Skip to Content

Notice

Permit-Required Confined Spaces; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) Requirements

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

AGENCY:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION:

Request for public comment.

SUMMARY:

OSHA solicits public comment concerning its request for an extension of the information collection requirement contained in its Standard on Permit-Required Confined Spaces (29 CFR 1910.146).

DATES:

Comments must be submitted by the following dates:

Hard copy: Your comments must be submitted (postmarked or received) by October 31, 2005.

Facsimile and electronic transmission: Your comments must be received by October 31, 2005.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by OSHA Docket No. ICR-1218-0203(2005), by any of the following methods:

Regular mail, express delivery, hand delivery, and messenger service: Submit your comments and attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, Room N-2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2350 (OSHA's TTY number is (877) 889-5627). OSHA Docket Office and Department of Labor hours are 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., e.t.

Facsimile: If your comments are 10 pages or fewer in length, including attachments, you may fax them to the OSHADocket Office at (202) 693-1648.

Electronic: You may submit comments through the Internet at http://ecomments.osha.gov. Follow instructions on the OSHA Web page for submitting comments.

Docket: For access to the docket to read or download comments or background materials, such as the complete Information Collection Request (ICR) (containing the Supporting Statement, OMB-83-I Form, and attachments), go to OSHA's Web page at http://www.OSHA.gov. In addition, the ICR, comments, and submissions are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office at the address above. You also may contact Theda Kenney at the address below to obtain a copy of the ICR. For additional information on submitting comments, please see the “Public Participation” heading in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Theda Kenney or Todd Owen, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, OSHA, Room N-3609, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210, telephone: (202) 693-2222.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing efforts 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 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 accurate. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the Act) (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.) authorizes information collection by employers as necessary or 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 Standard specifies a number of collection of information requirements. The collections of information are used by employers and employees whenever entry is made into permit-required confined spaces. The following sections describe who uses the information collected under each requirement, as well as how they use it. The purpose of the information is to ensure that employers systematically evaluate the dangers in permit spaces before entry is attempted and to ensure that adequate measures are taken to make the spaces safe for entry. In addition, the information is needed to determine, during an OSHA inspection by a compliance safety and health officer, if employers are in compliance with the Standard.

Section 1910.146(c)(2) requires the employer to post danger signs to inform exposed employees of the existence and location of, and the danger posed by, permit spaces.

Section 1910.146(c)(4) requires the employer to develop and implement a written a “permit space program” if the employer decides that its employees will enter permit spaces. The written program is to be made available for inspection by employees and their authorized representatives. Section 1910.146(d) provides the employer with the requirements of a permit-required confined space program (“permit space program”) required under this paragraph.

Section 1910.146(c)(5)(i)(E) requires that the determinations and supporting data specified by paragraphs (c)(5)(i)(A), (c)(5)(i)(B), and (c)(5)(i)(C) of this Start Printed Page 51850section are documented by the employer and are made available to each employee who enters a permit space or to that employee's authorized representative.

Under paragraph (c)(5)(ii)(H) of § 1910.146, the employer is required to verify that the space is safe for entry and that the pre-entry measures required by paragraph (c)(5)(ii) of this section have been taken, using a written certification that contains the date, the location of the space, and the signature of the person providing the certification. The certification is to be made before entry and is required to be made available to each employee entering the space or to that employee's authorized representative.

Section 1910.146(c)(7)(iii) requires the employer to document the basis for determining that all hazards in a permit space have been eliminated using a certification that contains the date, the location of the space, and the signature of the person making the determination. The certification is to be made available to each employee entering the space or to that employee's authorized representative.

Section 1910.146(c)(8)(i) requires that the employer inform the contractor that the workplace contains permit spaces and that permit space entry is allowed only through compliance with a permit space program meeting the requirements of this section. Section 1910.146(c)(i)(ii) requires that the employer apprise the contractor of the elements, including the hazards identified and the host employer's experience with the space, that make the space in question a permit space. Section 1910.146(c)(8)(iii) requires that the employer apprise the contractor of any precautions or procedures that the host employer has implemented for the protection of employees in or near permit spaces where contractor personnel will be working. Section 1910.146(c)(8)(v) requires the employer to debrief the contractor at the conclusion of the entry operations regarding the permit space program followed and regarding any hazards confronted or created in permit spaces during entry operations.1

