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Asbestos in General Industry Standard (29 CFR 1910.1001); 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.

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OSHA solicits comments concerning its request for an extension of the information-collection requirements contained in its Asbestos in General Industry Standard (29 CFR 1910.1001 (the “Standard”)). The standard protects employees from adverse health effects from occupational exposure to Asbestos in General Industry, including asbestosis, an emphysema-like condition; lung cancer; mesothelioma; and gastrointestinal cancer.


Comments must be submitted by the following dates:

Hard Copy: Your comments must be submitted (postmarked or received) by April 5, 2004.

Facsimile and electronic transmission: Your comments must be received by April 5, 2004.


I. Submission of Comments

Regular mail, express delivery, hand-delivery, and messenger service: Submit your comments and attachments to the OSHA Docket office, Docket No. ICR-1218-0133(2004), Room N-2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. OSHA Docket Office and Department of Labor hours of operation are 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., EST.

Facsimile: If your comments, including any attachments, are 10 pages or fewer, you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648. You must include the docket number, ICR 1218-0133(2004), in your comments.

Electronic: You may submit comments, but not attachments, through the Internet at

II. Obtaining Copies of the Supporting Statement for the Information Collection Request

The Supporting Statement for the Information Collection Request is available for downloading from OSHA's Web site at The supporting statement is available for inspection and copying in the OSHA Docket Office, at the address listed above. A printed copy of the supporting statement can be obtained by contacting Todd Owen at (202) 693-2222.

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Todd Owen, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3609, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2222.

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I. Submission of Comments on This Notice and Internet Access to Comments and Submissions

You may submit comments in response to this document by (1) hard copy, (2) FAX transmission (facsimile), or (3) electronically through the OSHA webpage. Please note you cannot attach materials such as studies or journal articles to electronic comments. If you have additional materials, you must submit three copies of them to the OSHA Docket Office at the address above. The additional materials must clearly identify your electronic comments by name, date, subject and docket number so we can attach them to your comments. Because of security-related problems there may be a significant delay in the receipt of comments by regular mail. Please contact the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-2350 for information about security procedures concerning the delivery of material by express delivery, hand delivery and messenger service.

II. 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 general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing information-collection requirements 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 clearly understood, and OSHA's estimate of the information-collection burden is correct. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the “Act”) authorizes information collection by employers as necessary of appropriate for enforcement of the Act or for developing information regarding the causes and prevention of occupational injuries, illnesses, and accidents (29 U.S.C. 657).

The basic purpose of the information-collection requirements in the Standard is to document that employers in general industry are providing their employees with protection from hazardous asbestos exposure. Asbestos exposure results in asbestos, an emphysema-like condition; lung cancer; mesothelioma; and gastrointestinal cancer.

Several provisions of the Standard specify paperwork requirements, including: Implementing an exposure monitoring program that notifies employees of their exposure-monitoring results; establishing a written compliance program; and informing laundry personnel of the requirement to prevent release of airborne asbestos above the time-weighted average and excursion limit. Other provisions associated with paperwork requirements include: Maintaining records of information obtained concerning the presence, location, and quantity of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) and/or presumed asbestos-containing materials (PACMs) in a building/facility; notifying housekeeping employees of the presence and location of ACMs and PACMs in areas they may contact during their work; posting warning signs demarcating regulated areas; posting signs in mechanical rooms/areas that employees may enter and that contain ACMs and PACMs, informing them of the identify and location of these materials and work practices that prevent disturbing the materials; and affixing warning labels to asbestos-containing products and to containers holding such products. Additional provisions that contain paperwork requirements include: Developing specific information and training programs for employees; using information, data, and analyses to demonstrate that PACM does not contain asbestos; providing medical surveillance for employees potentially exposed to ACMs and/or PACM's, including administering an employee medical questionnaire, providing information to the examining physician, and providing the physician's written opinion to the employee; maintaining exposure-monitoring records, objective data used for exposure determinations, and medical-surveillance; making specified record (e.g. exposure-monitoring and medical-surveillance records) available to designated parties; and transferring exposure-monitoring and medical-surveillance records to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health on cessation of business.

These paperwork requirements permit employers, employees and their designated representatives, OSHA, and other specified parties to determine the effectiveness of an employer's asbestos-control program. Accordingly, the requirements ensure that employees exposed to asbestos receive all of the protection afforded by the Standard.

III. 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 Start Printed Page 5589Agency's functions, including whether the information is useful;

—The accuracy of the Agency'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.

IV. Proposed Actions

OSHA is proposing to extend the information-collection requirements in the Asbestos in General Industry (29 CFR 1910.1001).

OSHA will summarize the comments submitted in response to this notice, and will include this summary in the request to OMB to extend the approval of the information-collection requirements contained to the Asbestos in General Industry (29 CFR 1910.1001).

Type of Review: Extension of currently approved information-collection requirements.

Title: Asbestos in General Industry (29 CFR 1910.1001).

OMB Number: 1218-0133.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations; Federal, State, Local, or Tribal Governments.

Number of Respondents: 243.

Frequency: On occasion.

Average Time per Response: Varies from 5 minutes to maintain records to 1.5 hours for employees to receive training or medical evaluation.

Responses: 65,893.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 23,849.

Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): 1,625,143.

V. 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. 5-2002 (67 FR 65008).

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Signed at Washington, DC on January 30, 2004.

John L. Henshaw,

Assistant Secretary of Labor.

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[FR Doc. 04-2492 Filed 2-4-04; 8:45 am]