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Notice

Respiratory Protection Standard; 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 the proposal to extend OMB approval of the information collection requirements specified by the Respiratory Protection Standard.

DATES:

Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent, or received) by June 8, 2021.

ADDRESSES:

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

Docket: To read or download comments or other material in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Documents in the docket 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 website. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection through the OSHA Docket Office. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for assistance in locating docket submissions.

Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and the OSHA docket number for this Federal Register notice (OSHA-2017-0014). OSHA will place comments and requests to speak, including personal information, in the public docket, which may be available online. Therefore, OSHA cautions interested parties about submitting personal information such as Social Security numbers and birthdates. For further information on submitting comments, see the “Public Participation” heading in the section of this notice titled SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Seleda Perryman or Theda Kenney, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor; telephone (202) 693-2222.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

The Department of Labor, as part of the 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) (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 (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).

The Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134; hereafter, “the Standard”) contains information collection requirements that require employers to: Develop a written respirator program; conduct worker medical evaluations and provide follow-up medical evaluations to determine the worker's ability to use a respirator; provide the physician or other licensed healthcare professional with information about the worker's respirator and the conditions under which the worker will use the respirator; and administer fit tests for workers who will use negative- or positive-pressure, tight-fitting facepieces. In addition, employers must ensure that workers store emergency-use respirators in compartments clearly marked as containing emergency-use respirators. For respirators maintained for emergency use, employers must label or tag the respirator with a certificate stating the date of the inspection, the name of the individual who did the inspection, the findings of the inspection, required remedial action, and the identity of the respirator.

The Standard also requires employers to ensure that cylinders used to supply breathing air to respirators have a certificate of analysis from the supplier stating that the breathing air meets the requirements for Type 1—Grade D breathing air; such certification assures employers that the purchased breathing air is safe. Compressors used to supply breathing air to respirators must have a tag containing the most recent change date and the signature of the individual authorized by the employer to perform the change. Employers must maintain this tag at the compressor. These tags provide assurance that the compressors are functioning properly.

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; andStart Printed Page 18558
  • 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 the approval of the information collection requirements contained in the Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134). The agency requests an adjustment decrease of 443,290.41 hours, from 7,622,100 to 7,178,809.59 hours, as a result of updating the number of establishments and workers covered by the Standard. The agency is also requesting a $20,004,491.30 decrease as a result of updating the number of employees covered by the Standard; and the inclusion of medical costs for those employees that will have additional medical examinations. The agency will summarize the comments submitted in response to this notice and will include this summary in the request to OMB.

Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Title: Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134).

OMB Control Number: 1218-0099.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profits.

Number of Respondents: 699,048.

Frequency of Responses: Initially; Annually; On occasion.

Total Responses: 25,318,635.

Average Time per Response: Varies from 5 minutes (.08 hour) to mark a storage compartment or protective cover to 8 hours for large employers to gather and prepare information to develop a written plan.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 7,178,809.59.

Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $352,304,878.70.

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. Please note: While OSHA's Docket Office is continuing to accept and process submissions by regular mail, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Docket Office is closed to the public and not able to receive submissions to the docket by hand, express mail, messenger, and courier service. All comments, attachments, and other material must identify the agency name and the OSHA docket number for the ICR (Docket No. OSHA-2011-0027). 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 electronic comments by your name, date, and the docket number so that the agency can attach them to your comments.

Due to security procedures, the use of regular mail may cause a significant delay in the receipt of comments.

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 website. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. Information on using the http://www.regulations.gov website to submit comments and access the docket is available at the website's “User Tips” link. Contact the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-2350, (TTY (877) 889-5627) for information about materials not available through the website, and for assistance in using the internet to locate docket submissions.

V. Authority and Signature

James S. Frederick, Principal Deputy 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. 1-2012 (77 FR 3912).

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Signed at Washington, DC, on April 1, 2021.

James S. Frederick,

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.

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[FR Doc. 2021-07295 Filed 4-8-21; 8:45 am]

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