Skip to Content


Proposed Information Collection Request Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations; Qualification and Certification Program

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble




The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden conducts a pre-clearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95) (44 U.S.C. 3506 (c)(2)(A)). This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed.

Currently, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is soliciting comments concerning the extension of the information collection related to the Sections 317(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act), 30 U.S.C. 877(c), and 30 CFR 75.1702 which prohibits persons from smoking or carrying smoking materials underground or in places where there is a fire or explosion hazard.


Submit comments on or before May 18, 2004.


Send comments to Darrin King, Chief, Records Management Division, Administration and Management 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2139, Arlington, VA 22209-3939. Commenters are encouraged to send their comments on computer disk, or via Internet E-mail to King-Darrin@MSHA.Gov. Mr. King can be reached at (202) 693-9838 (voice), or (202) 693-9801 (facsimile).

Start Further Info


, Darrin King, Chief, Records Management Division, U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Room 2139, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA Start Printed Page 1307022209-3939. Mr. King can be reached at King-Darrin@MSHA.Gov (Internet E-mail), (202) 693-9838 (voice), or (202) 693-9801 (facsimile).

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information


I. Background

Under the Mine Act and § 75.1702, coal mine operators are required to develop programs to prevent persons from carrying smoking materials, matches, or lighters underground and to prevent smoking in hazardous areas, such as in or around oil houses, explosives magazines, etc. The Mine Act and the standard further require that the mine operator submit the program plan to MSHA for approval. The purpose of the program is to insure that a fire or explosion hazard does not occur.

A cigarette lighter was found to be the cause of a mine explosion that took the lives of 13 men in December 1981 and there have been many other similar occurrences in the past. As recently as May 1994, a mine explosion resulted in two fatalities, serious injuries to other survivors and severe damage to the mine. MSHA's investigation determined that the explosion's most likely source of ignition was the open flame of a cigarette lighter or match.

II. Desired Focus of Comments

MSHA is particularly interested in comments which:

  • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;
  • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
  • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

A copy of the proposed information collection request can be obtained by contacting the employee listed in the For Further Information Contact section of this notice, or viewed on the Internet by accessing the MSHA Home page ( and then choosing “Statutory and Regulatory Information” and “Federal Register Documents.”

III. Current Actions

The mine operator uses the information to conduct the program. MSHA uses the information to determine the mine operator's compliance with the standard and that a program is developed and implemented to prevent smoking in hazardous areas.

Type of Review: Extension.

Agency: Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Title: Program to Prevent Smoking in Hazardous Areas.

OMB Number: 1219-0041.

Recordkeeping: While there is no specific requirement that records be maintained for more than three years, all underground coal mines must have an approved smoking materials search plan in effect during the entire time they are operating.

Frequency: On occasion.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

Respondents: 184.

Estimated Time Per Respondent: .5 hours.

Total Burden Hours: 92 hours.

Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): $0.

Total Burden Cost (operating/maintaining): $0.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.

Start Signature

Dated at Arlington, Virginia, this 12th day of March, 2004.

David L. Meyer,

Director, Office of Administration and Management.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 04-6177 Filed 3-18-04; 8:45 am]