OSHA Instruction TED 1.14 March 17, 1995 Office of Science and Technology
Subject: Guidelines for Developing OSHA Technical Manual (OTM)
A. Purpose. This Instruction sets forth guidelines for the
development of technical information and the subsequent publication of such
information as chapters in the OTM. This Instruction also replaces
Instruction CPL 2-2.20B
B. Scope. This Instruction applies nationwide.
C. Action. National Office Directors and Regional Administrators
(RA) shall ensure that the responsibilities and procedures established in
this Instruction for the OTM are followed.
D. Federal Program Change. This Instruction describes a Federal
program change. No State response is required. However, each RA shall:
1. Ensure that this change is promptly forwarded to each State
2. Explain the content of this Instruction to the State designee
E. Background. The OTM, CPL 2-2.20B is a guidance document that
serves as the central reference source for OSHA Compliance Safety and Health
Officers in current occupational safety and health technical procedures and
information. Experience has shown that other Federal agencies and the
private sector have also viewed the Manual as a valuable source of
information for establishing sound safety and health programs. The
compliance connotation attached to CPL 2-2.20B has created a misunderstanding
that the Manual sets compliance policies. Rather, it is intended that the
Manual provide technical information and guidance in promoting and
establishing sound safety and health programs.
To promote voluntary hazard recognition, evaluation and control, the
OTM has been reorganized and broadened in scope to embrace all safety and
health disciplines. These include engineering, ergonomics, and health
science issues. The new Manual will be developed with greater input from the
F. Objective of the OSHA Technical Manual. The objective of the
OTM is to provide a central source for technical information and guidance in
matters related to hazard recognition, evaluation and control by:
1. Addressing industrial hygiene, safety engineering, and
occupational medicine issues for which guidance is needed.
2. Grouping in a single source the necessary technical information
to assist in applying performance standards.
3. Providing technical information to supplement compliance
G. Criteria for Developing OTM Chapters.
1. The OTM provides objective technical support and is not
intended to establish policies.
2. The OTM chapters must meet the following criteria:
a. The content of the chapter must provide concise summaries
of information from recognized technical sources.
b. Data and conclusions must be supported by sound scientific
c. Each chapter must contain the necessary information for
hazard recognition, evaluation and feasible control methods.
d. The text must be developed by highly qualified individuals
from within or outside the agency.
e. All chapters must follow established format to ensure
consistency in appearance and layout for ease of use.
3. The OTM chapters must be thoroughly reviewed to ensure the
technical quality of the content:
a. The OSHA Technical Manual Committee (OTMC) shall review
draft chapters for conformance with the scope and the
b. After the review, the OTMC Chairperson shall forward the
draft chapters to selected regional offices for review by qualified field
experts to ensure the technical accuracy of the content and to determine its
relevance to the field needs.
c. In some cases, there will be a need for additional review
by specialized outside sources. The Director Office of Science and
Technology Assessment, in consultation with the OTMC Chairperson, shall
identify the appropriate outside organizations for reviewing the
d. Prior to publication, the draft chapters must be reviewed
and approved by affected National Office directorates.
4. The OTM shall be organized by sections and chapters. Each
section of the OTM shall refer to a category of safety and health
Distribution: National, Regional and Area Offices All Compliance Officers
State Designees NIOSH Regional Program Directors 7(c)(1) Project Managers