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OVERSIGHT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR'S 
PROGRESS ON REDUCING UNNECESSARY PA- 
PERWORK BURDENS ON SMALL BUSINESS 

Y4.SM 1:104-82 

Oversight of the Departnent of Labo... 

HEARING 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS 

OP THE 

COMMITTEE ON SMALL BUSINESS 
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS 

SECOND SESSION 



WASHINGTON, DC, JUNE 26, 1996 



Printed for the use of the Conunittee on Small Business 

Serial No. 104-82 




D£C 



'^^1998 



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
25-711 CC WASHINGTON : 1996 

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 
Superintendent of Documents. Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402 
ISBN 0-16-053619-7 



OVERSIGHT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR'S 
PROGRESS ON REDUCING UNNECESSARY PA- 
PERWORK BURDENS ON SMALL BUSINESS 

Y 4, SM 1:104-82 

Dyersight of the Departneit of Labo... 

HEARING 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON SMALL BUSINESS 
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS 

SECOhfD SESSION 



WASHINGTON, DC, JUNE 26, 1996 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Small Business 



Serial No. 104-82 







U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
25-711 CC WASHINGTON : 1996 

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402 
ISBN 0-16-053619-7 



COMMITTEE ON SMALL BUSINESS 
JAN MEYERS. Kansas, Chair 



JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado 

WILLIAM H. ZELIFF, JR., New Hampshire 

JAMES M. TALENT, Missouri 

DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois 

PETER G. TORKILDSEN, Massachusetts 

ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland 

LINDA SMITH, Washington 

FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey 

ZACH WAMP, Tennessee 

SUE W. KELLY, New York 

DICK CHRYSLER, Michigan 

JAMES B. LONGLEY, JR., Maine 

WALTER B. JONES, JR., North Carolina 

MATT SALMON, Arizona 

VAN HILLEARY, Tennessee 

MARK E. SOUDER, Indiana 

SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas 

STEVEN J. CHABOT, Ohio 

SUE MYRICK, North Carolina 

DAVID FUNDERBURK, North Carolina 

JACK METCALF, Washington 

STEVEN C. LaTOURETTE. Ohio 



JOHN J. LaFALCE, New York 

IKE SKELTON, Missouri 

NORMAN SISISKY, Virginia 

FLOYD H. FLAKE, New York 

GLENN POSHARD, lUinois 

EVA M. CLAYTON, North Carolina 

MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts 

NYDIA M. VELAZQUEZ, New York 

CLEO FIELDS, Louisiana 

DOUGLAS "PETE" PETERSON, Florida 

KEN BENTSEN, Texas 

WILLIAM P. LUTHER, Minnesota 

JOHN ELIAS BALDACCI, Maine 

JESSE JACKSON, JR., Hlinois 

JUANITA MILLENDER-MCDONALD, 

California 
EARL BLUMENAUER, Oregon 



Jenifer Loon, Sta/T Director 
Jeanne M. RoslanOWICK, Minority StafT Director 



Subcommittee on Government Programs 

PETER G. TORKILDSEN, Masschusetts, Chairman 



JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado 

SUE MYRICK, North Carolina 

SUE W. KELLY, New York 

DICK CHRYSLER, Michigan 

DAVID FUNDERBURK, North Carolina 

STEVEN C. LaTOURETTE, Ohio 



GLENN POSHARD, Illinois 
CLEO FIELDS, Louisiana 
JUANITA MILLENDER-McDONALD, 

California 
JESSE JACKSON, JR., Illinois 
KEN BENTSEN, Texas 



Laxirie Rains, Subcommittee Sta/f Director 



(II) 



CONTENTS 



Page 

Hearing held on June 26, 1996 1 

WIT^fESS 
Wednesday, June 26, 1996 

Lattimore, Patricia Watkins, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration 
and Management, U.S. Department of Labor 2 

APPENDDC 

Opening Statements: 

Torkildsen, Hon. Peter G 12 

Poshard, Hon. Glenn 16 

Jackson, Hon. Jesse L. Jr 17 

Prepared statement: 

Lattimore, Patricia Watkins 19 

Additional material: 

Letter to Chairman from Mr. Joseph A. Dear 31 

Letter to Chairman from Mrs. Patricia W. Lattimore 33 

Questions and Responses from Ms. Lattimore 34 



(III) 



OVERSIGHT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LA- 
BOR'S PROGRESS ON REDUCING UNNECES- 
SARY PAPERWORK BURDENS ON SMALL 
BUSINESS 



WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26, 1996 

House of Representatives, 
Subcommittee on Government Programs, 

Committee on Small Business, 

Washington, DC. 

The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:04 a.m., in 
room 2359, Raybum House Office Building, Hon. Peter G. 
Torkildsen (Chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding. 

Chairman Torkildsen. Good morning. As Chairman of the Small 
Business Subcommittee on Grovernment Programs, it is my pleas- 
ure to welcome our guest today, Ms. Patricia Lattimore. 

The purpose of this hearing is to discuss the Department of La- 
bor's compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This 
piece of legislation, passed unanimously by the 104th Congress and 
signed bv President Clinton, amends the ori^nal Paperwork Re- 
duction Act of 1980, making it more effective m reducing and pre- 
venting needless paperwork. Among other things, it requires the 
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to set a goal of at least 
a 10 percent reduction in Grovernmentwide paperwork burdens for 
fiscal year 1996. It also sets certain procedures for regulatory agen- 
cies in developing information collection plans, such as a 60-day no- 
tice and comment period. 

Regarding the Department of Labor, there is no doubting its con- 
tribution to workplace issues in America. A case in point is the Oc- 
cupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA. Since its 
creation in 1970, the workplace fatality rate has fallen by 57 per- 
cent. Workplace deaths have been cut by 72 percent and injuries 
have declined by 23 percent. Obviously, many of the regulations 
and standards for which the Labor Department is responsible are 
necessary to ensure safe and healthy environments for working 
Americans. 

However, as rules and regulations continue to increase in num- 
ber, the question arises as to how much is too much. At some level, 
regulations become outdated and do not contribute to safety, while 
the cost of complying with these out-of-date regulations continues. 

The Department of Labor should be commended for steps it has 
taken to ease the regulatory and paperwork burden on employers. 
Citations for the most common paperwork violations declined 35 
percent between 1991 and 1994. But just because OSHA inspectors 

(1) 



aren't handing out fines anymore doesn't mean the paperwork bur- 
den has abated for honest employers. For example, supervisors 
must fill out Material SafeW Data Sheets for sand and dishwasher 
detergent or face citations n-om OS HA. A 1994 study by Organiza- 
tion Resources Counselors found that, for 17 of the largest compa- 
nies in America, complying with all 21 Federal workplace laws 
costs an average of $139 minion. That is $1,708 per employee. Keep 
in mind that regulatory costs are even higher for small businesses 
who can't afford to hire paperwork clerks and other full-time people 
whose sole job is complying with OSHA. 

There are several points which should be addressed today. First, 
how much progress has the Labor Department made in reducing 
paperwork burdens on America's employers, particularly smaller 
employers, as required by the 1995 Paperwork Reduction Act? On 
June 5 of this year the General Accounting Office told the Senate 
Small Business Committee that OSHA had intended to decrease its 
1995 paperwork burden by 8.7 million hours or about 4 percent. 
GAO went on to say that OSHA would not achieve this goal by the 
end of the fiscal year. Why is OSHA having problems with this 
goal, particularly after its paperwork burden increased to over 207 
million hours in 1995? 

Next, has the Department of Labor made an effort to enter the 
computer age of information collection. In April of this year the 
House passed H.R. 2715, requiring all Federal Agencies to provide 
individuals with the option of submitting, maintaining, or disclos- 
ing information electronically to Federal regulators by 1997. What 
are the Labor Department's views on this legislation? Are there 
any difficulties the Department of Labor might have in complying 
with this proposed statute? Are there any actions the Department 
of Labor is currently taking to computerize their system of informa- 
tion collection? 

Finally what is the status of current regulatory actions by the 
Department of Labor in the areas of ergonomic standards, indoor 
air quality standards, and its proposed rule to modify the occupa- 
tional injury and illness recording and reporting requirements? In 
considering new regulations, does the Department of Labor also 
consider the paperwork requirements that will go with these new 
regulations? 

Now, please welcome to the hearing Ms. Patricia Watkins Latti- 
more. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration and Manage- 
ment. Ms. Lattimore is currently serving as the Acting Assistant 
Secretary for Administration and Management at the U.S. Depart- 
ment of Labor. 

Welcome, Ms. Lattimore. We would be happy to take your testi- 
mony now. 

TESTIMONY OF PATRICIA WATKINS LATTIMORE, DEPUTY AS- 
SISTANT SECRETARY FOR ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGE- 
MENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR 

Ms. Lattimore. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I welcome the oppor- 
tunity to describe the Department's efforts to address small busi- 
ness concerns. We have made progress toward reaching the burden 
reduction goals of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. We have 
expanded our assistance activities so that small businesses can 



more easily comply with the laws we administer to further the in- 
terest of the American worker. 

