2018-12461. Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Occupational Noise Exposure  

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    Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.


    Request for public comments.


    The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a pre-clearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection Start Printed Page 27029requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is soliciting comments on the information collection for Occupational Noise Exposure.


    All comments must be received on or before August 10, 2018.


    Comments concerning the information collection requirements of this notice may be sent by any of the methods listed below.

    • Federal E-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments for docket number MSHA-2018-0020.
    • Regular Mail: Send comments to USDOL-MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452.
    • Hand Delivery: USDOL-Mine Safety and Health Administration, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452. Sign in at the receptionist's desk on the 4th floor via the East elevator.
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    Sheila McConnell, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, at MSHA.information.collections@dol.gov (email); (202) 693-9440 (voice); or (202) 693-9441 (facsimile).

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    I. Background

    Section 103(h) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act), 30 U.S.C. Section 813, authorizes MSHA to collect information necessary to carry out its duty in protecting the safety and health of miners. Further, Section 101(a) of the Mine Act, 30 U.S.C., 811 authorizes the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) to develop, promulgate, and revise as may be appropriate, improved mandatory health or safety standards for the protection of life and prevention of injuries in coal or other mines.

    Noise is a harmful physical agent and one of the most pervasive health hazards in mining. Repeated exposure to high levels of sound over time causes occupational noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), a serious, often profound physical impairment in mining, with far-reaching psychological and social effects. NIHL can be distinguished from aging and other factors that can contribute to hearing loss and it can be prevented. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIHL is among the “top ten” leading occupational illnesses and injuries.

    For many years, NIHL was regarded as an inevitable consequence of working in a mine. Mining, an intensely mechanized industry, relies on drills, crushers, compressors, conveyors, trucks, loaders, and other heavy-duty equipment for the excavation, haulage, and processing of material. This equipment creates high sound levels, exposing machine operators as well as miners working nearby. MSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the military, and other organizations around the world have established and enforced standards to reduce the loss of hearing. Quieter equipment, isolation of workers from noise sources, and limiting the time workers are exposed to noise are among the many well-accepted methods that will prevent the costly incidence of NIHL.

    Records of miner exposures to noise are necessary so that mine operators and MSHA can evaluate the need for and effectiveness of engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment to protect miners from harmful levels of noise that can result in hearing loss. However, the Agency believes that extensive records for this purpose are not needed. These requirements are a performance-oriented approach to monitoring. Records of miner hearing examinations enable mine operators and MSHA to ensure that the controls are effective in preventing NIHL for individual miners. Records of training are needed to confirm that miners receive the information they need to become active participants in hearing conservation efforts.

    II. Desired Focus of Comments

    MSHA is soliciting comments concerning the proposed information collection related to Occupational Noise Exposure. MSHA is particularly interested in comments that:

    • Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information has practical utility;
    • Evaluate the accuracy of MSHA's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
    • Suggest methods to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
    • 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.

    The information collection request will be available on http://www.regulations.gov. MSHA cautions the commenter against providing any information in the submission that should not be publicly disclosed. Full comments, including personal information provided, will be made available on www.regulations.gov and www.reginfo.gov.

    The public may also examine publicly available documents at USDOL-Mine Safety and Health Administration, 201 12th South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452. Sign in at the receptionist's desk on the 4th floor via the East elevator.

    Questions about the information collection requirements may be directed to the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION section of this notice.

    III. Current Actions

    This request for collection of information contains provisions for Occupational Noise Exposure. MSHA has updated the data with respect to the number of respondents, responses, burden hours, and burden costs supporting this information collection request.

    Type of Review: Extension, without change, of a currently approved collection.

    Agency: Mine Safety and Health Administration.

    OMB Number: 1219-0120.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 12,953.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Number of Responses: 184,435.

    Annual Burden Hours: 13,680 hours.

    Annual Respondent or Recordkeeper Cost: $31,926.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.

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    Sheila McConnell,

    Certifying Officer.

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    [FR Doc. 2018-12461 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am]

    BILLING CODE 4510-43-P

Document Information

Labor Department
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Request for public comments.
Document Number:
All comments must be received on or before August 10, 2018.
27028-27029 (2 pages)
Docket Numbers:
OMB Control No. 1219-0120
PDF File: