. Assuming workers affected by the excursion limit perform one two-hour brake job per day -- during which peak exposures -- OSHA estimates that use of the spray will reduce 8-hour TWA exposures from around 0.13 f/cc to 0.06 f/cc (Ex. 84-263). Based on the mortality rates for asbestos exposure given in the RIA, OSHA estimates that, in brake repair, approximately 3 of the 39 avoided fatalities that were estimated in the RIA should be assigned to the benefits of the proposed excursion limit standard.

In ship repair, OSHA assumed that all workers were provided vacuum cleaners and air-purifying respirators for the purpose of reducing TWA exposures. This equipment carries protection factors ranging from 10 to 1,000 and therefore would also protect employees from high excursion levels (see Asbestos RIA, Tables G-16 and G-18). For this reason, OSHA projects that few ship repair workers are exposed above the excursion limit.

In new construction, only asbestos/cement pipe installers are expected to be currently exposed to high excursion levels at frequent intervals. The estimated 16,000 workers involved in a/c pipe installation can be divided into 3,200 crews (five per crew). In the absence of controls, high fiber exposures can occur during the machining and cutting of pipe prior to installation. Employers experiencing excursion-level exposures can use shrouded tools during these activities to comply with paragraph (g)(2)(i) in the asbestos construction standard. Given the trend to have most of the machining done by the fabricator, and given the expense of purchasing shrouded tools, it is anticipated that only one-third of the crews will cut pipe at the worksite. Therefore, assuming one person on each crew is involved in cutting pipe, the population at risk in a/c pipe installation is expected to be around 1,100.

During most asbestos abatement, demolition and renovation jobs, the use of engineering controls and respirators to meet the TWA PEL will also reduce exposures to below the excursion limit (see Asbestos RIA, Table G-20). OSHA anticipates that the excursion level will be exceeded only during occasional small-scale jobs, where these controls are not needed to meet the TWA PEL. Similarly, in two activities within new construction, a/c sheet installation and asbestos roofing installation, the use of shrouded tools, vacuums, clothing and respirators needed to meet the TWA PEL are expected to prevent exposure levels from exceeding the excursion limit in all but a few short-duration activities. Thus, some minor, non-quantifiable benefits are expected in these sectors once the existing engineering controls and respirators are applied in the small jobs.

The overall population at risk from exceeding the excursion limit in construction maintenance is estimated at 32,000. In commercial/residential building maintenance, approximately 90,000 workers in small-scale jobs are potentially exposed to asbestos (RIA, p. F-20). However, OSHA believes that only about ten percent of these workers will be routinely exposed to asbestos. Thus, OSHA estimates that approximately 10,000 employees, working in two-person crews, will specialize in small-scale repair and renovation work involving contact with asbestos. In routine maintenance for general industry, of the approximately 220,000 workers exposed to asbestos and not equipped with respirators, an estimated ten percent, or 22,000, are assumed to be exposed to levels above the excursion limit.

Thus, the overall population at risk to exposures above the excursion limit is expected to be approximately 36,000 workers (not counting the population at risk in automotive repair). in the construction maintenance sectors affected by the standard, exposures are not expected to occur on a daily basis. For the purpose of estimating the incremental benefits of an excursion limit, the population at risk must be expressed as the number of full-time equivalent workers. Accordingly, OSHA estimates that the 36,000 workers with some exposures above the excursion limit translate to the equivalent of 10,000 full-time employees.

To develop a quantitative estimate of the expected incremental benefits of an excursion limit, OSHA conservatively assumes that the use of engineering controls, respirators and other measures will reduce 8-hour exposure levels by a factor of ten. Table 1 shows the number of expected cancer deaths for each sector at 0.13 f/cc TWA -- estimated as the current mean exposure level for all industry establishments impacted by the excursion limit -- and .013 f/cc TWA, the level after the tenfold exposure reduction. For each exposure level the number of expected deaths in manufacturing and construction is summed. Taking the difference of these two sums yields the figure for avoided cancer deaths. As indicated in the table, OSHA's risk assessment model predicts that an excursion limit of 1 f/cc for thirty minutes will prevent approximately two cancer fatalities per year in the indicated sectors (not counting the benefits in automotive repair discussed above).