As a designated senior official, I too take great pride in our pro- 
gram and our efforts. We implemented the 1995 changes quickly, 
coordinating with the key regulatory officials throughout each De- 
partmental Agency, we briefed our executive staff, our administra- 
tive officers and trained more than 250 key Department officials. 

It is has been the Department's established practice, since the 
early 1980's, to submit all information collection requests to our of- 
fice for individual review prior to submission to 0MB for clearance. 

Each DOL Agency has an Agency clearance officer to provide 
hands-on assistance, working with Agencv regulatory and enforce- 
ment officials to minimize the paperwork Durden from the planning 
stages to the actual preparation of paperwork clearance packages 
for submission to 0MB. 

As you are aware, like all Agencies, the Department faced a chal- 
lenge in complying with the burden reduction goals of the 1995 act. 
The new act changed the rules somewhat for third-party disclosure 
requirements in effect since the 1980 act and the 1990 Supreme 
Court decision in Dole v. Steelworkers. This change increased our 
burden hours from 50 million before the enactment of the act to 
over 270 million. The Department added these requirements to our 
1995 burden hour estimates, resulting in what appeared to be a 
massive increase, but the actual burden imposed on the public did 
not change. 

We now project a 3 percent reduction in total DOL burden hours 
when the fiscal 1996 numbers are compared to those for fiscal year 
1995. This is better than we thought we could do, for our original 
Information Collection Budget projected no change. However, Uiere 
is a very good chance that we will reach the 10 percent reduction 
goal by the end of the fiscal year if OSHA is able to finalize revi- 
sions now under way to reduce our burden estimates for two of 
their existing standards, Process Safety Management and Hazard- 
ous Waste Operations, and eliminate certification recordkeeping re- 
quirements in several other existing rules. 

We have achieved additional reductions in both regulatory and 
paperwork burdens as we carried out the President's initiatives to 
review and eliminate unnecessary, duplicative, and outdated regu- 
lations. 

The Department quickly moved to implement the recommenda- 
tions of the White House Small Business Conference which Con- 
gress enacted into law as Title H of the Small Business Regulatory 
Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. The Department had the benefit 
of an existing foundation of small business assistance programs. 
First, we provided training to more than 250 Departmental offi- 
cials. We formed committees and asked them to expand our small 
business assistance activities and to make information available to 
all members of the public. 

Representatives have been designated to coordinate the Ombuds- 
man program at SBA to further our cooperative efforts. OSHA met 
directly with the Small Business Administration to discuss imple- 
mentation of the special provisions for OSHA to convene small 
business review panels early in the rulemaking process. 



The Internet will provide accurate and easily accessible informa- 
tion to small businesses. The Department's established site now 
has the full text of our regulations and compliance assistance infor- 
mation. It is our objective to allow small business to comment on 
DOL Programs by electronic means 24 hours a day from anywhere 
in the world in the future. 

We have had a head start on small business compliance assist- 
ance guides. The Department has had a Small Business Handbook 
available on CD-ROM since 1993 and on the Internet since 1995. 
It is an easy-to-read book. It summarizes the complex in plain lan- 
guage and gives direction on where specific questions can be an- 
swered. 

Compliance guides for future DOL rules will be published with 
input from small businesses and will be made available with the 
assistance of our Office of Small Business and Minority Affairs. 

Let me relate some of our successes in eliminating unnecessary 
or duplicative requirements, while addressing the needs of small 
business. 

The Employment Standards Administration, the Office of Federal 
Compliance Programs has proposed elimination of a monthly re- 
porting requirement for construction contractors performing Fed- 
eral work subject to the provisions of Executive Order 11246, plans 
to impose fewer recordkeeping requirements in future regulations 
and intends to develop a manual and affirmative action plans for 
small Government contractors. 

The Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Di- 
vision has developed a pilot program to use alternative dispute res- 
olution for smaller cases involving migrant worker employment 
practices, has developed a "self-audit" pilot program, and has mini- 
mized recordkeeping requirements for the Family and Medical 
Leave Act regulations. 

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has utilized the al- 
ternative case resolution initiative for low dollar and less complex 
civil penalty cases for 25 percent of such cases; developed compli- 
ance assistance materials for known safety and health problems; 
established a "Small Mine Unit" and distributed a "Small Mine 
Safety Kit," including laminated cards addressing specific hazards. 

The Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration has reviewed 
reporting and disclosure requirements benefits for small business; 
intends to implement a streamlined reporting and disclosure Form 
5500 series; implemented an expedited application process for ex- 
emption from the prohibited transaction rules; and implemented a 
simplified retirement plan specifically designed for small business 
called the National Employee Savings Trust, or NEST. 

Our employment and training administration has an important 
objective of program consolidation within ETA that will be geared 
at reducing burdens on small business and thereby better serve the 
participants in that program. 

With the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, we 
have participated in small business mentoring programs with the 
Voluntary Protection Program Participants Association, or compa- 
nies participating in the Voluntary Protection Program, pairing 
small business to help enter OSHA's Voluntary Protection Pro- 
gram. 



In September 1995, OSHA convened a working group to make 
recommendations on the Hazard Communication standard and will 
act rapidly to implement the recommendations expected next 
month. OSHA makes interactive software tools available free of 
charge for its rules on cadmium, asbestos and, permit-required con- 
fined spaces. OSHA continues its outreach activities around the 
country, awarding grants to help employers reduce workplace ill- 
nesses and injuries. OSHA offers free consultation in all 50 States 
for small businesses and high-hazard industries. OSHA has di- 
rected its compliance staff not issue citations for minor technical 
violations of paperwork violations and written program require- 
ments that have no adverse impact on worker safety and health. 

OSHA is also working on comprehensive overhaul of its penalty 
system to increase reductions based on employer size and is devel- 
oping a voluntary incentive program to encourage employers to re- 
duce workplace injuries and illnesses. OSHA has focused its assist- 
ance efforts on certain industries such as nursing homes which 
have a substantial number of small businesses. 

OSHA will have removed more than 1,000 pages of duplicative 
regulations from the Code of Federal Regulations by the end of this 
month and is rewriting four major rules in plain English. 

As you can see, the efforts are throughout the Department. It is 
our goal to protect and further the interest of the American worker 
as well as those of small business. We know that small businesses 
are important for the American worker as they create jobs. We be- 
lieve we can promote the interests of small business without com- 
promising the protections essential to the American worker. 

Mr. Chairman, we look forward to working with the Subcommit- 
tee in this area. I welcome any suggestions you may have and I 
would be happy to answer any questions you might have this 
morning. 

[Ms. Lattimore's statement may be found in the appendix.] 

Chairman Torkildsen. Thank you for your testimony, Ms. Latti- 
more. At this moment I would like to ask Mr. Poshard if he has 
an opening statement he would like to make. 

Mr. Poshard. I do have an opening statement and I ask unani- 
mous consent to submit the opening statement for the record. 

Chairman ToRKiLDSEN. Without objection, it will be so included 
in the record. 

[Mr, Poshard's statement may be found in the appendix.] 

Chairman Torkildsen. Ms. Lattimore, there are interesting 
parts of your testimony, and I will just go back to refer to a few 
of them you mentioned. 

By the end the month, you expect to have a thousand pages re- 
duced in regulations? 

Ms. Lattimore. It is part of our ongoing regulatory review that 
we expect to complete by the end the month. 

Chairman Torkildsen. How many pages are there right now. 

Ms. Lattimore. Total pages, department-wide? Total pages, I 
don't have an answer for you right off the top of my head for total 
pages, department-wide, but I can certainly provide that. 

[The information may be found in the appendix.] 



Chairman Torkildsen. Do you have any indication at all, for 
any sections at all, how many pages there are? Any subset, if you 
don't; not entire 

Ms. Lattimore. Actually the entire numbers, no. I know what 
our burden hours are, but I don't have it. But I will provide you 
with that. 

[The information may be found in the appendix.] 

Chairman Torkildsen. If you would provide that. 

In your prepared testimony, you had mentioned that the Pension 
Welfare Benefits Administration would be seeking later this year 
to implement streamlined reporting and disclosure Form 5500 se- 
ries. Now — something along those lines. Is that something that you 
will or you might be able to do electronically? 

Ms. Lattimore. We are looking at electronic application support 
via the Internet for all of our regulatory reporting. We have not 
begun to issue regulations with on-line reporting, however, we 
clearly are looking at that. We would have to look at it in terms 
of our ability to be able to receive authenticate documents with 
technology available in the submitting community. We are clearly 
looking at the Internet as being one of those vehicles that hopefully 
would be more universal to all people who we place burdens on for 
reporting requirements. 

Chairman Torkildsen. So would you see it as more of a burden 
or less of a burden for the Department if they receive those applica- 
tions electronically? 

