[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 35 (Thursday, February 21, 2008)]
[Pages 9594-9597]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-3153]



Occupational Safety and Health Administration

[Docket No. OSHA-2007-0090]

Voluntary Protection Program Application Information; Extension 
of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information 
Collection (Paperwork) Requirements

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION: Request for public comment.


SUMMARY: OSHA solicits public comment concerning its proposal to extend 
OMB approval of the information collection requirements contained in 
the Voluntary Protection Programs.

DATES: Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent, or received) by 
April 21, 2008.

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 

[[Page 9595]]

    Facsimile: If your comments, including attachments, are not longer 
than 10 pages, you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-
    Mail, hand delivery, express mail, messenger, or courier service: 
When using this method, you must submit three copies of your comments 
and attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, OSHA Docket No. OSHA-2007-
0090, 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 OSHA 
docket number for the ICR (OSHA-2007-0090). 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 
    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 through the website. All submissions, 
including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and 
copying at the OSHA Docket Office. You may also contact Cathy Oliver at 
the address below to obtain a copy of the ICR.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cathy Oliver, Director, Office of 
Partnerships and Recognition, Directorate of Cooperative and State 
Programs, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3700, 200 Constitution 
Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2213.


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 Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) [47 FR 29025], adopted by 
OSHA, established the efficacy of cooperative action among government, 
industry, and labor to address employee safety and health issues and to 
expand employee protection. To qualify, employers must meet OSHA's 
rigorous safety and health management criteria which focus on 
comprehensive management systems and active employee involvement to 
prevent or control worksite safety and health hazards. Employers who 
qualify generally view OSHA standards as a minimum level of safety and 
health performance, and set their own more stringent standards, 
wherever necessary, to improve employee protection.
    Prospective VPP worksites must submit an application that includes:

    General applicant information (e.g., site, corporate, and 
collective bargaining contact information).
    Injury and illness rate performance information (i.e., number of 
employees and/or applicable contractors on-site, type of work 
performed and products produced, North American Industry 
Classification System, and Recordable Injury and Illness Case 
Incidence Rate information).
    Safety and health management system information (i.e., 
description of the applicant's safety and health management system 
including how the system successfully addresses management 
leadership and employee involvement, worksite analysis, hazard 
prevention and control, and safety and health training).

    OSHA uses this information to determine whether an applicant is 
ready for a VPP on-site evaluation and as a verification tool during 
VPP on-site evaluations. Without this information, OSHA would be unable 
to determine which sites are ready for VPP status.
    Each current VPP applicant is also required to submit an annual 
evaluation which addresses how that applicant is continuing its 
adherence to programmatic requirements.
    In 2008 OSHA modified procedures for VPP applicants, OSHA on-site 
evaluation, and annual participant self-evaluation for applicants/
participants subject to OSHA's Process Safety Management (PSM) 
Standard. Applicants that perform work that uses or produces highly 
hazardous chemicals exceeding specified limits covered under the (PSM) 
standard must submit responses to the PSM application supplement along 
with their VPP application.
    Once in the VPP, the participant is required to submit an annual 
evaluation detailing its continued adherence to programmatic 
requirements. Applicants covered under the PSM standard are required to 
submit a PSM questionnaire, a supplemental document as part of their 
annual submission. OSHA needs this information to ensure that the 
participant remains qualified to participate in the VPP between onsite 
evaluations. Without this information, OSHA would be unable to 
determine whether applicants are maintaining excellent safety and 
health management systems during this interim period.
    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) decided to 
continue the OSHA Challenge and VPP Corporate Pilot programs. These new 
initiatives will expand VPP to promote the safety and health of 
thousands of employees across the nation.
    OSHA Challenge is designed to reach and guide employers and 
companies in all major industry groups who are strongly committed to 
improving their safety and health management systems and are interested 
in pursuing recognition in VPP. OSHA Challenge provides participants a 
guide or roadmap to improve performance and ultimately to achieve VPP 
approval. OSHA Challenge outlines the requirements needed to develop 
and implement effective safety and health management systems through 
incremental steps. At each stage, certain actions, documentation and 
outcomes are required in the areas covered by VPP criteria. 
Participants receive recognition from OSHA at the completion of each 
    Each Challenge Pilot Administrator is required to submit to OSHA 
electronically a Challenge Pilot Administrator's application package, 
Administrator's Statement of Commitment, Challenge Pilot Administrator 
Information Form, Challenge Pilot Administrator's Quarterly Report (if 
there have been significant changes to any of its participants' sites), 
Challenge Pilot Administrator's Annual Report (The Challenge Pilot 
Administrator must prepare and submit the annual report electronically 
to OSHA).