  TABLE 1. -- ESTIMATED EXCESS CANCER DEATHS AVOIDED DUE TO
              PROMULGATION OF A THIRTY-MINUTE EXCURSION LIMIT
              OF 1/FCC FOR ONE YEAR(a)
_____________________________________________________________________
                        |            |          |          |
                        |            | Expected | Expected |
                        |            |  cancer  |  cancer  | No. of
      Sector            |   No. of   | death at |  deaths  | cancer
                        | full-time  | .13 f/cc | at .013  | deaths
                        | equivalent |  TWA(b)  |   f/cc   | avoided
                        |  workers   |          |  TWA(c)  |
________________________|____________|__________|__________|________
                        |            |          |          |
Primary manufacturing ..|        784 |    0.152 |    0.016 |  0.136
Secondary manufacturing.|      1,919 |    0.368 |    0.037 |  0.331
Construction ...........|      6,980 |    1.340 |    0.133 |  1.207
________________________|____________|__________|__________|_______
                        |            |          |          |
Total ................. |      9,683 |     1.86 |    0.186 |  1.674
________________________|____________|__________|__________|_______
  Source: U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA, Office of Regulatory
Analysis.
  Footnote(a) Automotive repair workers exposed to excursion levels
are excluded from the analysis in the table.
  Footnote(b) Based on exposure data in the Asbestos RIA [App.G],
OSHA estimates that the population at risk from short-term levels
experiences a mean of 0.13 f/cc TWA.
  Footnote(c) Use of engineering controls and respirators are
assumed to result in a tenfold reduction in TWA exposures.

Moreover, as explained in Chapter V in the Asbestos RIA, the estimated number of lives saved understates the total benefits derived from lowering worker exposure. Additional expected benefits (but not quantified) should appear in the form of reduced worker disability from asbestosis and a reduced incidence of asbestos-related diseases in groups outside the directly exposed work force.

B. Compliance Costs

OSHA estimates that the total annual compliance costs for achieving a thirty-minute excursion limit of 1 f/cc in the sectors shown in Table 1 will be approximately $29 million. (Some additional compliance costs in automotive repair were already estimated in OSHA's original RIA and are discussed below.) Table 2 shows the number of exposed workers in each industry sector and the breakdown of compliance costs by regulatory provision. In general, the exposure distributions and the compliance cost formulae presented in the RIA were reemployed here. The majority of the costs will occur in the construction industry, where the annual costs are estimated to be $23 million. Primary and secondary manufacturing are expected to incur annual costs of $2.0 million and $4.4 million, respectively. In ship repair, additional compliance costs are expected to be insignificant because it is assumed that most firms already use adequate controls in order to comply with the existing provisions of the asbestos standard.



TABLE 2. -- ASBESTOS EXCURSION LIMIT((a) ANNUAL COMPLIANCE COSTS
            [By sector and provision, in dollars]