Ms. Lattimore. It should be less of a burden if we were able to 
implement it in that manner. Clearly, we are looking at technology, 
and expect that it would be of assistance. 

Chairman Torkildsen. The percentage you mentioned for reduc- 
tion, you said you thought you were going to come in at a 3 percent 
reduction right now, this year? 

Ms. Lattimore. That was our initial estimate. We understand 
that there is a 10 percent Governmentwide goal. Three percent is 
what we thought we would reasonably be able to accomplish — and 
we would commit no more than we thought we could deliver. OSHA 
has several ongoing initiatives and if they proceed as scheduled 
and if we don't run into any major obstacles, we should be able to 
reach the 10 percent goal. We just weren't comfortable at the time 
we were asked to commit to that to say that with certainty. Clear- 
ly, we are working toward achieving that. 

Chairman Torkildsen. You mentioned in your testimony that 
the enormous increase in the burden coming from the Department 
of Labor came after the Dole v. Steelworkers case. 

Ms. Lattimore. Dole v. Steelworkers and the 1980 Paperwork 
Reduction Act did not include in the paperwork burden third-party 
disclosure requirements, even though we were engaged in those. 
The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 counts those, so our informa- 
tion collection budget spiked tremendously. Even though there was 
no new reporting requirement on the public, it was the same re- 
quirement, we now have to include those requirements in our pa- 
perwork burden budget. 

Chairman Torkildsen. That was the direction I was headed in. 
So, that increase was entirely attributing these third-party disclo- 
sure 



Ms. Lattimore. Adding it to the budget. 

Chairman Torkildsen. It was not to new regulations promul- 
gated by the Department? 

Ms. Lattimore. No, sir. 

Chairman Torkildsen. At this moment, I will yield to my Rank- 
ing Member, if you have any questions. 

Mr. PosHARD. Perhaps just a couple, Mr. Chairman. 

Ms. Lattimore, you go into some detail in your testimony about 
the pension and welfare benefits concerns that the administration 
has, in simplifying that process to make it possible for more small 
businesses and so on to offer their employees these plans. But the 
"administrivia," so to speak, in administering their plans, some- 
times outweighs their ability to do this. 

What is NEST? Can you give us some idea what you are talking 
about in terms of a simplified retirement plan specifically designed 
for small businesses? 

Ms. Lattimore. I don't think I am going to be capable of giving 
you the technicalities of that, but our Pension and Welfare Benefits 
Administration has developed a plan that they feel is simplistic 
enough that it would not be onerous for small businesses to use it. 
I would like to have our Pension and Welfare Benefits staff give 
a briefing or written explanation. 

I will provide that to you shortly, sir. 

[The information may be found in the appendix.] 

Mr. PosHARD. I appreciate that because we would be interested. 
I know that is one of the things that is on both parties' list out here 
in terms of moving ahead to assist the small business community. 

Ms. Lattimore. We will make that available directly after the 
hearing, either a briefing or a written description. 

Mr. PosHARD. I appreciate it verv much. 

One other thing, given the need for more long-term health care 
in this country, the nursing home industry is a vital business to 
most communities in this country today. They are also one of the 
small businesses that I hear from most frequently with respect to 
overregulation of paperwork. Not only do they have to spend hours 
a day filling out paperwork for the Department of Public Health 
and Department of Public Aid all of these other Agencies that are 
more directly concerned with the day-to-day, minute-by-minute op- 
eration or the health care itself, but OSHA seems to be a common 
Agency of criticism for that industry, that the regulations and pa- 
perwork are overwhelming also in terms of compliance. 

What are we doing with particular respect to that industry? 

Ms. Lattimore. We are looking at nursing homes as being part 
of the small business area, as well as one of those industries that 
constantly complains about OSHA. We feel, we are being cognizant 
and addressing the issue. 

We feel that some of the criticism we have received, such as sand 
and dishwasher detergent does not require paperwork unless it ex- 
ceeds normal consumer usage and poses a risk. It is a perception 
of OSHA that has taken on a life of its own, even in the Chair- 
man's opening statement. The criticism is one that we answered re- 
cently in writing. I can assure you, we do not require employees 
to write material safety data sheets for dishwashing detergent. In 
the nursing industry, we feel we have been very circumspect in 



8 

working to reduce paperwork burdens. Such focus is constantly 
part of our ongoing assessment of rules and regulations and we are 
improving in that area. 

I will get some specifics on that, as well. 

[The information may be found in the appendix.] 

Mr. PosHARD. Thank you. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Chairman Torkildsen. Thank you. 

I am glad to hear Ms. Lattimore's statement on sand and dish- 
washer detergent. If I understood correctly, you said those are not 
required. 

Ms. Lattimore. Only when silica is present; silica is a cancer- 
causing agent. So, it is not just sand. It is only when you have sili- 
ca present, when you have sandblasting, you have standards for 
workers to protect them. It is not just sand, which I think people 
sometimes misunderstand that it is sand only and dishwasher de- 
tergent. 

Only when it exceeds normal consumer usage or when mixed 
with other chemicals it becomes a danger is there reporting re- 
quirements and when mixed with other chemicals, where it be- 
comes a danger, is there is a reporting requirement. In normal use, 
no. 

Chairman Torkildsen. You do not have to, so that, I think, this 
is very good news. Sand is silica, but if you are saying only when 
you are using it for sandblasting and some type of activity like 
that 

Ms. Lattimore. Yes. That is correct. But as Paperwork Reduc- 
tion Act Senior Official, I wouldn't deem to speak to "the technical 
aspects" of OSHA. I will make certain to provide you with some- 
thing in writing from our experts at the Department in those tech- 
nical areas. 

Chairman Torkildsen. I think the Subcommittee would appre- 
ciate that, and if you could also go beyond just those two examples, 
any other common household articles that have been required in 
the past to be reported which are no longer required, I think that 
would be appreciated, as well. 

Certainly I know I have constituents who ask about why is it 
necessary to fill out a report on something that 90 percent of the 
households in America have in their home right now. I think that 
would be appreciated very much. 

The area that I mentioned, and I think you talked about it just 
indirectly, the area that OSHA is looking at for further regulations 
right now; could you walk through the process about when OSHA 
or any Agency within the Department of Labor is looking for new 
regulations, how are the paperwork requirements addressed? Are 
those done after the fact? Are they done at same time regulations 
are being proposed? Do you allow for comment with the potential 
for what paperwork burdens would be, or is that done after the reg- 
ulations themselves are promulgated? Could you just walk througn 
how that works? 

Ms. Lattimore. Within the Department, each Agency has an 
Agency clearance officer who works in conjunction with the Office 
of Policy, the Solicitor's office and program staff* to examine all as- 
pects of a regulation. Our process is formulated to ensure that all 



aspects, including paperwork concerns are addressed. We don't 
want to create unnecessary additional burden. 

We want to ensure that the Department is protecting the Amer- 
ican worker in the lease burdensome manner. We are looking at 
coming up with regulations not unduly burdensome to the industry. 
It is not going to be so complicated to administer within the De- 
partment, and we will try to considered all simultaneously. 

The Paperwork Reduction Act staff work in tandem with the Of- 
fice of Policy staff and technical staff as we develop regulations. By 
the time it is submitted to 0MB for paperwork clearance, we have 
taken all the considerations into account. 

Chairman Torkildsen. For comment, did the comment period 
specifically allow for comment on what the potential for paperwork 
would be? 

Ms. Lattimore. Prior to being submitted to 0MB, yes. 

Chairman Torkildsen. There will be time for that and public 
input on both the paperwork requirements, as well as the regula- 
tions themselves? 

Ms. Lattimore. A number of activities, specifically with OSHA, 
include public comment through the use of various panels and in- 
dustry sources which participate in regulatory development. 

Chairman Torkildsen. The area that I believe OSHA is working 
on now, and I mentioned — and you can correct me if this is no 
longer accurate — regulating ergonomic standards and indoor air 
quality standards, could you give us an update on the progress of 
those, what the status is and what the paperwork burden is up 
here from the current status of those two issues under consider- 
ation? 

Ms. Lattimore. On ergonomics, there are currently no regu- 
latory actions as directed by Congress. OSHA is engaged in re- 
search of best practices in that area. 

For indoor air quality, OSHA is still examining the hearing 
record on the proposed rule. It is one of the largest hearing records 
that OSHA has ever received, and it is still currently under review. 

Chairman Torkildsen. Is there any anticipated time when the 
next step may be taken in that process? 

Ms. Lattimore. As of today, not a definitive one, but I could pro- 
vide you with our projection on that. 

Chairman Torkildsen. Thank you. I appreciate that. 

[The information may be found in the appendix.] 

Chairman Torkildsen. A generic question that I have, having 
served as Commissioner of Labor and Industry in Massachusetts, 
is that oftentimes you will see regulations meet a specific need 
when they are proposed, but very quickly technology or other fac- 
tors will quickly overcome the rationale for that. 

