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Proposed Data Collections Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The notice for the proposed information collection is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address any of the following: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and (e) Assess information collection costs.

To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice should be directed to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Written comments should be received within 30 days of this notice.

Proposed Project

Emergency Self Escape for Coal Miners—New—National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Start Printed Page 15619

Background and Brief Description

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) mission is to promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provides national and world leadership to prevent work-related illness, injury, disability, and death by gathering information, conducting scientific research, and translating knowledge gained into products and services. NIOSH's mission is critical to the health and safety of every American worker. The Office of Mine Safety and Health Research (OMSHR), one of the preeminent mining research laboratories in the world, is focused on occupational health and safety research for mine workers.

Recent research by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has called for a detailed, formal task analysis of mine self-escape (National Research Council, 2013). Such an analysis should identify the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other attributes (KSAOs) needed by mine personnel in the event of a mine disaster to successfully complete an emergency self-escape. This analysis will identify gaps between worker demands and capabilities, and propose recommendations to either minimize those gaps or enhance existing systems (e.g., communications, training, technology).

The purpose of the project is to enhance the ability of miners to escape from underground coal mines in the event of a fire, explosion, collapse of the mine structure, or flooding of the area by toxic gas or water. To escape, miners need to perform a set of tasks that apply specific knowledge and skills in moving through the mine, avoiding dangers, and using protective equipment. The project will identify the tasks, knowledge and skills, procedures, equipment, communications, and physical requirements of self-escape. The results are expected to lead to recommendations for improvements to task requirements and procedures, equipment, training and communication processes.

NIOSH proposes this two-year study to better understand the requirements of emergency self-escape and to answer the following questions:

  • What tasks (and critical tasks) do miners perform during self-escape?
  • What knowledge beyond that needed to perform normal, routine mining tasks do miners require to facilitate successful self-escape?
  • What are the cognitive requirements (such as reasoning, or weighing and deciding among alternatives, recognizing when a course of action is not producing the intended results) beyond that needed to perform normal, routine mining tasks?
  • What other cognitive abilities or other cognitive competencies are needed?
  • What gaps exist between what miners are required to do for self-escape and their capabilities?
  • How can self-escape be improved by redesigning, eliminating, or modifying tasks or training, or by altering or introducing specific technologies/tools?

To answer these questions, we will use a task analysis study design that utilizes a multiple-method approach, to include (a) review of available research, (b) interviews and focus group meetings with participants, and (c) unobtrusive observation (e.g., of drills). During interviews and focus groups, targeted questions are asked to elicit the level and type of desired information. This system of collecting information is “active” in that participants are presented stimuli (e.g., disaster scenarios, worker roles) and asked directly to provide their perceptions (e.g., of tasks or cognitive requirements needed to accomplish self-escape in that disaster). Observation checklists have been developed to capture relevant information during the unobtrusive naturalistic observations of self-escape drills. These data are then organized, collated, and re-presented to participants for confirmation of accuracy. Recommendations are generated based on study findings, related research and practices, and logical inference.

Participants will be mining personnel drawn from two operating coal mines, one large and one smaller mine, to represent the variety within the industry. The data collection schedule (e.g., timing and duration of interviews and focus groups) will be modified as needed to minimize disruption to mine operations. Up to 30 miner volunteers will participate in the study. Minimal time (<5 minutes each) will be spent in recruitment and obtaining informed consent.

Semi-structured interviews with mine personnel will require 1.5-2 hours of their time depending on the interview. Each of the two focus groups (the Initial Focus Group and the HTA) will require approximately 12 hours of a participant's time total. However, a given focus group will be executed in smaller blocks of time to reduce the burden on participants. Participants in the Initial Focus Group are not required to participate in the HTA Focus Group.

Observation of drills will occur as part of normal mine operations and will not result in any additional burden on the respondents.

The total estimated burden hours are 207.

Estimated Annualized Burden Hours

Type of respondentForm nameNumber of respondentsNumber of responses per respondentAverage burden per response (in hours)
Underground coal minersRecruitment Script3015/60
Underground coal minersInformed Consent3015/60
Underground coal minersInitial Interviews611.5
Underground coal minersCTA Interviews1222
Underground coal minersInitial focus group sessions1261
Underground coal minersHTA focus group sessions1261
Start Signature
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Leroy A. Richardson,

Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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[FR Doc. 2015-06655 Filed 3-23-15; 8:45 am]