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Notice

Standard on Fire Brigades; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) Requirements

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AGENCY:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION:

Request for public comments.

SUMMARY:

OSHA solicits public comments concerning its proposal to extend OMB approval of the information collection requirements specified in its Standard on Fire Brigades (29 CFR 1910.156).

DATES:

Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent, or received) by March 28, 2011.

ADDRESSES:

Electronically: You may submit comments and attachments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions online for submitting comments.

Facsimile: If your comments, including attachments, are not longer than 10 pages, you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648.

Mail, hand delivery, express mail, messenger, or courier service: When using this method, you must submit a copy of your comments and attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, OSHA Docket No. OSHA-2011-0009, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. Deliveries (hand, express mail, messenger, and courier service) are accepted during the Department of Labor's and Docket Office's normal business hours, 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., e.t.

Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and OSHA docket number for the Information Collection request (ICR) (OSHA-2011-0009). All comments, including any personal information you provide, are placed in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov. For further information on submitting comments, see the “Public Participation” heading in the section of this notice titled “SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.”

Docket: To read or download comments or other material in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov or the OSHA Docket Office at the address above. All documents in the docket (including this Federal Register notice) are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index; however, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download through the Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. You may also contact Theda Kenney at the address below to obtain a copy of the ICR.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Theda Kenney or 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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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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 requirements in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (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 OSH 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 OSH Act also requires that OSHA obtain such information with minimum burden upon employers, especially those operating small businesses, and to reduce to the maximum extent feasible unnecessary duplication of efforts in obtaining information (29 U.S.C. 657).

Paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(2), (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(4) contain the paperwork requirements of the Standard.

Under paragraph (b)(1) of the Standard, employers must develop and maintain an organizational statement that establishes: the existence of a fire brigade; the basic organizational structure of the brigade; the type, amount, and frequency of training provided to brigade members; the expected number of members in the brigade; and the functions that the brigade is to perform. This paragraph also specifies that the organizational statement must be available for review by workers, their designated representatives, and OSHA compliance officers. The organizational statement delineates the functions performed by the brigade members and, therefore, determines the level of training and type of personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary for these members to perform their assigned functions safely. Making the statement available to workers, their designated representatives, and OSHA compliance officers ensures that the elements of the statement are consistent with the functions performed by the brigade members and the occupational hazards they experience, and that employers are providing training and PPE appropriate to these functions and hazards.

To permit a worker with known heart disease, epilepsy, or emphysema to participate in fire brigade emergency activities, paragraph (b)(2) of the Standard requires employers to obtain a physician's certificate of the worker's fitness to do so. This provision provides employers with a direct and efficient means of ascertaining whether or not they can safely expose workers with these medical conditions to the hazards of firefighting operations.

Paragraph (c)(1) of the Standard requires employers to provide training and education for fire brigade members commensurate with the duties and functions they perform, with brigade leaders and training instructors receiving more comprehensive training and education than employers provide to the general membership. Under paragraph (c)(2) of the Standard, employers must conduct training and education frequently enough, but at least annually, to assure that brigade members are able to perform their assigned duties and functions satisfactorily and safely; employers must provide brigade members who perform interior structural firefighting with educational and training sessions at least quarterly. In addition, paragraph (c)(4) specifies that employers must: Inform brigade members about special hazards such as storage and use of flammable liquids and gases, toxic chemicals, radioactive sources, and water-reactive substances that may be present during fires and other Start Printed Page 4736emergencies; advise brigade members of changes in the special hazards; and develop written procedures that describe the actions brigade members must take when special hazards are present, and make these procedures available in the education and training program and for review by the brigade members.

Providing appropriate training to brigade members at the specified frequencies, informing them about special hazards, developing written procedures on how to respond to special hazards, and making these procedures available for training purposes and review by the members enables them to use operational procedures and equipment in a safe manner to avoid or control dangerous exposures to fire-related hazards. Therefore, the training and information requirements specified by paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(4) of the Standard prevent serious injuries and death among members of fire brigades.

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 is requesting that OMB extend its approval of the information collection requirements contained in the Standard on Fire Brigades (29 CFR 1910.156). The Agency is requesting an adjustment increase of 1,244 burden hours from 5,048 hours to 6,292 hours. The increase is a result of updated data estimating that the total number of establishments requiring new or revised organizational statements has increased from 2,337 to 2,797, and that the number of fire brigade members has increased from 467,330 to 582,500.

Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Title: Standard on Fire Brigades (29 CFR 1910.156).

OMB Number: 1218-0075.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profits.

Number of Respondents: 8,738.

Frequency: On occasion.

Average Time Per Response: Varies from 5 minutes (.05 hour) to obtain a physician's certificate to 2 hours to develop or revise an organizational plan.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 6,292.

Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $0.

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

You may submit comments in response to this document as follows: (1) Electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal; (2) by facsimile (fax); or (3) by hard copy. All comments, attachments, and other material must identify the Agency name and the OSHA docket number for the ICR (Docket No. OSHA-2011-0009). You may supplement electronic submissions by uploading document files electronically. If you wish to mail additional materials in reference to an electronic or facsimile submission, you must submit them to the OSHA Docket Office (see the section of this notice titled “ADDRESSES”). The additional materials must clearly identify your electronic comments by your name, date, and the docket number so the Agency can attach them to your comments.

Because of security procedures, the use of regular mail may cause a significant delay in the receipt of comments. For information about security procedures concerning the delivery of materials by hand, express delivery, messenger, or courier service, please contact the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-2350, (TTY (877) 889-5627).

Comments and submissions are posted without change at http://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions commenters about submitting personal information such as social security numbers and date of birth. Although all submissions are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download through this Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. Information on using the http://www.regulations.gov Web site to submit comments and access the docket is available at the Web site's “User Tips” link. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about materials not available through the Web site, and for assistance in using the Internet to locate docket submissions.

V. Authority and Signature

David Michaels, 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. 4-2010 (75 FR 55355).

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Signed at Washington, DC, on January 21, 2011.

David Michaels,

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.

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[FR Doc. 2011-1665 Filed 1-25-11; 8:45 am]

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