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240 FW 9
Safety for Volunteer and Youth/

Collegiate Program Participants

Supersedes 240 FW 9, FWM 109, 12/13/04

Date: August 31, 2012

Series: Occupational Safety and Health

Part 240: Safety Program

Originating Office: Division of Safety and Health

 

 

PDF Version


TABLE OF CONTENTS

TOPIC

Sections

OVERVIEW: Terms, Scope, Authorities, and Responsibilities

9.1 What is the purpose of this chapter?

9.2 What terms do you need to know to understand this chapter?

9.3 What is the overall Service policy for the safety of volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants?

9.4 What is the scope of this chapter?

9.5 What are the authorities for this chapter?

9.6 Who is responsible for the safety and health of Service volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants?

Tasks We Allow

9.7 Are there any hazardous activities the Service allows volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants to perform if they have additional training?

9.8 What are the requirements and limitations for volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants to operate motor vehicles for Service business?

9.9 What process should the Service use to assess potentially dangerous assignments?

Tasks We Prohibit

9.10 What tasks are volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants NOT allowed to perform?

Other Applicable Laws

9.11 What other Federal laws apply to our safety program for volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants?

 

OVERVIEW

 

9.1   What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter:

A. Clarifies safety and occupational health policies and responsibilities found in the Service Manual chapters 240-244 related to Service volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants (see section 9.2).

 

B. Clarifies who is covered under the Federal Employees Compensation Act (see section 9.11A) and the Federal Tort Claims Act (see section 9.11B and 401 FW 3, Claims by the Government).

 

C. Explains what safety information cooperating and partnering organizations must include in agreements, contracts, or memorandums of understanding with the Service. This information must include, but is not limited to, establishing which party is responsible for:

(1) Administering and paying workers’ compensation and tort claims,

 

(2) Providing safety training to meet the minimum safety standards in Service policies, and

 

(3) Providing personal protective equipment for job tasks that require it. 

 

9.2   What terms do you need to know to understand this chapter?

 

A. Volunteer. Volunteers are individuals who provide a service without salary or wage compensation from the Service.

 

(1) Volunteers must sign a Volunteer Services Agreement (Optional Form (OF) 301A) before beginning work.

 

(2) We must get parental permission from every volunteer under the age of 18 who completes a Volunteer Service Agreement. This includes individuals participating in group programs (see section 9.2B). Form OF 301A includes a signature line to obtain parental permission.

 

(3) A leader of a volunteer group or organization may complete a single Volunteer Services Agreement for an entire group, but it must include a legible list of all group members. We must obtain parental permission from individuals under the age of 18 participating as part of a group. For more information about the Volunteer Services Program, see 150 FW 1-3.

 

B. Youth/Collegiate Program Participants. We use this term throughout the chapter to include the different types of entities with which we partner. We don’t consider a participant in one of these programs a volunteer until they sign and we execute a Volunteer Services Agreement, OF 301A.

(1) Youth Organizations: These are the organizations (e.g., 4-H Clubs of America) that have a written agreement, contract, or memorandum of understanding with the Service that includes the information in section 9.1C.

 

(2) Youth Partnerships: These partnerships include a wide variety of organizations, such as national, State, and local youth corps (other than Youth Conservation Corps, covered in section 9.2B(3)). One example is the Student Conservation Association (SCA). An SCA program participant is a high school or college-age volunteer whose volunteer service we define under a national contract we have with the SCA. Written agreements, contracts, and memorandums of understanding must include the information in section 9.1C.

 

(3) Youth, Student, and Graduate Hiring Authorities: Examples of this type of program include the Youth Conservation Corps and the Pathways Program. The Pathways Program encompasses the Internship Program, Recent Graduates Program, and Presidential Management Fellows Program.

 

(4) Collegiate Partners: These are the universities or colleges that have a written agreement with the Service for students or professors to provide research, labor, or other services to assist in meeting mutually beneficial missions. The agreements must include the information in section 9.1C.