As part of this review, is the Department of Labor looking at not 
only reducing the paperwork burden, but actually eliminating en- 
tire regulations if they are no longer relevant to worker safety? 

Ms. Lattimore. Clearly that would be part of our ongoing regu- 
latory review. It is our aim to have all regulations serve a useful 
purpose. As we go through the ongoing review process, if we find 
a regulation needs to be retooled or needs to be deleted, appro- 
priate action is taken. 

Chairman Torkildsen. Very good. 



10 

At this time, I would like to — I don't know if "welcome" is the 
appropriate word because the gentleman is no longer the newest 
Member of Congress; he actually ranks maybe third or fourth. But 
Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., from Illinois, welcome to the Sub- 
committee; and if you have any questions, let me welcome you at 
this time. 

Mr. Jackson. Thank you for welcoming me to this Subcommit- 
tee, My questions are very limited on this occasion. 

I just want to make a note that one of the reasons that we 
passed this act — and the act was certainly passed before I became 
a Member of this body — was to reduce the unnecessary regulatory 
burdens which no doubt ensure more productive business practices 
which, in turn, will benefit the American worker. Ms. Lattimore, I 
appreciate your testimony. I am sitting here reading through most 
of it. 

I wanted to know, have you found — in the course of your imple- 
mentation of the act, have there been any challenges that you have 
sought that could be clarified with corrective legislation from the 
Congress if, in fact, it has increased or decreased what was specifi- 
cally set out to be accomplished? 

Ms. Lattimore. We have not found the act, as it was passed, to 
give us significant problems. We are working toward the reduc- 
tions, as needed, and I think it is just us continuing with our ongo- 
ing regulatory review. We have not encountered any major stum- 
bling blocks in the legislation itself 

Mr. Jackson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Chairman Torkildsen. Thank you. Congressman Jackson. 

In the area of indoor air quality standards, let me see if I under- 
stand this correctly, has any regulation been promulgated on that 
at all, or is that still 

Ms. Lattimore, We have a proposed rule, the hearing record and 
public comments which are quite extensive are currently under re- 
view. 

Chairman Torkildsen. Has there been any — with the extensive 
comment, has the nature of the comment been that compliance 
would not be feasible? 

Ms. Lattimore. I don't really have a sense of the details of that 
particular review. I understand the process, but I don't have sub- 
stantive knowledge of the indoor air quality comments and which 
way the trend is going. We can provide something for you following 
this hearing. 

Chairman Torkildsen. I think we would appreciate that. 

Again, obviously, without its having advanced further, it is im- 
portant that compliance — not just the paperwork aspect of it, but 
overall compliance — we shouldn't be asking any employer to try to 
comply with something that is financially or just feasibly impos- 
sible to comply with; and I would appreciate the Department of La- 
bor's comments in that area. 

Ms. Lattimore. OK. 

[The information may be found in the appendix.] 

Chairman Torkildsen. That concludes mv questions. If either of 
my colleagues do not have any additional questions, I will say 
thank you for your testimony. 



11 

If there is no objection, I would like the record to remain open 
for other Members to submit questions — I would ask those be re- 
sponded to as well — and that Members also have time to submit 
opening statements, if they wish. Without objection, so ordered. 

This hearing is adjourned. Thank you for your testimony. 

[Whereupon, at 10:33 a.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned, 
subject to the call of the Chair.] 



12 
APPENDIX 



PETER G TORKILDSEN Massachusetts 



Congress of the lanited States 

ftousc of KtprtSEntatiocs 

loitti £ongrtss 
Committee on 3mall jBusintss 

^oticommitttc on (Soonumtut pnjgrams 

B-)6i ■Rjutum tiousc Gflicf £uililing 

iDaBlMigton. B£ :i>5ii 

OPENING STATEMRNT 

PETER G. TORKILDSEN 

CHAIRMAN. GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS SUBCOMMITTEE 

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON SMALL BUSINESS 

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR 5 COMPLIANCE WITH 
THE PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT OF 1995 



Good Moming. As Chairman of the Small Business Subcommittee on 
Government Programs it is my pleasure to welcome our guest today. The purpose 
of this hearmg is to discuss the Department of Labor's compliance with the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This piece of legislation, passed unanimously 
by the 104th Congress and signed by President Clinton, amends the original 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980, making it more effective in reducing and 
preventing needless paperwork. Among other things, it requires the Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs to set a goal of at least a 1 0% reduction in 
government wide paperwork burdens for fiscal year 1996. It also sets certain 
procedures for regulatory agencies m developing information collection plans, such 
as a 60-day notice and comment period. 



13 



Regarding the Department of Labor, there is no doubting its contribution to 
workplace issues in America. A case m point is the Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration, or OSHA. Since its creation in 1970, the workplace fatality rate has 
fallen by 57%. Workplace deaths have been cut by 72% and injuries have decluied 
by 23%. Obviously, many of the regulations and standards for which the Labor 
Department is responsible are necessary to ensure safe and healthy environments for 
working Americans. 

However, as rules and regulations continue to increase in number, the 
question arises as to how much is too much. At some level, regulations become 
outdated and do not contribute to safety, while the cost of complying with these out 
of date regulations continues. 

The Department of Labor should be commended for steps it has taken to ease 
the regulatory and paperwork burden on employers. Citations for the most common 
paperwork violations declmed 35% between 1991 and 1994. But just because 
OSH\ inspectors aren't handing out fines anymore, doesn't mean the paperwork 
burden has abated for honest employers. For example, supervisors must fill out 
Material Safety Data Sheets for sand and dishwasher detergent or face citations 
fi-om OSHA. A 1994 study by Orgamzation Resources Counselors found that, for 
1 7 of the largest companies m America, complying with all 2 1 federal workplace 



25-711 - 96 - 2 



14 



laws costs an average of $139 million. That's $1,708 per employee Keep in mind 
that regulatory costs are even higher for small businesses who can't afford to hire 
paperwork clerks. 

There are several points which should be addressed today. First, how much 
progress has the Labor Department made in reducing paperwork burdens on 
America's employers, particularly smaller employers, as required by the 1995 
Paperwork Reduction Acf On June 5th of this year the General Accounting Office 
told the Senate Small Business Committee that OSHA had intended to decrease its 
1995 paperwork burden by 8.7 million hours or about 4%. GAO went on to say that 
OSHA would not achieve this goal by the end of the fiscal year. Why is OSHA 
having problems with this goal, particularly after its paperwork burden increased 
from 700,000 hours in 1994 to over 207 million hours m 1995'^ 

Next, has the Department of Labor made an effort to enter the computer age 
of information collection? In April of this year the House passed HR 2715, 
requiring all federal agencies to provide individuals with the option of submitting, 
maintaining, or disclosing information electronically to federal regulators by 1997. 
What are the Labor Department's views on this legislation'' Are there any 
difficulties the Department of Labor might have in complying with this proposed 
statute? Are there any actions the Department of Labor is currently taking to 



15 



computerize their system of information collection'' 

Finally, what is the status of current regulatory actions by the Department of 
Labor in the areas of ergonomic standards, indoor air qualit> standards, and its 
proposed rule to modif>' the occupational injury and illness recording and reportmg 
requirements'' In considering new regulations, does the Department of Labor also 
consider the paper requirements that will go with these new regulations? 

Now, please welcome to the hearmg Ms. Patncia Watkins Lattimore, Deputy 
Assistant Secretar>- for Adnunistration and Management. Ms. Lattimore is currently 
serving as the Acting Assistant Secretar>- for Administration and Management at the 
U.S. Department of Labor. 



16 



HOUSE COMMITTEE ON SMALL BUSINESS 

GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING ON LABOR 
DEPARTMENT'S 

COMPLIANCE WTTH THE PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT 

Opening Statement of Congressman Glenn Poshard 

June 26, 1996 

Mr. Chairman, I appreciate your holding this Subcommittee Hearing today on 
government paperwork reduction. 

Paperwork reduction and regulatory reform have been consistently named by 
President Clinton, and Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, as top priorities of the 
administration, and I commend them for their hard work in this area. The members of this 
Committee continue to be committed to reducing the paperwork produced in our 
Government, as legislation by this Committee demonstrates. In addition, I believe that the 
EPA, OSHA, and other agencies have made strides in their paperwork and regulatory 
burdens, and I am curious to see how the Department of Labor is taking on this task. 

Mr. Chairman, I thank you for your time. I conclude my statement and thank the 
esteemed witnesses for sharing their time and expertise. I look forward to hearing what the 
panel has to share with us today. 



17 



(Xll^kJj^ 



Statement by 

Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. 