Section 1910.146(c)(9)(iii) requires that the contractor inform the host employer of the permit space program that the contractor will follow and of any hazards confronted or created in permit spaces, either through a debriefing or during the entry operation.1

Section 1910.146(d)(5)(vi) requires the employer to immediately provide each authorized entrant or that employee's authorized representative with the results of any testing conducted in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section.[1]

Section 1910.146(e)(1) requires the employer to document the completion of measures required by paragraph (d)(3) by preparing an entry permit before employee entry is authorized. Paragraph (f) of § 1910.146 specifies the information to be included on the entry permit. Paragraph (e)(3) requires that the employer make the completed permit available at the time of entry to all authorized entrants by posting the permit at the entry portal or by any other equally effective means, so that the entrants can confirm that pre-entry preparations have been completed. Paragraph (e)(6) requires the employer to retain each canceled entry permit for at least one year.

Section 1910.146(g)(4) requires that the employer certify that the training required by paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(3) [2] has been accomplished by preparing a written certification record.

Section 1910.146(k)(1)(iv) requires that the employer inform each rescue team or service of the hazards they may confront when called on to perform rescue at the site.

Section 1910.146(k)(2)(ii) requires that the employer train affected employees to perform assigned rescue duties. The employer must ensure that such employees successfully complete the training required to establish proficiency as an authorized entrant, as provided by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this section. Section 1910.146(k)(2)(iii) requires that the employer train affected employees in basic first-aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The employer shall ensure that at least one member of the rescue team or service holding a current certification in first aid and CPR is available.

Section 1910.146(k)(4) requires that if an injured entrant is exposed to a substance for which a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or other similar written information is required to be kept at the worksite, that the employer make the MSDS or written information available to the medical facility treating the exposed entrant.[3]

Section § 1910.146(1)(2) requires that employers make all information required to be developed by this section available to affected employees and their authorized representatives.

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 extend the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval of the collection of information (paperwork) requirements contained in the Standard on Permit-Required Confined Spaces (29 CFR 1910.146). The Agency 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 the collection of information requirements contained in the Standard.

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

Title: Permit-Required Confined Spaces (29 CFR 1910.146).

OMB Number: 1218-0203.

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

Number of Respondents: 238,853.

Frequency of Response: On occasion.

Total Responses: 9,163,736.

Average Time Per Response: Varies from one minute (.02 hour) to maintain a certificate to 16 hours to develop a written permit space entry program.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 1,523,810.

Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): 50.Start Printed Page 51851

IV. Public Participation-Submission of Comments on This Notice and Internet Access to Comments and Submissions

You may submit comments and supporting materials in response to this notice by (1) hard copy, (2) fax transmission (facsimile), or (3) electronically through the OSHA Web page. Because of security-related problems, a significant delay may occur in the receipt of comments by regular mail. Please contact the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-2350 (TTY (877) 889-5627) for information about security procedures concerning the delivery of submissions by express delivery, hand delivery, and courier service.

All comments, submissions and background documents are available for inspection and copying a the OSHA Docket Office at the above address. Comments and submissions posted on OSHA's Web page are available at http://www.OSHA.gov. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about materials not available through the OSHA Web page and for assistance using the Web page to locate docket submissions.

Electronic copies of this Federal Register notice, as well as other relevant documents, are available on OSHA's Web page. Since all submissions become public, private information such as social security numbers should not be submitted.

V. Authority and Signature

Jonathan L. Snare, Deputy 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 et seq.), and Secretary of Labor's Order No. 5-2002 (67 FR 65008).

Start Signature

Signed at Washington, DC, on August 25, 2005.

Jonathan L. Snare,

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  These sections identify usual and customary communications between employers, contractors, and employees; therefore, they do not impose burden hours or costs on the employer. For example, as a matter of business practice, information about hazards and permit-required confined spaces, etc., would be conveyed to contractors during initial discussions of work to be performed.

Back to Citation

2.  The Agency concludes that the training required under § 1910.146(g)(1) through (g)(3) and (k)(2)(i) and (k)(2)(ii) § 1910.146(k)(iii) is written in performance-oriented language and, thus, not considered a collection of information under the implementing rules and guidelines of PRA-95.

Back to Citation

3.  The burden hours and cost for MSDS accessibility is taken under OMB Control Number 1218-0072 (the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) ICR).

Back to Citation

[FR Doc. 05-17346 Filed 8-30-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-26-M