 

9.3 What is the overall Service policy for the safety of volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants? It is our policy:

 

A. To conduct volunteer and youth/collegiate program activities in a way that leads to the prevention of accidents, occupational illness, injuries, death, or property damage;

 

B. For Project Leaders and supervisors to ensure volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants have documentation of completing required safety and occupational health training prior to conducting assigned job tasks; and

 

C. For volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants to adhere to the safety and occupational health requirements in this chapter and other relevant Departmental and Service safety and occupational health policies. You can find additional information on Service safety and occupational health in Parts 240 – 244 of the Service Manual.

 

9.4 What is the scope of this chapter?

 

A. This chapter applies to:


(1) Anyone who performs volunteer work for the Service, and

 

(2) Youth/collegiate program participants unless specifically stated otherwise in the written agreement, contract, or memorandum of understanding with the Service.

 

B. This chapter does not apply to contractors. Contractors must comply with the safety and health clauses in their contract agreements.

 

9.5 What are the authorities for this chapter?

 

A. Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970, Federal Agency Safety and Health Program (Public Law 91-596, Section 19).

 

B. Youth Conservation Corps Act (16 U.S.C. 1701-1706).

C. National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Improvement Act of 2010 (16 U.S.C. 742).

 

D. National Fish Hatchery System Volunteer Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-360).

 

E. Government Organization and Employees – Services to Employees (5 U.S.C. 7901, Health Services Programs; 7902, Safety Programs; and 7903, Protective Clothing and Equipment).

 

F. Executive Order 12196, Occupational Safety and Health Programs for Federal Employees.

 

G. Basic Program Elements for Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health Programs (29 CFR 1960).

 

H. Child Labor Regulations, Orders, and Statements of Interpretation (29 CFR 570).

I. Administrative Claims Under the Federal Tort Claims Act (28 CFR 14).

J. Claims for Compensation Under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (20 CFR 10).

K. Safety and Health Program; Authority, Purpose, and Policy (485 DM 1).

 

L. Safety and Health Training (485 DM 13).

 

9.6 Who is responsible for the safety and occupational health of Service volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants? See Table 9-1.

Table 9-1: Responsibilities for the Safety and Occupational Health of Service Volunteers and Youth/Collegiate Program Participants

This official…

Is responsible for…

A. The Director

 

(1) Ensuring that the Service maintains an effective and comprehensive safety and occupational health program, and

 

(2) Approving our volunteer and youth/collegiate program participant safety and occupational health policy.

B. The Assistant Director - Business Management and Operations

 

(1) Monitoring the effectiveness and recommending improvements to this policy, and

 

(2) Providing sufficient support and resources to the Chief, Division of Safety and Health to ensure that the Chief can effectively accomplish the responsibilities in section D below.

C. Directorate members

(1) Ensuring that there are sufficient resources and support in place to implement this policy within their areas of responsibility;

 

(2) Overseeing and providing resources for their safety and occupational health programs, and

 

(3) Ensuring trained and qualified employees evaluate implementation of our policy requirements at the duty station level.

D. The Chief, Division of Safety and Health

 

(1) Revising and updating this chapter, as necessary, and

 

(2) Interpreting the requirements in this chapter and resolving Servicewide issues and questions about the policy.

E. Regional Safety Managers

 

(1) Advising managers, Project Leaders, Regional Volunteer Coordinators, and station volunteer supervisors and coordinators on the implementation of this policy in their Regions and on their duty stations;

 

(2) Interpreting policy requirements and resolving Regionwide issues and questions;

 

(3) Recommending additional safety and occupational health training for volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants, as appropriate; and

 

(4) Evaluating how well duty stations are meeting Servicewide safety and occupational health policy requirements.

F. Regional Volunteer/ Youth/Collegiate Participant

Coordinators

(1) Ensuring adequate communication of volunteer and youth/collegiate program safety goals, objectives, policies, and guidelines to field and Regional office staff;

(2) Providing guidance and technical assistance related to volunteer and youth/collegiate program safety as appropriate to field offices and the Regional office;

(3) Assisting field and Regional office managers to define volunteer and youth/collegiate program safety program needs;

(4) Identifying and coordinating volunteer and youth/collegiate program safety training opportunities for field personnel; and

(5) Participating in duty station safety evaluations.