[[Page 9596]]

    The VPP Corporate Pilot is designed to provide a more efficient 
process for corporations to increase their level of participation in 
VPP. The pilot concept is two-fold; the corporations submit an 
application that describes corporate level policies and programs that 
are uniformly applied at facilities across the corporation. A 
comprehensive On-site Corporate Evaluation is conducted by OSHA to 
verify the contents of the application. Once a corporation is accepted 
in the VPP Corporate Pilot, all eligible corporate facilities will 
apply for VPP participation using a more efficient streamlined 
application and OSHA conducts a more streamlined on-site evaluation. 
Corporations accepted in the VPP Corporate Pilot must submit an annual 
safety and health report.
    Employees of VPP participants may apply to participate in the 
Special Government Employee (SGE) Program. The SGE Program was 
established as a means to leverage OSHA's limited resources. Through 
this program, employees of VPP participants are trained to take part as 
team members during VPP on-site evaluations. In that capacity, Special 
Government Employees may review company documents, assist with worksite 
walkthroughs, interview employees, and assist in preparing VPP on-site 
evaluation reports. Potential Special Government Employees must submit 
a Special Government Employee's application that includes:

    SGE Eligibility Information Sheet (i.e., applicant's name, 
professional credentials, site/corporate contact information, etc.).
    Current Resume.
    Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 450).

    OSHA uses the SGE Eligibility Information Sheet to ensure that the 
potential SGE works at a VPP site and meets the minimum eligibility 
qualifications. The resume is required to provide a detailed 
description of their current duties and responsibilities as they relate 
to safety and health and the implementation of an effective safety and 
health management system. The OGE Form 450 is used to ensure that SGEs 
do not participate on on-site evaluations at VPP sites where they have 
a financial interest.

II. Special Issues for Comment

    OSHA has a particular interest in comments on the following issues:
     Whether the information collection requirements are 
necessary for the proper performance of the Agency's functions, 
including whether the information is useful;
     The accuracy of the Agency'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

    OSHA proposes to extend the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) 
Approval of the collection of information (paperwork) requirements 
necessitated by the Voluntary Protection Programs. The Agency will 
summarize the comments submitted in response to this notice, and will 
include this summary in its request to OMB to extend the approval of 
these information collection requirements.
    Type of Review: Extension of currently approved collection.
    Title: Voluntary Protection Programs Information.
    OMB Number: 1218-0239.
    Affected Public: Business or other for-profits; and individuals or 
    Number of Respondents:

    274 Applications
    68 Process Safety Management Applications
    1,300 Annual Evaluations
    300 (PSM) Annual Evaluations/Supplemental Questionnaire
OSHA Challenge
    17 Applications from Challenge Pilot Administrators
    120 Applications from Challenge Pilot Candidates
    120 Quarterly Reports
    120 Annual Evaluations
VPP Corporate
    7 Applications from VPP Corporations
    120 Applications from VPP Corporate Facilities
    7 Annual Reports
Special Government Employees
    300 SGE Eligibility Information Sheets
    300 Resumes
    300 Confidential Financial Disclosure Forms (OGE-Form 450)

    Total respondents: 2,985 total respondents.
    Frequency: VPP applications, Challenge Pilot Administrator's 
applications, Challenge Pilot Candidate applications, VPP Corporate 
Pilot applications and VPP Corporate Pilot Facility VPP applications 
are submitted once; Challenge Pilot Administrator's Quarterly Reports 
are submitted quarterly (if there have been significant changes to any 
of its participants' sites); VPP Annual Evaluations, Challenge Pilot 
Administrator's Annual Report, and Corporate Safety and Health Reports 
are submitted once per year; and Special Government Employee 
applications are submitted once every three years.
    Average Time Per Response:

VPP General
    200 hours for VPP applications
    20 hours for VPP evaluations
Process Safety Management
    40 hours for applications
    20 hours for evaluations
OSHA Challenge
    5 hours for Challenge Pilot Administrator applications
    10 hours for Challenge Pilot Candidate applications
    5 hours for Challenge Pilot Candidate quarterly reports
    20 hours for Challenge Pilot Candidate annual reports
VPP Corporate
    120 hours for VPP Corporations applications
    80 hours for VPP Corporate facility applications
    40 hours for VPP Corporations annual reports
Special Government Employees (SGE)
    30 minutes for SGE Eligibility Information Sheet
    60 minutes for SGE Resume

    Estimated Total Burden Hours:

VPP General
    54,800 hours for VPP application
    26,000 hours for VPP annual evaluations
Process Safety Management
    2,720 hours for applications
    6,000 hours for annual evaluations
OSHA Challenge
    85 hours for Challenge Administrators' applications
    1,200 hours for Challenge Pilot Candidates' applications
    1,800 hours for Challenge Candidates' quarterly reports
    2,400 hours for Challenge Candidates' annual reports
VPP Corporate
    840 hours for Corporations' applications
    9,600 hours for Corporate VPP facility applications
    280 hours for Corporate facility annual reports
Special Government Employees (SGE)
    150 hours for SGE Eligibility Information Sheet
    300 hours for Resume

    Total Burden Hours per year (3-year average): 106,175.
    Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $0.

[[Page 9597]]

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 the ICR (Docket No. OSHA-2007-0090). 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 social security numbers 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 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

    Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., 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. 3-2007 (67 FR 

    Signed at Washington, DC on February 14, 2008.

Edwin G. Foulke, Jr.,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. E8-3153 Filed 2-20-08; 8:45 am]