Small Business Committee 

Government Programs Subcommittee Hearing 

On Department of Labor's Compliance 

with the Paperwork Reduction Act 

June 26, 1996 



THANK YOU MR. CHAIRMAN FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TODAY TO ADDRESS 
AN ISSUE THAT IS OF VITAL IMPORTANCE TO SMALL BUSINESSES AND THEIR 
EMPLOYEES ACROSS THIS COUNTRY. FIRST, LET ME EXPRESS HOW PLEASED 
I AM TO HAVE RECEIVED AN APPOINTMENT TO THIS SUBCOMMITTEE. I LOOK 
FORWARD TO REPRESENTING THE INTERESTS OF THE PEOPLE OF THE SECOND 
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS AS WE PURSUE THE VERY IMPORTANT 
ISSUES THAT FALL UNDER THE PURVIEW OF THIS SUBCOMMITTEE. 

I AM PLEASED THAT THIS COMMITTEE IS EXPLORING THE DEPARTMENT 
OF LABOR'S PROGRESS IN COMPLYING WITH THE PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT 
AND I LOOK FORWARD TO LEARNING OF THE DEPARTMENT'S EFFECTIVE 
STREAMLINING EFFORTS.'' REDUCING UNNECESSARY REGULATORY BURDENS WILL 
NO DOUBT INSURE MORE PRODUCTIVE BUSINESS PRACTICES WHICH WILL, IN 
TURN, BENEFIT AMERICAN WORKERS. WE ALL AGREE THAT REGULATIONS AND 
PROCEDURES SHOULD ASSIST IN THE GROWTH AND STABILITY OF OUR 
NATION'S SMALL BUSINESSES, BUT WE MUST BE MINDFUL THAT REGULATORY 
RELIEF DOES NOT HARM EITHER THE BUSINESSES OR THEIR EMPLOYEES. 

AS WE FOCUS ON COMPLIANCE WITH THE ACT, WE MUST REMEMBER THAT 
EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT OF NECESSARY REGULATIONS IS IN THE PUBLIC 



18 



INTEREST. I WILL BE LISTENING CLOSELY TODAY FOR ASSURANCES THAT 
LIFTING THE REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS WILL IN NO WAY NEGATIVELY 
IMPACT THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH EMPLOYEES WORK. MR. CHAIRMAN, 
I THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME THIS TIME. I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING 
FROM l^ LATTIMORE. 



19 



STATEMENT OF PATRICIA LATTIMORE 

DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF LABOR 

FOR ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCCM^ITTEE ON GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS 

COMMITTEE ON SMALL BUSINESS 



June 26, 1996 
Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the Subconmittee : 

I welcome this opportunity to describe the Department of 
Labor's (DOL) efforts to address the concerns of small business. 
We are making progress toward reaching the burden reduction goals 
of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, and we are expanding our 
ongoing programs to assist small business in conplying with the 
laws we enforce to protect and further the interests of the 
American worker. 

As the designated Senior Official under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995, I take great pride in our program. We 
implemented the provisions of the 1995 Act quickly and in 
coordination with key regulatory officials in each Departmental 
agency. In addition, we carried out a systematic training 
program, beginning at the executive staff level, and eventually 
reaching more than 250 key Departmental managers and officials. 

It has been the Department's established practice, since the 
early 1980 's, to submit all information collection requests to my 



20 



office for individual review and conment prior to submission to 
the Office of Management and Budget (CMB) for approval. To 
corrplement this centralized coordination and review process, we 
long ago established a network of key paperwork professionals 
serving within each DOL corrponent agency (our "agency clearance 
officers") to provide "hands-on" assistance in the preparation 
and submission of information collection packages for review and 
clearance. From the outset, these enployees have worked closely 
with regulatory and policy officials in their agency to minimize 
the paperwork burden inposed on the public, including small 
businesses. These efforts increased with the passage of the 1995 
Act, for exanple, the Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration (OSHA) established a "Paperwork Task Force", to 
establish reduction goals, review paperwork requirements, and 
track actual reductions. 

As you are aware, the Department of Labor faced a challenge 
in conplying with the biarden reduction goals under the new 
requirements of the 1995 Act. The new Act "changed the rules" 
for third party disclosure requirements which had been in place 
since the 1980 Act and the 1990 Supreme Court decision in Dole v. 
St eel workers . As a result of the 1995 Act, the Department added 
these requirements to our most recent burden hour estimates. 
While the actual burden inposed on the public did not change, it 
did result in a massive increase in our fiscal year 1995 
Information Collection Budget, as the attached chart illustrates. 



21 



At this time, internal Department of Labor estimates 
project a three percent reduction in total burden hours for 
fiscal year 1996 corrpared to fiscal year 1995. This is better 
than we expected, for our original Information Collection Budget 
projected no change. In addition, there is a very good chance 
that we will reach the ten percent reduction goal if the 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration is able to 
streamline requirements for two existing rules. Process Safety 
Management and Hazardous Waste Operations, and eliminate the need 
for certain certification recordkeeping requirements in several 
other rules by the end of September. 

The Department attained additional reductions in carrying 
out the President ' s initiatives to review existing regulations 
and eliminate those found to be unnecessary or outdated. These 
reductions resulted from our efforts to address both regulatory 
and paperwork burdens . Let me share some of the Department ' s 
successes . 

The Department of Labor has begun to irtplement those 
recoTTTTiendations of the White House Small Business Conference 
which Congress enacted into law as Title II of the Small Business 
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA) . In doing 
so, the Department's irrplementation efforts had the benefit of an 
existing foundation of programs to assist and support small 



22 



business. 



More than 250 Department of Labor managers and regulatory 
and enforcement officials were provided training on the Act ' s 
provisions on May 30, 1996. Also, several committees were formed 
to develop programs to expand our ability to assist small 
businesses and make information available to all members of the 
public. 

The Department of Labor designated representatives to 
coordinate the Qnbudsman program at the Small Business 
Administration. Formal and informal sessions were held to begin 
the cooperative efforts between DOL and SBA in order to assist 
small business. In addition, OSHA met with SBA to discuss 
iiiplementation of the SBREFA provisions which require OSHA to 
convene review panels and collect advice and recommendations from 
small business prior to publication of proposed rules. The 
Department ' s Office Small Business and Minority Affairs will play 
a key role in- small business assistance activities. 

Our efforts to irrplement certain elements of SBREFA will 
coincide with our efforts to use the Internet in order to provide 
accurate and easily accessible information to small businesses. 
The Department has successfully established an Internet site 
which includes the full text of all the Department's regulations 
and conpliance assistance information. Information concerning 



23 



the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Errployee Retirement 
Income Security Act (ERISA) and associated rulemaking documents 
are readily available to small business. Small business can now 
comment on DOL programs by electronic means, 24 hours a day, from 
anywhere in the world. 

We also had a head start on providing small business 
corrpliance assistance guides. Since 1993, the Department has 
published the Small Business Handbook: Laws, Regulations and 
Technical Assistance-Services which is currently available on CD- 
RO^ and on the Internet. This easy- to-read book not only 
summarizes conplicated statutory and regulatory information in 
plain language, it also serves as a directory on where specific 
questions can be answered. 

Compliance guides required by SBREFA for specific rules will 
be developed by DOL component agencies with input from small 
businesses and the assistance of the DOL Office of the Small 
Business and Minority Affairs. 

Let me relate some of the more significant examples where 
DOL agencies have succeeded in eliminating unnecessary or 
duplicative requirements, while addressing small business 
concerns . 

In the Enployment Standards Administration (ESA) , the Office 



24 



of Federal Conpliance Programs has proposed to elindnate a 
monthly reporting requirement for construction contractors 
perforroing federal work subject to the provisions of E.O. 11246, 
and plans to inpose fewer recordkeeping requirements in future 
regulations. In addition, a manual concerning affirmative action 
plans for small government contractors is under development. 

The Wage and Hour Division within ESA has developed a pilot 
program to use alternative dispute resolution for smaller cases 
involving migrant worker errployment practices in Southern New 
Jersey. In addition, the Division has effectively developed a 
"self-audit" pilot program in San Diego which significantly 
reduces enployer burden and brings effective enforcement through 
self education and review. In iirplementing the Family and 
Medical Leave Act, the Division consciously sought to minimize 
recordkeeping requirements. A plain language "Fact Sheet" and 
Conpliance Guide were provided. 

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has engaged in a 
number of activities to assist small mine operators and promote 
miners' safety and health. In 1995, MSHA conpleted 
irrplementation of its Alternative Case Resolution Initiative, a 
program which uses MSHA personnel in administrative proceedings 
involving relatively low dollar and less corrplex civil penalty 
cases. Between P^ril 1, 1995 and March 31, 1996, almost 600 
cases, or about 25 percent of all MSHA civil penalty cases have 



25 



been handled imder this program. We have been advised that mine 
operators have found this initiative to be both effective and 
efficient in resolving fundamental safety and health issues 

without legal counsel. In addition, MSHA has developed 
conpliance assistance materials which address known safety and 
health problems. Statistics show that small mines, particularly 
small coal mines, have a disproportionate number of accidents and 
injuries. Consequently, the agency has established a "Small Mine 
IMit" to work with mine operators in resolving safety and health 
problems, and developed and distributed a "Small Mine Safety 
Kit," which included laminated cards that address specific 
hazards and conpliance techniques. 

The Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration has 
initiated a comprehensive review of reporting and disclosure 
requirements. We hope to determine how these requirements may be 
streamlined to ease the administrative burden on eitployers, 
particularly small business, in sponsoring retirement and health 
and welfare plans. In conjunction with the ongoing efforts to 
reform regulations, the agency intends to eliminate obsolete 
interpretive bulletins and regulations. Finally, as part of the 
pension sinplification effort, PWBA intends to implement a 
streamlined reporting and disclosure Form 5500 series; an 
expedited application process for exenption from the prohibited 
transaction rules; and a sitrplified retirement plan specifically 
designed for small business called the National Etrployee Savings 



26 



Trust , or "NEST" . 

The Errployment and Training Administration continues to work 
toward program consolidation, an effort to reengineer the 
enployment and training system to make it more effective for 
workers and small business. 

As you can see, Mr. Chairman, the streamlining efforts at the 
Department of Labor are widespread. Those of the Occupational 
Safety and Health Administration are among the most ambitious. 
OSHA has actively participated in Small Business Mentoring 
Programs in conjunction with the Voluntary Protection Program 
Participants Association, a nonprofit organization made up of 
corrpanies participating in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program. 
These sites volunteer to be paired with small business to help 
them prepare for entry into the Voluntary Protection Program. 
This is an educational program for OSHA as well, for it helps 
OSHA identify the particular difficulties experienced by small 
businesses in irrplementing and managing effective health and 
safety programs. 

In September 1995, OSHA convened a working group on the 
Hazard Communication standard. The working group was conposed of 
representatives from labor, business, and the public. They were 
asked to provide OSHA with recommendations for sinplifying 
material safety data sheets and eliminating unneccessary 



27 



paperwork requirements. The group held four days of public 
meetings to discuss these issues. OSHA. expects to receive the 
working group's final report next month, and to act quickly to 
inplement their recommendations. 

Technology has been adopted to help small business 
understand and corrply with OSHA. requirements. OSHA. makes 
interactive software tools available free of charge for its rules 
on cadmium, asbestos, and permit -required confined spaces. OSHA 
regulations and free publications are readily available through 
OSHA's CD-RCM, the DOL Electronic Bulletin Board, OSHA's Home 
Page, and the U.S. Business Advisor on the Internet. Along with 
these activities, OSHA continues its outreach activities around 
the country to help small business iirprove workplace safety, 
through numerous public appearances, group presentations, 
training sessions and other coirpliance assistance activities. 

OSHA awarded over $2 million in training grants during 1995 
to help employers reduce workplace illnesses and injuries. 
Almost half of this money went to nonprofit organizations to help 
small business develop effective safety and health programs. In 
addition, in all 50 states, small businesses in high hazard 
industries are given priority for free on-site guidance through 
the consultation service funded by OSHA. These firms may be 
eligible for recognition under the Safety and Health Recognition 
program for their exenplary efforts. 



28 



OSHA. has directed its conpliance staff not to issue 
unnecessary citations for minor technical violations of paperwork 
and written program requirements that have no adverse irtpact on 
worker safety and health. As a result, citations for these 
"paperwork violations" have declined seventy-one percent in the 
last six years. At the same time, OSHA is currently working on a 
conprehensive overhaul of its penalty system to increase 
reductions based on enployer size, and is developing a voluntary 
incentive program to encourage enployers to reduce workplace 
injuries and illnesses. 

In addition, OSHA has focused its assistance efforts on 
certain industries, such as nursing homes, which have a 
substantial number of small businesses. 

As part of the regulatory review and reform of existing 
regulations, OSHA is committed to eliminating confusing, 
outdated, and -duplicative regulations. OSHA has already removed 
more than 275 pages of admnistrative and technical amendments 
from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) . An additional 645 
CFR pages of duplicative regulations will be deleted at the end 
of this month. In the future, OSHA will eliminate specific 
standards which duplicate regulations issued under other federal 
statutes. Finally, OSHA is rewriting four rules, based on 
industry consensus standards, which date back more than twenty 



29 

years, in plain language. 

As these exanples demonstrate, widespread efforts to 
streamline and reduce the regulatory and paperwork burden have 
been undertaken throughout the Department ' s diverse programs . It 
is the Department of Labor ' s goal to protect and further the 
interests of the American worker, in harmony with the interests 
of small business. We at the Department of Labor are aware of 
the inportance that small business plays in the life of the 
American worker, for it is here that many jobs are created. We 
believe that we can successfully promote the interests of small 
business in this country without cotrpromising the basic workplace 
protections essential to the American worker. 

Mr. Chairman, I look forward to working with the Corrndttee in 
this area. I welcome any suggestions that you may have, and 
I would be happy to answer any questions. Thank you. 



30 



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31 



U.S. Department of Labor 



JUL I 7 1996 



Assistant Secretary for 
Occupational Safety and Health 
Washington. DC, 20210 




The Honorable Peter G. Torkildsen 

Chairman 

Subcommittee on Government Programs 

Committee on Small Business 

U.S. House of Representatives 

Washington, D.C. 20515 



LTi JUL i 4 W^b i^ 
Congres^rripn Torklidsen 



Dear Mr. Chairman: 

I am v/riting to thank you for holding the recent hearing on the 
Department of Labor's compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995. I would also like to take this opportunity to correct 
some misunderstandings in your opening statement regarding the 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and to 
answer your questions about the status of regulatory actions in 
the areas of ergonomics, indoor air quality, and reporting and 
recordkeeping . 

In your opening statement, you implied that supervisors must fill 
out Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) for sand and dishwasher 
detergent or face citations from OSHA. This is not the case. 
Company supervisors do not fill out MSDSs. Rather, MSDSs are 
prepared by chemical manufacturers and importers of hazardous 
chemical products. An employer is required to maintain MSDSs for 
products it uses when such chemicals exceed normal consumer usage 
limitations. Workers must be informed of risks only when they 
are regularly exposed to high levels of substances that actually 
pose health risks. Accordingly, OSHA does not generally require 
MSDSs for the normal use of consumer products like dishwasher 
detergent or other cleaning agents. It is possible, however, 
that large enough quantities of these substances at the workplace 
could present a hazard, warranting MSDSs. 

Likewise, an MSDS may be required for certain uses of sand, such 
as sand blasting. Sand often contains respirable crystalline 
silica, which causes silicosis, a chronic and debilitating 
respiratory disease, and is also a potential carcinogen. Where 
workers are exposed to respirable dust containing crystalline 
silica, prudent practice dictates that they be informed of the 
hazards. 

As to the status of the ergonomic standard, OSHA's activities 
have been constrained as a result of a Congressional rider on its 
FY 1996 appropriations bill prohibiting OSHA from promulgating or 
issuing any proposed or final standard or guideline regarding 
ergonomic protection. 



32 



However, job-related musculoskeletal disorders are a significant 
problem. While estimates vary, muculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) 
clearly represent the worst occupational health hazard in the 
American workplace today. The Bureau of Labor Statistics 
estimates that there are over 700,000 lost workday injuries and 
illnesses related to MSDs each year. In all, more than 2.7 
million MSD-related workers' compensation claims are awarded 
annually. Work-related MSDs account for an estimated one out of 
every three dollars spent on workers' compensation -- about $20 
billion a year. Due to the magnitude of this problem, OSHA is 
working within the confines of the rider to address prevention of 
ergonomically-related hazards. 

With regard to the indoor air quality standard, following the 
publication of a proposed standard and the completion of public 
hearings, OSHA received over 160,000 pages of testimony and 
comments. OSHA has reviewed these comments and is currently 
analyzing regulatory options. Publication of a final standard is 
on OSHA's long-term regulatory agenda. 

Finally, a notice for proposed rulemaking for occupational injury 
and illness recording and reporting was published in the Federal 
Register on February 2, 1996. Public meetings were held on March 
26 through 29, April 30, and May 1, 1996, and the deadline for 
comments ended on July 1, 1996. OSHA will review the 350 
comments that were submitted and determine a time frame for 
issuance of a final rule. 

OSHA is committed to reducing and streamlining the regulatory and 
paperwork burden on small business as it works to protect the 
health and safety of American workers. We look forward to 
working with the Subcommittee in this important area. 

Sincerely, 



Uoseph A. Dear 
Assistant Secretary 




33 



U.S. Ocpartment of Labor OWice of tt>e Assistant secretary 

lor Administration and Management 
Washington. DC 20210 



AUG 21996 

The Honorable Peter G. Torkildsen 

Chairman 

Subcommititee on Government Programs 

Committee on Small Business 

U.S. House of Representatives 

Washington, DC 20515 

Dear Mr. Chairman: 

Thank you for the recent invitation to address the Subcommittee 
on Government Programs, Committee on Small Business. This 
hearing provided the Department with an opportunity to describe 
our efforts toward reaching the burden reduction goals of the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This hearing also provided us 
with a time to share with you our expanding ongoing programs to 
assist small business in complying with the laws we enforce to 
protect and further the interests of the American worker. 