G. Project Leaders/Supervisors

(1) Ensuring there is an effective safety and occupational health program for volunteers and youth/collegiate participants at the duty station(s) for which they are responsible;

 

(2) Complying with Departmental and Service safety and occupational health requirements (see Part 240-244, Safety Program and 321 FW 1, Motor Vehicle and Equipment Operator Requirements and Responsibilities);

(3) Completing Job Hazard Assessments (JHA) for tasks that require them (see 240 FW 1);

 

(4) Ensuring volunteers complete a Volunteer Services Agreement (OF 301A), that includes a job description containing: a description of services or specific work duties to be performed, required training, potential job hazards, and required personal protective equipment (PPE). Applicable JHAs must also be attached to the Volunteer Services Agreement.

(5) Ensuring that volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants receive required safety and health training before conducting job tasks. The training must include:

 

(a) Safety and health program requirements and how to assess operations for the risks they pose,

 

(b) Safe operating procedures for assigned tasks, and

 

(c) Using PPE and required clothing and knowing its limitations;

 

(6) Ensuring that employees give volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants an effective means of communication and explain how to get assistance in an emergency;

 

(7) Entering information showing when volunteer and youth/collegiate program participants complete safety and health training, including refresher training, into the Department’s Learning Management System (i.e., DOI Learn). If the system will not allow them to enter this training, the Project Leader/supervisor must maintain and track safety and health training by a documentable and producible means;

 

(8) Ensuring required PPE and first aid kits are adequate for intended tasks, are in good condition, and are available when required;

 

(9) Ensuring volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants wear their PPE when required and replace it when it’s damaged, worn out, or the manufacturer’s replacement date has expired (see 241 FW 3);

 

(10) Ensuring volunteer and youth/collegiate program supervisors that they may employ:

 

(a) Are knowledgeable of the methods for preventing accidents and illnesses and the procedures for outdoor work activities,

 

(b) Follow our procedures for reporting accidents and related injuries or illnesses (see 240 FW 7),

 

(c) Receive training that addresses safety and health program requirements and how to assess operations for the risks they pose, and

 

(d) Are thoroughly familiar with station safety plans;

 

(11) Ensuring volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants understand that they can immediately stop activities that are of imminent danger to individuals;

 

(12) Providing a copy of the Volunteer Services Agreement (OF 301A), to the Regional Workers’ Compensation Coordinator or Regional Injury Compensation Specialist whenever a volunteer is injured and files a workers’ compensation claim; and

 

(13) In the absence of a Unit Volunteer Coordinator or a Supervisor for Volunteers, or both, ensuring the duties we describe in sections H and I of this table are conducted.

H. Unit Volunteer /Youth/Collegiate Program Coordinators (when activities on the duty station warrant the position)

(1) Orienting and ensuring volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants receive training and instruction, basic equipment, supplies, PPE, and the appropriate clothing they need to safely accomplish their duties;

(2) Conducting a safety orientation for volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants assigned to the station in accordance with 240 FW 3. They must make sure volunteers/youth/collegiate program participants know about the station safety plan and procedures to follow in an emergency; and

(3) Working with Unit Volunteer Supervisors and Project Leaders to develop volunteer job descriptions for Volunteer Service Agreements (see section G(4) above).

I. Unit Supervisors for  Volunteers and Youth/Collegiate Program Participants (when activities warrant the position)

(1) Reporting directly to the Project Leader or designated Volunteer Coordinator and assisting him/her and the Collateral Duty Safety Officer to implement the safety and occupational health program for volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants;

 

(2) Performing a site hazard assessment, preparing an emergency/rescue plan, and conducting a pre-work briefing with all participants;

 

(3) Complying with applicable Departmental and Service safety and occupational health requirements (see Part 240-244 and 321 FW 1);

 

(4) Minimizing volunteer and youth/collegiate program participant accidents and injuries by maintaining a high degree of safety awareness;


(5)
Requesting support from the Project Leader, Collateral Duty Safety Officer, and Regional Safety Manager to address complex safety and occupational health hazards;

 

(6) Immediately reporting the following to the Project Leader:

 

(a) All unsafe or unhealthful conditions that they observe (see 240 FW 6);

(b) Job-related accidents that result in, or have the potential to result in, harm to people, damage to property, or a potential tort claim; and

 

(c) Any personal conditions that could adversely affect a person’s ability to perform his/her job in a safe and healthful manner; and

 

(7) Immediately stopping activities that present a hazard or are of imminent danger to individuals.

