Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent (
The Standard specifies a number of paperwork requirements. The following is a brief description of the collection of information requirements contained in the Vinyl Chloride (VC) Standard.
Paragraph 1910.1017(d)(2) requires employers to conduct exposure monitoring at least quarterly if the results show that worker exposures are above the permissible exposure limit (PEL), while those exposed at or above the action level (AL) must be monitored no less than semiannually. Paragraph (d)(3) requires that employers perform additional monitoring whenever there has been a change in VC production, processes or control that may result in an increase in the release of VC.
Paragraph 1910.1017(n) requires employers to inform each worker of their exposure-monitoring results within 15 working days after the employer receives these results. Employers may notify workers either individually in writing or by posting the monitoring results in an appropriate location that is accessible to the workers. In addition, if the exposure-monitoring results show that a worker's exposure exceeds the PEL, the employer must inform the exposed worker of the corrective action the employer is taking to prevent such overexposure.
Paragraph (f)(2) requires employers whose engineering and work practice controls cannot sufficiently reduce worker VC exposures to a level at or below the PEL to develop and implement a plan for doing so. Paragraph (f)(3) requires employers to develop this written plan and provide it upon request to OSHA for examination and copying. These plans must be updated annually.
When respirators are required, the employer must establish a respiratory protection program in accordance with 1910.134, paragraphs (b) through (d) (except (d)(1)(iii) and (d)(3)(iii)(B)(1) and (2)) and (f) through (m). Paragraph 1910.134(c) requires the employer to develop and implement a written respiratory protection program with worksite-specific procedures and elements for respirator use. The purpose of these requirements is to ensure that employers establish a standardized procedure for selecting, using, and maintaining respirators for each workplace where respirators will be used. Developing written procedures ensures that employers develop a respirator program that meets the needs of their workers.
Employers must develop a written operational plan for dealing with emergencies; the plan must address the storage, handling, and use of VC as a liquid or compressed gas. In the event of an emergency, appropriate elements of the plan must be implemented. Emergency plans must maximize workers' personal protection and minimize the hazards of an emergency.
Paragraph (k) requires employers to develop a medical surveillance program for workers exposed to VC in excess of the Action Level. Examinations must be provided in accordance with this paragraph at least annually. Employers must also obtain, and provide to each worker, a copy of a physician's statement regarding the worker's suitability for continued exposure to VC, including use of protective equipment and respirators, if appropriate.
Under paragraph 1910.1017(l)(2), the employer must post warning signs outside regulated areas and areas containing hazardous operations, or where emergency conditions exist. Posting warning signs serves to warn workers that they are entering a hazardous area. Such signs warn workers that entry is permitted only if they are authorized to do so, and there is a specific need to enter the area. Warning signs also supplement the training workers receive under this standard.
Employers must maintain worker exposure and medical records. Medical and monitoring records are maintained principally for worker access, but are designed to provide valuable information to both workers and employers. The medical and monitoring records required by this standard will aid workers and their physicians in determining whether or not treatment or other interventions are needed for VC exposure. The information also will enable employers to better ensure that workers are not being overexposed; such information may alert the employer that steps must be taken to reduce VC exposures.
Exposure records must be maintained for at least 30 years, and medical records must be kept for the duration of employment plus 20 years, or for a total of 30 years, whichever is longer. Records must be kept for extended periods because of the long latency period associated with VC-related carcinogenesis (i.e., cancer). Cancer often cannot be detected until 20 or more years after the first exposure to VC.
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 to protect workers, 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; and
• Ways to minimize the burden on employers who must comply; for example, by using automated or other technological information collection and transmission techniques.
The Agency is requesting an adjustment decrease in burden hours from 711 to 549 hours, a 162 burden hour reduction. The reduction is a result of fewer VC and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) establishments subject to reporting requirements under this standard. There is also a decrease in total annual cost from $48,928 to $40,888 (a decrease of $8,040). This decrease is a result of a decrease in the estimated number of workers to be exposed above to VC and PVC facilities is approximately 3,968, a decrease of 1,368 workers. The currently approved ICR estimates a total of 32 establishments. This proposed ICR estimates a total of 26 establishments. The Agency will summarize any comments submitted in response to this notice and will include this summary in its request to OMB.
You may submit comments in response to this document as follows: (1) electronically at
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
David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, 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