Enclosed are responses to the questions presented during the 
hearing. Please be assured that the Department is committed to 
reducing and streamlining the regulatory and paperwork burdens on 
small business. 

Again, thank you for this opportunity and we look forward to 
working with the Subcommittee in the future. 



Sincerely, 



6/^ f A»-^- 

PATRICIA W. LATTIMORE 
^Acting Assistant Secretary for 
^/'^Administration and Management 

Enclosure 



34 



Enclosure 

QUESTIONS AND RESPONSES 

TO THE HEARING ON THE 

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR'S 

COMPLIANCE WITH THE 

PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT OF 19 95 

Q. LINE 62: First, how much progress has the Labor Department 
made in reducing paperwork b\irdens on American ' s eirployers , 
particularly small eirployers, as required by the 1995 
Paperwork Reduction Act? 

A. The Department of Labor projected approximately a three 
percent reduction in burden in its FY96 Information 
Collection Budget submission to the Office of Management and 
Budget. However, due to OSHA streamlining efforts there is 
a very good change that the Department will achieve a ten 
percent reduction in paperwork by the end of FY96, which is 
the government wide goal . 

Q. LINE 70: Why is OSHA having problems with this goal, 

particularly after its paperwork burden increased to over 
207 million hours in 1995? 

A. As mentioned in the written testimony, the Paperwork 

Reduction Act of 1995 changed the rules for third party 
disclosure requirements which had been mandated by the 1990 
Supreme Court Decision in Dole v. Steelworkers . As a 
result, the Department of Labor had to add these 
requirements to its most recent burden hour estimates. 
However, OSHA is currently working on streamlining 
requirements for two existing rules, Process Safety 
Management and Hazardous Waste Operations, and eliminating 
certain certification recordkeeping requirements in several 
other rules. OSHA hopes to complete these efforts by the 
end of September. If OSHA is successful in streamlining the 
paperwork burdens from the two rules, there is a very good 
chance that the Department of Labor will reach its ten 
percent paperwork reduction goal. 

Q. LINE 73: Next, has the Department of Labor made an effort 
to enter the ccmputer age of information collection? 

A. The Department currently uses the Internet to provide the 
business community with electronic versions of regulatory 
and compliance assistance guidance and also provides 
downloadable interactive compliance assistance software 
applications to help business interpret specific regulatory 



35 



requirements. The Department plans to extend use of the 
Internet to offer business additional compliance assistance 
material, collect comments on proposed regulations and 
initiate on-line filing to ease the information collection 
burdens on businesses, speed government responsiveness to 
the business community and improve the analysis and 
utilization of the collected information. 

Q. LINE 78: What are the Labor Department's views on this 

legislation? Are there any difficulties the Department of 
Labor might have in corrplying with this proposed statute? 
Are there any actions the Department of Labor is currently 
taking to ccmputerize their system of information 
collection? (H.R. 2715 would require all Federal agencies to 
provide individuals with the option of suhndtting, 
maintaining or disclosing information electronically to 
Federal regulators by 1997.) 

A. The Department supports the goal of encouraging agencies to 
use electronic submission, maintenance, and disclosure of 
information in order to reduce paperwork burdens on small 
businesses and other members of the public. Although 
legislation is not necessary to accomplish this goal, the 
Department has no objection to House passage of H.R. 2715, 
as reported by the House Small Business Committee. 

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and the recently enacted 
Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1996 already 
encourage and direct agencies to collect and use information 
through electronic and other technical means where it makes 
programmatic and economic sense to do so. 

Q. LINE 84: Finally, vdiat is the status of current regulatory 
action by the Department of Labor in the areas of ergonomic 
standards, indoor air quality standards, and its proposed 
rule to modify the occupational injury and illness recording 
and reporting requirements? In considering new regulations, 
does the Department of Labor also consider the paperwork 
requirements that will go with the new regulations? 

A. Ergonomics: For the last eighteen months, OSHA has been 

constrained from moving forward on a standard for ergonomics 
by Congressional riders prohibiting OSHA from promulgating 
or issuing any proposed or final standard or guideline 
regarding ergonomic protection. However, job-related 
musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are a significant problem. 
While estimates vary, MSDs clearly represent the most 
prevalent occupational health hazard in the American 
workplace today. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 
that there are over 700,000 lost workday injuries and 



36 



illnesses related to MSDs each year. In all, more than 2.7 
million MSD-related workers' compensation claims are awarded 
annually. Work-related MSDs account for an estimated one 
out of every three dollars spent on workers' compensation -- 
about $20 billion a year. Due to the magnitude of this 
problem, OSHA is working within the confines of the rider to 
address prevention of ergonomically-related hazards. 

Indcxar Air Quality: OSHA issued a Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking on Indoor Air Quality in April 1994. The 
administrative record on this rulemaking closed on February 
9, 1996. The record contains over 115,000 comments, mostly 
dealing with the environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) control 
provision in the proposal. OSHA is in the process of 
reviewing and analyzing information in the record. OSHA 
does not have a date for the issuance of a final rule. 

Reporting and Recording: A notice of proposed rulemaking 
for occupational injury and illness recording and reporting 
was published in the Federal Register on February 2, 1996. 
Public meetings were held on March 2 6 through 29, April 30, 
and May 1, 1996, and the deadline for comments ended on July 
1, 1996. OSHA will review over 450 comments that were 
submitted. OSHA does not have a date for the issuance of a 
final rule. 

General: The Department carefully considers paperwork 
burdens during the entire rulemaking process. All public 
comments concerning paperwork burdens are considered and 
evaluated while ensuring the best possible balance for 
working America. 



LINE 278: How many pages are there right now? 
LINE 288: Do you have any indication at all, for any 
sections at all, how many pages there are? Any subset, if 
you don't; not entire- - 

Total pages agency by agency are : 



AGENCY 


TOTAL CFR PAGES 


ESA 


1,539 


ETA 


644 


MSHA 


690 


OASAM 


189 


OLMS 


89 


OSECY 


140 



37 



OSHA 


3,278 


PWBA 


201 


VETS 


12 


TOTAL 


7, 042 



LINE 298: Is that scjmething that you will or you might be 
able to do electronically? 

The Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration in 
conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service and the 
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation maintain a filing 
system which permits employee benefit plans covered by the 
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to satisfy 
their annual reporting obligations by filing reports (Form 
5500 Series) electronically. An estimated 7,000 employee 
benefit plans currently file reports with agencies utilizing 
the electronic filing' process. As part of the agencies' 
review of the Form 5500 Series and the forms processing 
system, the agencies are exploring ways to facilitate and 
encourage use of electronically filed submissions. 
Implementation of this initiative is subject to 
Congressional approval of the Administration's funding 
request . 

LINE 310: So would you see it as more of a burden or less of 
a burden for the Department if they received those 
applications electronically? 

It should be less of a burden if we were able to implement 
it in that manner. Clearly we are looking at technology, 
and expect that it would be of assistance. 



LINE 317: The percentage you mentioned for reduction, you 
said you thought you were going to come in at a 3 percent 
reduction right now, this year? 

The Department of Labor projected approximately a 3 percent 
reduction in burden for the FY96 Information Collection 
Budget submission to the Office of Management and Budget. 
As FY96 draws to a close, current burden reduction projects 
appear closer to the 10 percent governmentwide goal . 



38 



hazards. At their last meeting on July 23, the working 
group completed their draft report . Editorial changes are 
currently being made to it and the final report will soon be 
available. During the period the working group was 
deliberating, the Assistant Secretary for OSHA sent 
instructions to OSHA field personnel that they are not to 
cite employers when workplace chemical exposures are due to 
use of common household chemicals, except in those cases 
where the chemicals pose a substantial risk to employees. 

Q. LINE 434: I will make certain to provide you with something 
in writing from otir experts at the Department in those 
technical areas? 

A. Please see the response provided in Line 410 above regarding 
the Hazard Communication Standard. 

Q. LINE 438: I think the committee would appreciate that, and 
if you could go beyond just those two examples, any other 
common household articles that have been required in the 
past to be reported which are no longer required, I think 
that would be appreciated, as well. 

A. Please see the response provided in Line 410 above regarding 
the Hazard Communications Standard. 

Q. LINE 449: Could you walk through the process about when 

OSHA or any agency within the Department of Labor is looking 
for new regulations, how are the paperwork requirements 
addressed? Are those done after the fact? Are they done at 
same time regulations are being proposed? Do you allow for 
comment with the potential for what paperwork burdens would 
be, or is that done after the regulations themselves are 
promulgated? Could you just walk through how that work? 

