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Notice

Notice of Alleged Safety and Health Hazard (Form OSHA-7); Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Collections of Information

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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 collections of information contained in the OSHA-7 Form.

DATES:

Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent or received) by June 23, 2017.

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, Docket No. OSHA-2010-0056, 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 the OSHA docket number (OSHA-2010-0056) 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://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 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 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., employees filing occupational safety or health complaints) burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on proposed and collections of information in accord with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (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).

Under paragraphs (a) and (c) of 29 CFR 1903.11 (“Complaints by employees”), employees and their representatives may notify the OSHA area director or an OSHA compliance officer of safety and health hazards regulated by the Agency that they believe exist in their workplaces at any time. These provisions state further that this notification must be in writing and “shall set forth with reasonable particularity the grounds for the notice, and shall be signed by the employee or representative of the employee.”

In addition to providing specific hazard information to the Agency, paragraph (a) permits employees/employee representatives to request an inspection of the workplace. Paragraph (c) also addresses situations in which employees/employee representatives may provide the information directly to the OSHA compliance officer during an inspection. An employer's former employees may also submit complaints to the Agency.

To address the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (c), especially the requirement that the information be in writing, the Agency developed the OSHA-7 Form; this form standardized and simplified the hazard reporting process. For paragraph (a), they may complete an OSHA-7 Form obtained Start Printed Page 18933from the Agency's Web site and then send it to OSHA online, or deliver a hardcopy of the form to the OSHA area office by mail or facsimile, or by hand. They may also write a letter containing the information and hand deliver it to the area office, or send it by mail or facsimile. In addition, they may provide the information orally to the OSHA area office or another party (e.g., a federal safety and health committee for federal employees), in which case the area office or other party completes the hard copy version of the form. For the typical situation addressed by paragraph (c), an employee/employee representative informs an OSHA compliance officer orally of the alleged hazard during an inspection, and the compliance officer then completes the hard copy version of the OSHA-7 Form; occasionally, the employee/employee representative provides the compliance officer with the information on the hard copy version of the OSHA-7 Form.

The information on the hard copy version of the OSHA-7 Form includes information about the employer and alleged hazards, including: The establishment's name; the site's address and telephone and facsimile numbers; the name and telephone number of the management official; the type of business; a description and the specific location of the hazards, including the approximate number of employees exposed or threatened by the hazards; and whether or not the employee/employee representative informed another government agency about the hazards (and the name of the agency if so informed).

Additional information on the hard copy version of the form concerns the complainant, including: Whether or not the complainant is an employee or an employee representative, or for information provided orally, a member of a federal safety and health committee or another party (with space to specify the party); the complainant's name, telephone number, and address; and the complainant's signature attesting that they believe a violation of an OSHA standard exists at the named establishment; and the date of the signature. An employee representative must also provide the name of the organization they represent and their title.

The information contained in the online version of the OSHA-7 Form is similar to the hard copy version. However, the online version requests the complainant's email address, and does not ask for the site's facsimile number or the complainant's signature and signature date.

The Agency uses the information collected on the OSHA-7 Form to determine whether reasonable grounds exist to conduct an inspection of the workplace. The description of the hazards, including the number of exposed employees, allows the Agency to assess the severity of the hazards and the need to expedite the inspection. The completed form also provides the employer with notice of the complaint and may serve as the basis for obtaining a search warrant if the employer denies the Agency access to the workplace.

II. Special Issues for Comment

OSHA has a particular interest in comments on the following issues:

  • Whether the proposed collections of information are necessary for 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 collections of information, 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 collections of information relating to the OSHA-7 Form. The Agency is requesting an increase in burden hours from 13,659 to 19,258 (a total increase of 5,599 burden hours). The difference is the result of an overall increase in complaints received annually from 50,641 complaints estimated in the previous ICR to 70,976 complaints. There was also an increase in operation and maintenance costs from $532 to $701. The increase occurred due to an increase in the estimated number of written OSHA-7 forms received, from 1,208 to 1,430 forms. The Agency will summarize the comments submitted in response to this notice and will include this summary in the request to OMB to extend the approval of the collections of information.

Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Title: Notice of Alleged Safety and Health Hazards (Form OSHA-7).

OMB Control Number: 1218-0064.

Affected Public: Individuals or households.

Number of Responses: 70,976.

Frequency of Responses: On occasion.

Average Time per Response: Varies.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 19,258.

Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $701.

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://regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal; (2) by facsimile; 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-2010-0056). 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 their social security number 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 from 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 from the Web site, and for assistance in using the Internet to locate docket submissions.

V. Authority and Signature

Dorothy Dougherty, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, directed the Start Printed Page 18934preparation of this notice. The authority for this notice is the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3506 et seq.) and Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2012 (77 FR 3912).

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Signed at Washington, DC, on April 13, 2017.

Dorothy Dougherty,

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.

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[FR Doc. 2017-08228 Filed 4-21-17; 8:45 am]

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