_____________________________________________________________________
            |        |           |           |           |
            | Number | Engineer- |  Shower/  |           |
            |   of   |   ing     |  change   |           |
   Sector   | exposed| controls  |   room    | Respira-  | Clothing
            | workers|           |   total   |   tors    |
____________|________|___________|___________|___________|__________
            |        |           |           |           |
Primary     |        |           |           |           |
 manufact-  |        |           |           |           |
 uring:     |        |           |           |           |
            |        |           |           |           |
 A/C pipe...|     29 |         0 |    34,557 |     4,923 |    21,750
 A/C sheet..|     20 |         0 |    23,833 |     3,395 |    15,000
 Textiles...|      3 |         0 |     3,575 |       509 |     2,250
 Floor tile.|     24 |         0 |    28,599 |     4,074 |    18,000
 Coatings...|    102 |         0 |   121,547 |    17,314 |    76,500
 Friction...|    510 |         0 |   607,733 |    86,569 |   382,500
 Paper......|     39 |         0 |    46,474 |     6,620 |    29,250
 Gaskets....|     32 |         0 |    38,132 |     5,432 |    24,000
 Plastics...|     25 |         0 |    29,791 |     4,244 |    18,750
            |________|___________|___________|___________|__________
            |        |           |           |           |
  Subtotal..|    784 |      (b)0 |   934,241 |   133,079 |   588,000
            |========|===========|===========|===========|==========
            |        |           |           |           |
Secondary   |        |           |           |           |
 manufac-   |        |           |           |           |
 turing:    |        |           |           |           |
            |        |           |           |           |
 A/C sheet..|     35 |         0 |    41,707 |     5,941 |    26,250
 Textiles...|     17 |         0 |    20,258 |     2,886 |    12,750
 Friction...|    150 |         0 |   178,745 |    25,462 |   112,500
 Gaskets....|    997 |         0 | 1,188,058 |   169,234 |   747,750
 Plastics...|    245 |         0 |   291,950 |    41,587 |   183,750
 Auto       |        |           |           |           |
  remanu-   |        |           |           |           |
  facturing.|    475 |         0 |   566,026 |    80,628 |   356,250
            |________|___________|___________|___________|__________
            |        |           |           |           |
  Subtotal..|  1,919 |      (b)0 | 2,286,744 |   325,738 | 1,439,250
            |========|===========|===========|===========|==========
Construc-   |        |           |           |           |
 tion:      |        |           |           |           |
            |        |           |           |           |
 A/C pipe   |        |           |           |           |
  installa- |        |           |           |           |
  tion......|  1,100 | 1,650,000 |         0 |       N/R |       N/R
 Routine    |        |           |           |           |
  maint. in |        |           |           |           |
  C/R.......| 10,000 | 7,417,947 |         0 | 2,238,004 | 3,450,000
 Routine    |        |           |           |           |
  maint. in |        |           |           |           |
  GI........| 22,000 |   147,400 |         0 | 5,330,609 |   660,000
            |        |           |           |           |
            |________|___________|___________|___________|__________
            |        |           |           |           |
  Subtotal..| 33,100 | 9,215,347 |      (c)0 | 7,568,612 | 4,110,000
            |========|===========|===========|===========|==========
            |        |           |           |           |
  Total.....| 35, 803| 9,215,347 | 3,220,985 | 8,027,430 | 6,137,250
            |        |           |           |           |
____________|________|___________|___________|___________|__________