J. Volunteers and Youth/Collegiate Program Participants

(1) Immediately reporting the following to their supervisor or the Project Leader:

 

(a) All unsafe or unhealthful conditions that they observe or are informed of (see 240 FW 6);

(b) Job-related accidents that result in, or have the potential to result in, harm to people, damage to property, or a potential tort claim; and

 

(c) Any personal conditions that could adversely affect his/her ability to perform the job in a safe and healthful manner;

 

(2) Completing required safety and occupational health training before conducting job tasks;

 

(3) Wearing the PPE  that we provide;

 

(4) Maintaining a high degree of safety awareness so that they perform their work without accident or injury; and

 

(5) Immediately stopping activities that present a hazard or are of imminent danger to individuals.

 

TASKS WE ALLOW

 

9.7 Are there any hazardous activities the Service allows volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants to perform if they have additional training? Yes. Volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants may participate in hazardous jobs, such as chain saw operation and operating heavy equipment, but only if they have completed the appropriate Service training and certification requirements specific to the hazards of the tasks. The high-hazard jobs that volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants assist with must be “planned activities” and not emerging, unknown, unpredictable, or uncontrolled hazardous jobs (see also 150 FW 1).

 

9.8 What are the requirements and limitations for volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants to operate motor vehicles for Service business? A motor vehicle is any self-propelled or mechanically drawn conveyance that is designed to operate on highways to transport property or passengers.

 

A. Volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants may operate vehicles for Service business, but they must be at least 18 years of age and in compliance with the other requirements in this section. All operators of commercial motor vehicles must be at least 21 years of age.

 

B. Volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants who are 18 years of age or older may operate private vehicles to perform official business. Volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants under 18 years of age may not operate private vehicles to perform official Service business.

 

C. All operators must follow the requirements in 321 FW 1, Vehicle Operator Requirements and Responsibilities.

 

D. Volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants must have a signed Volunteer Services Agreement (OF 301A) and a valid State driver’s license for the class and type of vehicle before operating any Service-owned or leased motor vehicle. Volunteers also must have completed the appropriate training to operate Service motor vehicles.

 

9.9 What process should the Service use to assess potentially dangerous assignments? The Project Leader and the supervisor for volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants must evaluate assignments that pose safety hazards on a case-by-case basis. The supervisor(s) (or the Project Leader) develops a JHA for hazardous activities in accordance with 240 FW 1 and for any activity for which an injury or accident (see 240 FW 7) has been reported. The Project Leader must review, sign, and date the JHA. After the Project Leader signs the JHA, the supervisor (or the Project Leader) and the volunteer or youth/collegiate program participant must review the JHA.

 

TASKS WE PROHIBIT

 

9.10 What tasks are volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants NOT allowed to perform?

 

A. Firearms. Volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants:

 

(1) Must not carry firearms for activities associated with law enforcement (see 150 FW 1).

 

(2) May use firearms if their supervisor authorizes it and they:

 

(a) Are 18 years of age or older, and

 

(b) Have documentation of successful completion of a Regionally-approved firearms training course and meet any additional Regional requirements, and only:

 

·        In bear or other dangerous animal habitat to protect themselves or members of their work team, or

 

·        For other official duties, such as management of nuisance or invasive animals.

 

B. Certain Activities Based on Age. The Fair Labor Standards Act sets a minimum age for certain occupations that the Secretary of Labor determines are particularly hazardous or detrimental to the health or well-being of minors. See Tables 9-2 through 9-4 for prohibited job tasks and ages.

