May 15, 1996
To: OSHA Regional Offices
OSHA Area Offices
State Plan Designees
Consultation Program Designees
From: John Miles
Directorate of Compliance Programs
Re: The Effect of the 1904 Rulemaking Effort of the De Minimis
The OSHA Field Inspection Reference Manual (FIRM) provides for De Minimis
citations in the event that an employer is complying with a proposed
standard. This policy should not be applied to the current OSHA proposal for
revising the injury and illness recordkeeping system by revising 29 CFR 1904.
Furthermore, written or verbal interpretations of the recordkeeping rule
should stress the need for employers to continue to use the current system
until a final rule to revise the system becomes effective.
Until it is replaced, the current system must be maintained to provide
nationwide consistency of the records for OSHA, the BLS survey of
occupational injury and illnesses, employers and workers. Allowing employers
to adopt the proposed system in the interim could result in harm to the
Nation's safety and health statistics, and lead to inappropriate comparisons
of individual firms with national averages.