TABLE 2. -- ASBESTOS EXCURSION LIMIT((a)
               ANNUAL COMPLIANCE COSTS
        [By sector and provision, in dollars]
                   [CONTINUED]
___________________________________________________________
            |         |           |           |
            |         |           |           |
            |         | Medical   |           |   Grand
   Sector   | Monitor-| surveill- | Training  |   total
            |   ing   |   ance    |           |
____________|_________|___________|___________|____________
            |         |           |           |
Primary     |         |           |           |
 manufact-  |         |           |           |
 uring:     |         |           |           |
            |         |           |           |
 A/C pipe...|   2,712 |       373 |       208 |     64,523
 A/C sheet..|   3,255 |       514 |       144 |     46,139
 Textiles...|   1,505 |        39 |        22 |      7,899
 Floor tile.|   1,505 |       308 |       172 |     52,658
 Coatings...|  35,941 |     1,310 |       732 |    253,344
 Friction...|  27,664 |     6,551 |     3,662 |  1,114,679
 Paper......|  11,933 |       501 |       280 |     95,058
 Gaskets....|   9,764 |       411 |       230 |     77,968
 Plastics...|   2,006 |       321 |       180 |     55,291
            |_________|___________|___________|____________
            |         |           |           |
  Subtotal..|  96,284 |    10,070 |     5,629 |  1,767,303
            |=========|===========|===========|===========
            |         |           |           |
Secondary   |         |           |           |
 manufac-   |         |           |           |
 turing:    |         |           |           |
            |         |           |           |
 A/C sheet..|  10,598 |       450 |       251 |     85,197
 Textiles...|  23,500 |       218 |       122 |     59,734
 Friction...|  16,798 |     1,927 |     1,077 |    336,509
 Gaskets....| 121,368 |    12,806 |     7,158 |  2,246,376
 Plastics...| 102,890 |     3,147 |     1,759 |    625,084
 Auto       |         |           |           |
  remanu-   |         |           |           |
  facturing.|  83,401 |     6,101 |     3,411 |  1,095,817
            |         |           |           |
            |_________|___________|___________|___________
            |         |           |           |
  Subtotal..| 358,556 |    24,650 |    13,778 |  4,448,717
            |=========|===========|===========|===========
            |         |           |           |
Construc-   |         |           |           |
 tion:      |         |           |           |
            |         |           |           |
 A/C pipe   |         |           |           |
  installa- |         |           |           |
  tion......|       0 |   113,916 |    15,796 |  1,779,712
 Routine    |         |           |           |
  maint. in |         |           |           |
  C/R.......|       0 | 1,035,600 |   143,600 | 14,285,151
 Routine    |         |           |           |
  maint. in |         |           |           |
  GI........|       0 |         0 |   315,920 |  6,453,929
            |         |           |           |
            |_________|___________|___________|___________
            |         |           |           |
  Subtotal..|    (d)0 | 1,149,516 |   475,316 | 22,518,791
            |=========|===========|===========|===========
            |         |           |           |
  Total.....| 454,840 | 1,184,236 |   494,724 | 28,734,811
            |         |           |           |
____________|_________|___________|___________|___________

  Source: U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA, Office of Regulatory
Analysis.
  Footnote(a) Compliance costs in automotive repair are not
reported in the table (see discussion in text).
  Footnote(b) No additional controls are expected beyond those
required to meet the TWA PEL.
  Footnote(c) Additional decontamination facilities are assumed
not to be necessary because either they would have been required
to meet the existing standard or because the operations are
excluded due to their small-scale, short-duration nature.
  Footnote(d) Employers are expected to minimize the need for
additional monitoring through the use of objective data or by
equipping their workers with air-supplied respirators.

1. Construction

Annual compliance costs in construction are estimated at $23 million to protect approximately 33,000 workers in asbestos/cement pipe installation, routine maintenance in commercial/residential buildings, and routine maintenance in general industry. The two maintenance sectors in construction account for over 92 percent of the costs in construction, with a/c pipe installation accounting for the remaining cost. Asbestos abatement, demolition and renovation are not expected to incur additional compliance costs. With the exception of a minor number of small-scale jobs, exposures in those sectors, and in a/c sheet installation and asbestos roofing installation, are projected to remain below the excursion limit through the use of engineering controls and respirators put in place to meet the TWA PEL. During these jobs, additional use of existing controls and respirators will be required without any incremental costs beyond those previously estimated.

As shown in Table 2, compliance costs for additional engineering controls, respirators and disposable clothing in construction are expected to total $9.2 million, $7.6 million and $4.1 million, respectively. No decontamination costs are anticipated because the activities in these sectors are of short duration and are exempted from this provision.

In a/c pipe installation, it is anticipated that short-term exposures will be reduced through the use of shrouded tools during machining and cutting of pipe. In the maintenance sectors, supplied-air respirators, glove bags, HEPA vacuums and filters, and disposable clothing and gloves will protect workers during activities when fiber concentrations may exceed the excursion limit. Office workers and the general public in commercial and residential buildings (c/r) will also benefit from signs alerting them to the hazards at the worksite. Applying a unit cost of 50 cents for each sign put in place, the costs of warning signs are expected to total $1.8 million annually in c/r maintenance.