 

(1) Minors under the age of 14 are prohibited from performing any of the activities listed in Tables 9-2 through 9-4.

 

(2) Project Leaders must also review State-specific requirements for minimum ages because some States have more stringent prohibitions than the job tasks in Tables 9-2 through 9-4.

 

Table 9-2: Prohibited Activities for

Youth 14 to 15 Years of Age.

(1) Manufacturing, mining, or processing occupations, including occupations requiring the performance of any duties in work rooms or work places where goods are manufactured, mined, or otherwise processed.

(6) Outside window washing that involves working from window sills, and all work requiring the use of ladders, scaffolds, or their substitutes.

 

(2) Occupations that involve operating, tending, setting up, adjusting, cleaning, oiling, or repairing hoisting apparatus.

(7) Work in freezers and meat coolers. This does not prohibit minors from occasionally entering freezers only momentarily to retrieve items.

(3) Work performed in or about boiler or engine rooms or in connection with the maintenance or repair of boiler/engine rooms, machines, or equipment.

(8) Loading and unloading goods or property onto or from motor vehicles, railroad cars, or conveyors. Minors may load and unload personal, non-power-driven hand tools, PPE, and personal items to and from motor vehicles. Minors are not permitted to load or unload safety equipment, such as barriers, cones, or signage.

(4) Occupations that involve operating, tending, setting up, adjusting, cleaning, oiling, or repairing any power-driven machinery, including but not limited to lawn mowers, golf carts, all-terrain vehicles, trimmers, cutters, weed-eaters, edgers, food slicers, food grinders, food choppers, food processors, food cutters, and food mixers.

(9) All baking and cooking activities, except when cooking with:

(a) Electric or gas grills that do not involve cooking over an open flame, or
(b) Deep fryers that are equipped with and use a device that automatically lowers the baskets into the hot oil or grease and automatically raises the baskets from the hot oil or grease.

(5) Operating motor vehicles. Each minor riding as a passenger must have his/her own seat inside the passenger compartment of the vehicle and each seat must have a seat belt that the minor must use.

(10) Occupations in connection with:

(a) Transportation of people or property by rail, highway, air, water, pipeline, or other means;
(b) Warehousing and storage;
(c) Communications and public utilities; and
(d) Construction (including demolition and repair) of dwellings, offices, or structures that can be construed as a construction site.

 

 

 

Table 9-3*:
Prohibited Agriculture and Land Management Activities for Youth

Under 16 Years of Age.

(1) Operating a tractor of over 20 Power-Take-Off (PTO) horsepower, or connecting or disconnecting an implement or any of its parts to or from such a tractor.

(2) Operating or assisting to operate any of the following machines (including starting, stopping, adjusting, feeding, or any other activity involving associated physical contact):

(a) Corn picker, cotton picker, grain combine, hay mower, forage harvester, hay baler, potato digger, or mobile pea viner;
(b) Feed grinder, crop dryer, forage blower, auger conveyor, or the unloading mechanism of a nongravity-type self-unloading wagon or trailer; or
(c) Power post-hole digger, power post driver, or nonwalking type rotary tiller.

(3) Operating or assisting to operate any of the following machines (including starting, stopping, adjusting, feeding, or any other activity involving physical contact associated with the operation):

(a) Trencher or earthmoving equipment,
(b) Fork lift,
(c) Potato combine, or
(d) Power-driven circular, band, or chain saw.

(4) Working on a farm in a yard, pen, or stall occupied by a:

(a) Bull, boar, or stud horse maintained for breeding purposes; or
(b) Sow with suckling pigs or cow with newborn calf (with umbilical cord present).

(5) Working from a ladder or scaffold (painting, repairing, or building structures, pruning trees, picking fruit, etc.) at a height of over 20 feet.

(6) Driving a bus, truck, or automobile when transporting passengers, or riding on a tractor as a passenger or helper.