A. The Department carefully considers the paperwork burdens 
imposed on the public with each rulemaking. Paperwork 
requirements are addressed at the various stages of the 
rulemaking process. The public is consistently afforded an 
opportunity to comment on the paperwork aspects of a rule. 
For example, through focus groups, public meetings/hearings, 
an advance notice of proposed rulemaking or during the 
notice of proposed rulemaking. Together these processes 
allow both the Department and the public ample opportunity 
to ensure that the paperwork burdens are carefully and 
thoroughly developed in compliance with the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995. 



39 



Q. LINE 342: So that increase was entirely attributing these 
third-party disclosure- - 

LINE 345: It was not to new regulations prcamilgated by the 
Department? 

A. The increase in burden hours (50,000,000 to 266,000,000) is 
essentially ascribed due to the inclusion of third-party 
disclosure (Dole v. Steelworkers) and certification burden 
hours, previously exempt under PRA 80, as amended. 

Q. LINE 358: What is NEST? Can you give us some idea v^iat you 
are talking about in terms of a sinplified retirement plan 
specifically designed for small businesses? 

A. The "NEST" (National Employee Savings Trust) is a key part 
of the President ' s plan to increase retirement savings by 
American workers, particularly those in small businesses. 
At present only 24% of workers in small businesses have 
employer- sponsored pension plans, while 76% of workers in 
large businesses do. 

The NEST is a simple salary reduction plan, under which 
workers could save up to $5,000 in tax-free contributions 
through salary reduction. Under the NEST approach, 
employers could contribute 3% of salary, or 1% plus a match 
up to 5% of salary. All contributions would be immediately 
vested and fully portable. The NEST concept cuts through 
red-tape with a simply, one page form without the need for 
complicated employer filing, calculations or testing. 

It is anticipated that the NEST concept could expand pension 
coverage up to 10 million workers. 

Q. LINE 391: What are we doing with particular respect to that 
(nursing home) industry? 

A. Paperwork requirements imposed by OSHA on the nursing home 
industry are no different than those imposed by OSHA on 
other employers. The agency's efforts to streamline its 
rules and assist small business employers will aid nursing 
home employers. OSHA has undertaken various measures to 
streamline and reduce the regulatory and paperwork burden on 
small business in general. For example, OSHA has 
established a "Paperwork Task Force, " to establish reduction 
goals, review paperwork requirements, and track actual 
reductions. The agency has met with the Small Business 
Administration (SBA) to discuss implementation of the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 
(SBREFA) . In recent years, OSHA has taken steps to reduce 
or eliminate penalties for technical paperwork violations. 



40 



Notably, OSHA recently issued a compliance directive to its 
inspectors, eliminating citations and/or penalties for 
certain violations, such as minor injury log inaccuracies or 
failure to keep a log when no injuries have occurred. As a 
result of these and other changes, citations for the most 
common paperwork violations have declined by 71% over the 
past six years . 

LINE 410: I will get seme specifics on that as well. 

The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) provides that 
workers exposed to toxic chemicals are entitled to know the 
identities and hazardous nature of the chemicals. The 
standard requires that chemical manufacturers and importers 
prepare Material Data Safety Sheets (MSDSs) , which contain 
information about the hazards posed by a toxic substance and 
protective measures. An employer is required to maintain 
MSDSs for products containing hazardous chemicals to which 
its employees are exposed. Workers must be informed of risk 
only when they are regularly exposed to levels of hazardous 
substances that actually pose a health risk. OSHA has 
determined that workers who are exposed to hazardous 
chemicals in consumer products by using the products in a 
manner not anticipated by the chemical manufacturer or 
importer, or using them in such a way that exposures are 
more substantial than those consumers would normally 
experience, need the protection of the HCS. For example, it 
is possible that large enough quantities of substances such 
a dishwashing detergent, could present a health hazard, 
warranting MSDSs. Likewise, an MSDS may be required for 
certain uses of sand which could present a hazard, such as 
sand blasting. Sand often contains respirable crystalline 
silica, which causes silicosis, a chronic and debilitating 
respiratory disease, and is also a potential carcinogen. 
Where workers are exposed to respirable dust containing 
crystalline silica, prudent practice dictates that they be 
informed of the hazards. Currently, OSHA's enforcement 
policy focuses on the type and extent of usage of consumer 
products, and OSHA recently sent a memorandum to its 
compliance officers with instructions to adopt a common 
sense approach whenever a product is used in a manner 
intended, and with the same frequency and duration of 
exposure as would be experienced as consumers. 

OSHA believes that complaints that enforcement of the HCS 
has focused too heavily on common consumer products are 
exaggerated. Nevertheless, OSHA asked the National Advisory 
Committee on Safety and Health to convene a working group to 
identify ways to improve hazard communication in the 
workplace and to provide OSHA with recommendations on how 
OSHA can revise enforcement policies to focus on serious 



41 



Q. LINE 474: For ccamment, did the comment period specifically 
allow for comment on what the potential for paperwork would 
be: 

A. Please see the response in Line 449 above regarding the 
integration of the regulatory development process with 
paperwork burdens . 

Q. LINE 478: There will be time for that any public input on 
both paperwork requirements, as well as the regulations 
themselves? 

A. Please see the response in Line 449 above regarding the 
integration of the regulatory development process with 
paperwork burdens . 

Q. LINE 485: The area that I believe OSHA is working on now, 
and I mentioned- -you can correct me if this is no longer 
accurate- -regulating ergoncmic standards and indoor air 
quality standards, could you give us an update on the 
progress of those, what the status is and what the paperwork 
burden is up here from the ciirrent status of those two 
issues under consideration? 

A. Because of the Congressional riders, OSHA has never issued a 
proposed rule on ergonomics. Consequently, OSHA has no 
paperwork burden estimate for ergonomics. With regard to 
the indoor air quality proposal, the paperwork estimate is 
one of the many issues that OSHA is looking at as the Agency 
reviews public comments on the proposal. 

Q. LINE 499: Is there any anticipated time when the next step 
may be taken in that process? 

A. Given the volume of the comments submitted on the indoor air 
quality proposal, it is impossible to characterize the 
comments. Many of the comments deal with the necessity for 
the proposal and many others deal with the difficulty of 
compliance with the proposed standard. If Committee staff 
wishes to examine the public comments in detail, they may 
contact OSHA and the agency will arrange for them to review 
the docket on the proposal . 

Q. LINE 506: A generic question that I have, having served as 
Commissioner of Labor and Industry in Massachusetts, is that 
often times you will see regulations meet a specific need 
when they are proposed, but very quickly technology or other 
factors will quickly overcame the rationale for that. As 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 

mil III 

42 

3 9999 06350 079 5 

part of this review, is the Department of Labor looking at 
not only reducing the paperwork biirden, but actually 
eliminating entire regulations if they are no longer 
relevant to worker safety? 

A. Yes. The Department of Labor has an ongoing effort to 

eliminate obsolete an outdated regulations. The Department 
recognizes that a comprehensive review of its regulations is 
periodically needed to eliminate those sections that are 
outdated and to reinvent those parts that are unreasonably 
burdensome or confusing. DOL undertook such a review in 
response to President Clinton's April 24, 1995, "Regulatory 
Reinvention Initiative." The Department made a commitment 
to the President to expand its efforts to improve DOL 
regulatory processes and regulations. As part of that 
commitment, each DOL regulatory agency conducted a page-by- 
page review of its rules. This process has been followed by 
agency commitments to change or eliminate specific 
regulations that were outdated or confusing. The Department 
is well on its way to fulfilling those commitments. 

Q. line; 538: I wanted to know, have you found- -in the course 
of your implementation of the Act, have there been any 
challenges that you have sought that could be clarified with 
corrective legislation from the Congress if, in fact, it has 
increased or decreased what was specifically set out to be 
acconpl i shed? 

A. We have not found the Act, as it was passed, to give us 
significant problems. 

Q. LINE 552: In the area of indoor air quality standards, let 
me see if I understand this correctly, has any regulation 
been promulgated on that at all, or is that still- - 

A. Please see the response to Lines 84 and 485 above regarding 
the indoor air quality and the ergonomics issues. 

Q. LINE 559: Any has there been any- -with the extensive 

comment, has the nature of the comment been that conpliance 
would not be feasible? 

A. Please see the response to Lines 84 and 485 above regarding 
the indoor air quality and the ergonomics issues. 



43 



Q. LINE 568: Again, obviously, without its having advanced 
further, it is iirportant that cairpliance--not just the 
paperwork aspect of it, but overall can5>liance--we shouldn't 
be asking any enployer to try to ccmply with something that 
is financially or just feasibly inpossible to ccraply with; 
and I would appreciate the Department of Labor's comments in 
that area. 

A. Please see the response to Lines 84 and 485 above regarding 
the indoor air quality proposal. 



o 



ISBN 0-16-053619-7 



9 780160"536199 



90000