In routine maintenance in general industry, OSHA estimates that approximately 85,000 gasket projects will face asbestos level excursion. Most of these jobs will be small and therefore will require only one sign in most cases. At a unit cost of 50 cents per sign, the total compliance cost for the regulated-area provisions will be approximately $43,000 in gasket maintenance.

To avoid the costs of monitoring exposure levels at each project, it is assumed that construction maintenance crews will purchase supplied-air respirators and compressors at unit costs of $278.25 and $1,000, respectively, and capitalize them over five years. In addition, firms in commercial/residential maintenance and a/c pipe installation will incur costs associated with the medical and training provisions when the excursion limit is exceeded. (Workers in routine maintenance in general industry are exempted from the medical surveillance provisions because they will be exposed for fewer than 30 days.) Assuming a medical exam/lost-work-time cost of $100 and recordkeeping costs of around $3.50 per employee, annual medical costs for these workers are estimated to be approximately $1.1 million.

Training costs in construction are based on the assumption that a supervisor (at a wage rate of $13.10 per hour in construction and $17.11 per hour in general industry (routine maintenance)) will conduct one-half hour training sessions for groups of five employees (at an hourly wage rate of $11.91 in construction and $16.37 in general industry). Added to these costs of instruction are recordkeeping costs (estimated in the RIA, p. VI-41, to be $0.85 per record in construction and $1.50 per record in general industry), bringing the total cost of training in construction to around $475,000.

2. General Industry

OSHA estimates annual compliance costs of $6.2 million in primary and secondary manufacturing. As noted above, the ship repair sector should not experience costs to comply with the excursion limit since controls currently in use to meet the TWA PEL prevent thirty-minute levels from exceeding 1 f/cc. OSHA expects automotive repair, however, to incur some compliance costs from the use of solvent spray to meet the excursion limit. Assuming one-third of the affected employees are currently in compliance, and assuming (as in the RIA) that approximately thirty seconds of worker time is spent spraying an entire can of solvent spray (at $1.75 per can) on the brake surface to minimize the number of airborne fibers, compliance cost is estimated to be $4.0 million in this sector. As noted above, these compliance costs were already included in the RIA for the TWA permissible exposure level. Hence, the costs are not incremental as are the excursion limit costs in the other sectors and therefore are not reported in Table 2.

Half of the total cost in general industry, $3.1 million, or $1,192 per worker, will be spent on decontamination of workers after high fiber exposures. To comply with the decontamination provisions, employers are expected to expand shower rooms and change rooms (see pp. VI 15-16 in the RIA for details of the calculation) in order to accommodate the estimated 2,700 workers who are exposed below the 0.2 f/cc TWA but above the 1 f/cc excursion limit. In addition, OSHA assumed that each of those workers would be given one change of disposable clothing and gloves each day, at a cost of $3 per set.

Initial monitoring is necessary to help firms determine the need for respiratory protection and to provide the objective data required by the standard where such data does not currently exist. Because exposure levels in primary and secondary manufacturing will occasionally exceed 1 f/cc for thirty minutes despite the presence of engineering controls, OSHA assumed that all employers will perform initial monitoring at each workstation in all establishments. This assumption tends to overstate actual costs because in some instances other objective data will be available. Based on the expected variation in these exposures, OSHA estimates that approximately 50 percent of the workstations will have exposures above the excursion limit. These workstations are expected to continue monitoring twice a year and to equip their workers with cartridge respirators during peak exposure periods.

For the workstations where exposures exceed the excursion limit but not the TWA action level, medical surveillance and training would be required. OSHA estimated that half of the workers expected to exceed the excursion limit will be affected by these provisions for the first time (the balance of these workers are in establishments where these costs are currently required under the existing rule). Annual medical and training costs for these workers is calculated to be about $55,000.

[53 FR 35609, Sept. 14, 1988]

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