(7) Working inside:

(a) A fruit, forage, or grain storage designed to retain an oxygen deficient or toxic atmosphere;
(b) An upright silo within 2 weeks after silage has been added or when a top unloading device is in operating position;
(c) A manure pit; or
(d) A horizontal silo while operating a tractor for packing purposes.

(8) Handling or applying (including cleaning or decontaminating equipment, disposal or return of empty containers, or serving as a flagman for aircraft) agricultural chemicals classified under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. 135 et seq.) as Category I of toxicity, identified by the word “poison” and the “skull and crossbones” on the label; or Category II of toxicity, identified by the word “warning” on the label. Also see 242 FW 7, Pesticide Users’ Safety and 40 CFR 156.62, Toxicity Category.

(9) Handling or using a blasting agent, including but not limited to, dynamite, black powder, sensitized ammonium nitrate, blasting caps, and primer cord.

(10) Transporting, transferring, or applying anhydrous ammonia.

(11) Felling, bucking, skidding, loading, or unloading timber with a butt diameter of more than 6 inches.

* Exceptions to the job tasks in Table 9-3 are found in 29 CFR 570.72, which includes exemptions for the 4-H tractor operation program. 

 

 

Table 9-4: Prohibited Activities for Youth Under 18 Years of Age

(1) Manufacturing and storing explosives.

(9) Slaughtering, meat-packing, processing, or rendering.

(2) Driving motor vehicles and riding outside of the vehicle’s cab to assist in transporting goods.

(10) Operating power-driven bakery machines.

(3) Coal and other mining.

(11) Operating power-driven paper product machines used in remanufacturing or converting paper or pulp into a finished product, including preparing such materials for recycling or for disposal.

(4) Logging and saw milling.

(12) Manufacturing brick, tile, and kindred products.

(5) Operating power-driven woodworking machines.

(13) Operating power-driven circular saws, band saws, and guillotine shears.

(6) Performing activities that expose them to radioactive substances.

(14) Wrecking, demolition, and shipbreaking operations.

(7) Operating power-driven hoisting apparatus.

(15) Roofing.

(8) Operating power-driven metal-forming, punching, and shearing machines.

(16) Excavation to depths greater than 3 feet.

 

OTHER APPLICABLE LAWS

 

9.11 What other Federal laws apply to our safety program for volunteers and youth/collegiate program participants?

 

A. The Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA, 20 CFR 10) is a workers' compensation law administered by the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs in the U.S. Department of Labor. FECA provides compensation benefits to civilian employees of the United States for disability due to personal injury sustained while working or due to an employment-related disease. FECA also provides for the payment of benefits to dependents if the injury or disease causes the employee's death.

 

(1) Volunteers and participants in programs for hiring youth (defined in sections 9.2A and 9.2B(3)) are considered employees for the purposes of FECA. Supervisors, Project Leaders, and volunteers/youth program participants can get help filing injury compensation claims from the Regional Injury Compensation Specialist. Supervisors must submit a Report of Accident/Incident for all work-related injuries in accordance with 240 FW 7.

 

(2) Participants in Youth Organizations, Youth Partnerships, and Collegiate Partners (as defined in sections 9.2B(1), (2), and (4)) are not considered employees for the purposes of FECA unless we have a signed and executed Volunteer Services Agreement (OF 301A) for the person.

 

B. The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA, 28 CFR 14) provides a way for people to make claims against the U.S. Government for damage, loss, injury, or death caused by negligent or wrongful acts or omissions by any employee of the Government while acting within the scope of employment.

 

(1) As with FECA, volunteers and participants in programs for hiring youth (defined in sections 9.2A and 9.2B(3)) are considered employees for the purposes of the FTCA. Supervisors, Project Leaders, and volunteers/youth program participants can get help filing tort claims from the Regional Tort Claims Officer (see 401 FW 1-3).

 

(2) Other youths and collegiate partners (see sections 9.2B(1), (2), and (4)) are not considered employees for the purposes of the FTCA unless we have a signed and executed Volunteer Services Agreement (OF 301A) for the person.

 

 

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For more information on the content of this policy, contact the Division of Safety and Health. For more information on this Web site, contact Krista Bibb in the Division of Policy and Directives Management.

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