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Notice

Standard on Vinyl Chloride; 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 the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval of the information collection requirements specified in the Standard on Vinyl Chloride (29 CFR 1910.1017).

DATES:

Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent, or received) by February 6, 2012.

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 your comments and attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2011-0196, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 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 (OSHA-2011-0196) for the Information Collection Request (ICR). 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 from the Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. You also may contact Theda Kenney at the address below to obtain a copy of the ICR.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Theda Kenney, 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 (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 OSH Act) (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.) authorizes information collection by employers as necessary or appropriate for enforcement of the OSH 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).

The Standard specifies a number of paperwork requirements. The following is a brief description of the collection of information requirements contained in the Vinyl Chloride (VC) Standard.

(A) Exposure Monitoring (§ 1910.1017(d) and § 1910.1017(n))

Paragraph 1910.1017(d)(2) requires employers to conduct exposure monitoring at least quarterly if the results show that worker exposures are above the permissible exposure limit (PEL), while those exposed at or above the action level (AL) must be monitored no less than semiannually. Paragraph (d)(3) requires that employers perform additional monitoring whenever there has been a change in VC production, processes or control that may result in an increase in the release of VC.Start Printed Page 76767

Paragraph 1910.1017(n) requires employers to inform each worker of their exposure-monitoring results within 15 working days after the employer receives these results. Employers may notify workers either individually in writing or by posting the monitoring results in an appropriate location that is accessible to the workers. In addition, if the exposure-monitoring results show that a worker's exposure exceeds the PEL, the employer must inform the exposed worker of the corrective action the employer is taking to prevent such overexposure.

(B) Written Compliance Plan (§§ 1910.1017(f)(2) and (f)(3))

Paragraph (f)(2) requires employers whose engineering and work practice controls cannot sufficiently reduce worker VC exposures to a level at or below the PEL to develop and implement a plan for doing so. Paragraph (f)(3) requires employers to develop this written plan and provide it upon request to OSHA for examination and copying. These plans must be updated annually.

(C) Respiratory Program (§ 1910.1017(g)(2))

When respirators are required, the employer must establish a respiratory protection program in accordance with 1910.134, paragraphs (b) through (d) (except (d)(1)(iii) and (d)(3)(iii)(B)(1) and (2)) and (f) through (m). Paragraph 1910.134(c) requires the employer to develop and implement a written respiratory protection program with worksite-specific procedures and elements for respirator use. The purpose of these requirements is to ensure that employers establish a standardized procedure for selecting, using, and maintaining respirators for each workplace where respirators will be used. Developing written procedures ensures that employers develop a respirator program that meets the needs of their workers.

(D) Emergency Plan (§ 1910.1017(i))

Employers must develop a written operational plan for dealing with emergencies; the plan must address the storage, handling, and use of VC as a liquid or compressed gas. In the event of an emergency, appropriate elements of the plan must be implemented. Emergency plans must maximize workers' personal protection and minimize the hazards of an emergency.

(E) Medical Surveillance (§ 1910.1017(k))

Paragraph (k) requires employers to develop a medical surveillance program for workers exposed to VC in excess of the Action Level. Examinations must be provided in accordance with this paragraph at least annually. Employers must also obtain, and provide to each worker, a copy of a physician's statement regarding the worker's suitability for continued exposure to VC, including use of protective equipment and respirators, if appropriate.

(F) Communication of VC Hazards (§ 1910.1017(l))

Under paragraph 1910.1017(l)(2), the employer must post warning signs outside regulated areas and areas containing hazardous operations, or where emergency conditions exist. Posting warning signs serves to warn workers that they are entering a hazardous area. Such signs warn workers that entry is permitted only if they are authorized to do so, and there is a specific need to enter the area. Warning signs also supplement the training workers receive under this standard.

(G) Recordkeeping (§ 1910.1017(m))

Employers must maintain worker exposure and medical records. Medical and monitoring records are maintained principally for worker access, but are designed to provide valuable information to both workers and employers. The medical and monitoring records required by this standard will aid workers and their physicians in determining whether or not treatment or other interventions are needed for VC exposure. The information also will enable employers to better ensure that workers are not being overexposed; such information may alert the employer that steps must be taken to reduce VC exposures.

Exposure records must be maintained for at least 30 years, and medical records must be kept for the duration of employment plus 20 years, or for a total of 30 years, whichever is longer. Records must be kept for extended periods because of the long latency period associated with VC-related carcinogenesis (i.e., cancer). Cancer often cannot be detected until 20 or more years after the first exposure to VC.

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 to protect workers, 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

The Agency is requesting an adjustment decrease in burden hours from 711 to 549 hours, a 162 burden hour reduction. The reduction is a result of fewer VC and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) establishments subject to reporting requirements under this standard. There is also a decrease in total annual cost from $48,928 to $40,888 (a decrease of $8,040). This decrease is a result of a decrease in the estimated number of workers to be exposed above to VC and PVC facilities is approximately 3,968, a decrease of 1,368 workers. The currently approved ICR estimates a total of 32 establishments. This proposed ICR estimates a total of 26 establishments. The Agency will summarize any comments submitted in response to this notice and will include this summary in its request to OMB.

Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Title: Standard on Vinyl Chloride (29 CFR 1910.1017).

OMB Number: 1218-0010.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profits.

Number of Respondents: 26.

Frequency: On occasion; annually.

Total Responses: 925.

Average Time per Response: Varies from 5 minutes (.08 hour) for employers to maintain records to 12 hours for employers to update their compliance plans.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 549.

Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $40,888

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 this ICR (Docket No. OSHA-2011-0196). You may supplement electronic Start Printed Page 76768submissions by uploading document files electronically. If you wish to mail additional materials in reference to an electronic or a 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 OSHA 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 dates 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, Ph.D., MPH, 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 December 2, 2011.

David Michaels,

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.

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[FR Doc. 2011-31492 Filed 12-7-11; 8:45 am]

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