OSHA Instruction FAP 1.2A April 10, 1995 Office of Federal Agency Programs
Subject: Federal Agency Safety and Health Programs With the Bureau of
Prisons, U.S. Department of Justice
A. Purpose. This instruction provides guidelines for field
operations with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Department of Justice. Special
guidelines are necessary due to the requirements of security which are
inherent in any involvement with the Bureau's safety and health program
within a Federal Prison and the differences in applying OSHA rules and
regulations between Bureau of Prisons' employees and inmates during
inspections. Also, it sets forth the procedures that should be followed by
OSHA inspectors prior to and during OSHA inspections.
B. Scope. This instruction applies OSHA-wide.
C. Cancellation. This instruction replaces OSHA Instruction FAP
1.2, dated September 23, 1985.
1. OSHA Instruction CPL 2.103, dated September 26, 1994, The Field
Information Reference Manual (FIRM).
2. OSHA Instruction CPL 2.45 Change 4, dated December 13, 1993
E. Action. Regional Administrators shall ensure that these
instructions are implemented within their Regions. The National Office shall
maintain liaison with the Bureau's Designated Agency Safety and Health
Official (DASHO) or their designee, and share any additional information
obtained with the Regions.
F. Background. In the past, some questions have arisen as to the
procedures in implementing the 29 CFR Part 1960 requirements under the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding Bureau of
Prisons' employees and Federal inmates. In addition, the Bureau of Prisons
was concerned that unannounced OSHA inspections may compromise prison
Inmates are not "employees" as defined in section 3 of the
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), but when inmates are required
to perform work similar to that outside of prisons, e.g., farming,
industries, machine operations, etc., the applicable protections open to
anyone else in similar situations should apply, including the right to file a
report of hazards with appropriate safety and health officials.
This instruction addresses an agreement between the Bureau of
Prisons' officials and OSHA regarding these concerns.
G. Bureau Program Information. The following information is based
on the Bureau of Prisons' Safety and Health Program:
1. Bureau of Prisons' Employees. The Bureau of Prisons'
policy consolidates the requirements of 29 CFR Part 1960 and related OSHA
safety and health standards in its safety and health program. Consideration
is given to security requirements during OSHA inspections. (See
2. Bureau Safety and Health Program.
a. The Bureau's Occupational Safety and Environmental Health
Manual and related directives are maintained by the Regional Safety
Administrator (RSA). The RSA or institution safety officer can provide OSHA
with or inform OSHA of specific requirements.
b. Bureau of Prisons' policy requires that all areas of the
institution be inspected regularly by institution staff for fire, safety,
health, and sanitation problems. In addition, weekly inspections are
required of food service.
c. Each institution has a safety and health committee, chaired
by an Associate Warden.
d. Access to employee exposure and medical records is
available to the employee and to the Secretary of Labor in accordance with
rules set out in 29 CFR Part 1960 and following procedures in 29 CFR
3. Federal Prison Inmates. The Bureau of Prisons considers
that Federal inmates have 24 hour a day protection under its safety and
health program. In addition, the Federal Bureau of Prisons applies OSHA
safety and health standards to inmates under the following
a. The inmates are on Federal Bureau of Prisons' owned or
leased property (even if located on other Federal premises) or are working at
the direction of Bureau management, and
(1) The exposure to hazards is an occupational exposure,
not another type of activity such as recreation, patient in a hospital,
(2) Where inmate workers are repairing domiciliary systems,
their operations, but not necessarily the site, would be covered under the
Bureau of Prisons' program and OSHA Standards, as applied by the
(3) Where inmate workers are managed by another Federal
authority; e.g., the military, they would still be protected under the Bureau
of Prisons' program and OSHA Standards, as applied by the Bureau, but the
managing authority would be responsible for safe and healthful working
conditions at the site.
b. Inmates are covered under the Inmate Accident Compensation
System, 18 U.S.C. 4126 and 28 CFR Part 301. A BP-19 Injury Form is completed
for all work related injuries and illness. It more than 3 work days were
missed by an inmate a BP-19a Supplemental Injury Form will be completed.
These reports are maintained in the safety office for the Secretary to
review, upon request. The Secretary may request access to additional inmate
exposure and medical records pursuant to proper procedures.
NOTE: Inmates can request access to their exposure and
medical records under the Freedom of Information and Privacy
c. Inmates do not have employee representatives.
H. Guidelines for OSHA Officials.
1. Federal prisons shall be included in any OSHA Special Programs,
except that they are not included in the Targeting Program based on inmate
injury rates as these rates do not correspond to Federal agency rates
obtained from Workers Compensation data.
2. Arranging a Visit or Contact. Whenever possible, all
contacts with the Bureau of Prisons' officials shall be made through the
Bureau of Prisons' Regional Safety Administrator (RSA). If the RSA is not
available, OSHA's Regional Administrator may call the Prison Warden
a. The Warden shall be consulted on all proposed contacts with
b. The RSA will help arrange the time and date of visits; as
prior arrangements must be made in order to provide the necessary escort for
OSHA personnel to enter.
c. If a situation concerns Bureau of Prisons' employees, and
the employee representative is desired, prior clearance must be arranged
through the Warden or RSA in order for the employee representative to be
relieved from security duties.
d. The Warden or the RSA will advise OSHA officials on the
problems of security for each situation, as these will differ according to
place and time OSHA officials shall be guided by their advice.
(1) The Bureau of Prisons has authority to bar anyone or
any action that is perceived as a threat to the secure and orderly conduct of
(2) OSHA officials will be accompanied by one or more
Bureau of Prisons' staff.
(3) There may be times that a particular prison may not be
in a position to admit OSHA officials. When advised to withdraw by Bureau
staff, OSHA shall do so. If this occurs, the Bureau will be requested to
complete the investigation and provide a report to OSHA.
(4) Cameras will not routinely be permitted and shall not
be taken into the prison without the express approval of the
(5) Survey equipment and personal monitors may be used as
the occasion requires. Inmates can be requested to use personal monitors.
Such use will be cleared with the RSA prior to bringing in the
NOTE: Bureau of Prisons' policy considers OSHA
monitoring instruments to be Federal property and will hold the inmates
responsible for their misuse or destruction.
3. Conduct During Visitation. The Bureau of Prisons is a
highly disciplined and structured organization. The authority, integrity,
and perceived good judgment of Bureau officials and correctional staff must
not be compromised.
a. OSHA officials shall ensure that all discussions of
sensitive issues and disagreements are held in private quarters and out of
sight and hearing of inmates.
b. Proposed discussion with inmates should be reviewed with
Bureau officials prior to initiating discussion with inmates. Separate
interviews with inmates should be held only after consent of the Bureau
c. Discussions with prison employees (e.g., correctional
officers) may be held privately providing that security is not
3. Allegations of Reprisals. Allegations of reprisals from
inmates shall be forwarded to the Designated Agency Safety and Health
Official (DASHO) of the Department of Justice, in accordance with the
requirements of 29 CFR Part 1960, Subpart G. Allegations of reprisals from
Bureau of Prisons' employees shall be forwarded to the Office of Special
Counsel for resolution.
NOTE: The Bureau of Prisons has an established
administrative grievance process that permits inmates to request the Bureau
of Prisons to investigate many situations, with procedures for appeals to
regional levels then to Bureau headquarters. The Whistleblower Protection
Act of 1989 does not apply to inmates.
Joseph A. Dear Assistant Secretary
DISTRIBUTION: National, Regional, and Area Offices Compliance Officers
State Designees NIOSH Regional Program Director 7(c)(1) Project Managers