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Standard on Slings; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's Approval of Information-Collection (Paperwork) Requirements

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Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.


Request for comment.


OSHA solicits comment concerning its proposal to extend OMB approval of the information-collection requirements of its general industry standard regulating the use of slings (29 CFR 1910.184). OSHA is also proposing to increase the burden-hour estimate for these information-collection requirements.[1] The paperwork provisions of this standard require employers to attach tags or markings giving information about the capability of the slings, to conduct inspections, keep records, and retain proof-testing certificates for slings that have been repaired. Each of these provisons prevents employees from using defective or deteriorated slings, thereby reducing their risk of death or serious injury caused by sling failure during material handling.


Submit written comments on or before June 4, 2002.


Submit written comments to the Docket Office, Docket No. ICR-1218-0223(2002), OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2350. Commenters may transit written comments of 10 pages or less by facsimile to (202) 693-1648.

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Theda Kenney, Directorate of Safety Standards Programs, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3609, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2222. A copy of the Agency's Information-Collection Request (ICR) supporting the need for the information collections specified in its Standard on Slings is available for inspection and copying in the Docket Office, or by requesting a copy from Theda Kenney at (202) 693-2222, or Todd Owen at (202) 693-2444. For electronic copies of the ICR, contact OSHA on the Internet at and select “Information Collection Requests.”

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I. Background

The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent (i.e., employer) burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing information-collection Start Printed Page 16453requirements in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA-95) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A). This program ensures that information is in the desired format, reporting burden (time and costs) is minimal, collection instruments are understandable, and OSHA's estimate of the information-collection burden is correct.

The Standard on Slings (i.e., “the Standard”) specifies several paperwork requirements. The following sections describe who uses the information collected under each requirement, as well as how they use it. The purpose of each of these requirements is to prevent employees from using defective or deteriorated slings, thereby reducing their risk of death or serious injury caused by sling failure during material handling.

Paragraph (e) of the Standard covers alloy steel chain slings.

Paragraph (e)(1) requires that alloy steel chain slings have permanently affixed durable identification stating size, grade, rated capacity, and reach. The information, supplied by the manufacturer, is typically marked on a metal tag and affixed to the sling.

Paragraph (e)(3)(i) requires the employer to make a thorough periodic inspection of alloy steel chain slings in use on a regular basis, but at least once a year. Paragraph (e)(3)(ii) requires the employer to make and maintain a record of the most recent month in which each alloy steel chain sling was thoroughly inspected, and make this record available for examination.

Paragraph (e)(4) requires the employer to retain certificates of proof testing. Employers must ensure that before use, each new, repaired, or reconditioned alloy steel chain sling, including all welded components in the sling assembly, has bee proof tested by the sling manufacturer, or an equivalent entity. The certificates of proof testing must be retained and made available for examination.

Paragraph (f) of the Standard covers wire rope slings.

Paragraph (f)(4)(ii) requires that all welded end attachments of wire rope slings be proof tested by the manufacturer at twice their rated capacity prior to initial use, and that the employer retain a certificate of the proof test and make it available for examination.

Paragraph (g) of the Standard covers metal mesh slings.

Paragraph (g)(1) requires each metal mesh sling to have a durable marking permanently affixed that states the rated capacity for vertical basket hitch and choker hitch loadings.

Paragraph (g)(8)(ii) requires that once repaired, each metal mesh sling be permanently marked or tagged, or a written record maintained to indicate the date and nature of the repairs and the person or organization that performed the repairs. Records of the repairs shall be made available for examination.

Paragraph (i) of the Standard covers synthetic web slings.

Paragraph (i)(1) requires that synthetic web slings be marked or coded to show the rated capacities for each type of hitch and type of synthetic web material.

Paragraph (i)(8)(i) prohibits the use of repaired synthetic web slings until they have been proof tested by the manufacturer or equivalent entity. Paragraph (i)(8)(ii) requires the employer to retain a certificate of the proof test and make it available for examination.

The information on the identification tags, markings or codings assists the employer in determining whether the sling can be used for the lifting task. The sling inspections enable early detection of faulty slings. The inspection and repair records provide employers with information about when the last inspection was made and about the nature of the repairs made. This information provides some assurance about the condition of the slings. These records also provide the most efficient means for an OSHA compliance officer to determine that an employer is complying with the Standard. Proof-testing certificates give employers, employees, and OSHA compliance officers assurance that slings are safe to use. The certificates also provide the compliance officers with an efficient means to assess employer compliance with the Standard.

II. Special Issues for Comment

OSHA has a particular interest in comments on the following issues:

  • Whether the proposed information-collection requirements are necessary for the proper performance of the Agency's functions, including whether the information is useful;
  • The accuracy of OSHA's estimate of the burden (time and costs) of the information-collection requirements, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
  • The quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and
  • Ways to minimize the burden on employers who must comply; for example, by using automated or other technological information-collection and -transmission techniques.

III. Proposed Actions

OSHA proposes to increase the existing burden-hour estimate and to extend the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval of the collection-of-information requirements specified by its Standard on Slings (29 CFR 1910.184). The Agency is proposing to increase the total burden-hour estimate from 21,435 to 21,517 hours, an increase of 82 hours. This increase in burden hours is the result of identifying burden associated with replacing identification tags, markers, or codings if the one supplied by the manufacturer needs to be replaced. OSHA will summarize the comments submitted in response to this notice, and will include this summary in its request to OMB to extend the approval of these information-collection requirements.

Type of Review: Extension of a currently-approved information-collection requirement.

Title: Standard on Slings (29 CFR 1910.184).

OMB Number: 1218-0223.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit; not-for-profit institutions; Federal government; State, local, or tribal governments.

Number of Respondents: 650,000 (assuming one sling per employer).

Frequency of Recordkeeping: On occasion; annually.

Average Time per Response: Varies from three minutes (.05 hour) to retain and disclose a proof-testing certificate, to 30 minutes (.50 hour) to replace a tag, mark, or code on a sling.

Total Annual Hours Requested: 21,517.

Total Annual Costs (O&M): $0.

IV. Authority and Signature

John L. Henshaw, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, directed the preparation of this notice. The authority for this notice is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506), and Secretary of Labor's Order No. 3-2000 (65 FR 50017).

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Signed at Washington, DC on April 1, 2002.

John L. Henshaw,

Assitant Secretary of Labor.

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1.  Based on its assessment of the paperwork requirements contained in this standard, the Agency estimates that the total burden hours increased compared to its previous burden-hour estimate. Under this notice, OSHA is not proposing to revise these paperwork requirements in any substantive manner, only to increase its estimate of the burden hours imposed by the existing paperwork requirements.

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[FR Doc. 02-8261 Filed 4-4-02; 8:45 am]