Skip to Content


Proposed Data Collections Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Document Statistics
Document page views are updated periodically throughout the day and are cumulative counts for this document including its time on Public Inspection. Counts are subject to sampling, reprocessing and revision (up or down) throughout the day.
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

In compliance with the requirement of Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 for opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will publish periodic summaries of proposed projects. To request more information on the proposed projects or to obtain a copy of the data collection plans and instruments, call 404-639-5960 and send comments to Maryam I. Daneshvar, CDC Acting Reports Clearance Officer, 1600 Clifton Road, MS-D74, Atlanta, GA 30333 or send an email to

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Written comments should be received within 60 days of this notice.

Proposed Project

Field Evaluation of Prototype Kneel-assist Devices in Low-seam Mining—New—National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Background and Brief Description

NIOSH, under Public Law 91-596, Sections 20 and 22 (Section 20-22, Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970) has the responsibility to conduct research relating to innovative methods, techniques, and approaches dealing with occupational safety and health problems.

According to the Mining Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) injury database, 227 knee injuries were reported in underground coal mining in 2007. With data from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), it can be estimated that the financial burden of knee injuries was nearly three million dollars in 2007.

Typically, mine workers utilize kneepads to better distribute the pressures at the knee. The effectiveness of these kneepads was only recently investigated in a study by NIOSH that has not yet been published. The results of this study demonstrated that kneepads do decrease the maximum stress applied to the knee albeit not drastically. Additionally, the average pressure across the knee remains similar to the case where subjects wore no kneepads at all. Thus, the injury data and the results of this study suggest the need for the improved design of kneel-assist devices such as kneepads. NIOSH is currently undertaking the task of designing more effective kneel-assist devices such as a kneepad and a padded support worn at the ankle where mine workers can comfortably rest their body weight.

These devices must also be field tested to verify they do not result in body discomfort or inadvertent accidents. It is also important to determine how usable and durable these devices are in the harsh mining environment. In order to quantitatively demonstrate that these prototype devices are superior to their predecessors, mine workers using these prototypes must be interviewed. Their feedback will identify any necessary changes to the design of the devices such that NIOSH can ensure the prototypes will be well-accepted by the mining community.

To collect this type of information, a field study must be conducted where kneel-assist devices currently used in the mining industry (i.e. kneepads) are compared to the new prototype designs. The study suggested here would take approximately 13 months.

A pilot mine will be identified to test the prototype kneel-assist devices prior to commencing a full study. The data collected at this pilot mine will ensure that the prototype kneel-assist devices are likely to be successful. Data will be collected via interviews with individual mine workers and through a focus group where all mine workers come together to express their opinions about the devices. If the prototype kneel-assist devices do not appear to be successful, the data collected will be used to adequately redesign them and the above described process will begin again. If the prototype kneel-assist devices appear to be successful, the full study will commence.

Once the full study is ready to commence, cooperating mines will be identified. Every month, the section foreman at the cooperating mines will be asked to supply some information regarding the current mine environment.

Initially, the mine workers will be given a control kneel-assist device. Currently, mine workers only utilize kneepads as a kneel-assist device. Therefore, only a control kneepad will be provided. They will then be asked some basic demographics information Start Printed Page 12134such as their age and time in the mining industry. Additional data will then be collected at 1, 3, and 6 months after the study commences. The mine workers will be asked to provide their feedback regarding factors such as body part discomfort, usability, durability, and ease of movement.

There will be no cost to the respondents.

Estimated Annualized Burden Hours

RespondentsNumber of respondentsNumber of responses per respondentAverage burden per response (in hours)Total burden (in hours)
Section Foreman (pilot mine)1110/600.5
Mine Workers (pilot mine—baseline)9120/603
Mine Workers (pilot mine—one month)9130/604.5
Mine Workers (pilot mine—focus group)9119
Section Foreman (full study)61210/6012
Mine Workers (full study—baseline)54120/6018
Mine Workers (full study—1, 3, and 6 months for control and prototypes)54625/60135
Start Signature

Dated: March 11, 2009.

Maryam I. Daneshvar,

Acting Reports Clearance Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. E9-6214 Filed 3-20-09; 8:45 am]