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Notice

Proposed Data Collections Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 404-639-7570 and send comments to Kimberly S. Lane, at CDC 1600 Clifton Road, MS-D74, Atlanta, GA 30333 or send an email to omb@cdc.gov.

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 (0920-0843, Expiration 1/31/2013)—Extension—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. NIOSH received OMB approval in 2010 in order to conduct the study. However, an extension is being requested for this project, as the kneepad prototype is still under development and to date, no data has been collected. Once a viable prototype is available, testing will commence and miners will start by evaluating a control kneepad.

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 such 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 is no cost to respondents other than their time.

Estimated Annualized Burden Hours

RespondentsForm nameNumber of respondentsNumber of responses per respondentAverage burden per response (in hours)Total burden (in hours)
Section Foreman (pilot mine)Section Foreman Form1110/600.2
Mine Workers (pilot mine—baseline)Baseline Form9120/603
Mine Workers (pilot mine—one month)1, 3, and 6 months forms9130/605
Mine Workers (pilot mine—focus group)Focus Group Questions9119
Section Foreman (full study)Section Foreman Form61210/6012
Mine Workers (full study—baseline)Baseline Form54120/6018
Mine Workers (full study—1, 3, and 6 months for control and prototypes)1, 3, and 6 months forms54625/60135
Total182

Kimberly S. Lane,

Deputy Director, Office of Science Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

[FR Doc. 2012-18745 Filed 7-31-12; 8:45 am]

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