OSHA Field Inspection Reference Manual CPL 2.103
Section 2 - Cover Memo


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  • Chapter Number: Cover
  • Chapter Title: Cover Memo

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OSHA Instruction CPL 2.103 
September 26, 1994 
Office of General Industry Compliance Assistance 


SUBJECT: Field Inspection Reference Manual (FIRM)

A. Purpose. The purpose of this instruction is to transmit the Field Inspection Reference Manual (FIRM). The FIRM was developed by the Field Operations Manual (FOM) Revision Team to provide the field offices a reference document for identifying the responsibilities associated with the majority of their inspection duties.

B. Scope. This instruction applies OSHA-wide.

C. References.

1. OSHA Instruction CPL 2.45B, June 15, 1989, Field Operations Manual (FOM).

2. OSHA Instruction CPL 2.51H, March 22, 1993, Exemptions and limitations under the Current Appropriations Act.

3. OSHA Instruction CPL 2.77, December 30, 1986, Critical Fatality/Catastrophe Investigation.

4. OSHA Instruction CPL 2.80, October 21, 1990, Handling of Cases to be Proposed for Violation-by-Violation Penalties.

5. OSHA Instruction CPL 2.90, June 3, 1991, Guidelines for Administration of Corporate-Wide Settlement Agreements.

6. OSHA Instruction CPL 2.94, July 22, 1991, OSHA Response to Significant Events of Potentially Catastrophic Consequences.

7. OSHA Instruction CPL 2.97, January 26, 1993, Fatality/Catastrophe Reports to the National Office ("Flash Reports").

8. OSHA Instruction CPL 2.98, October 12, 1993, Guidelines for Case File Documentation for Use with Videotapes and Audiotapes.

9. OSHA Instruction CPL 2.102, March 28, 1994, Procedures for Approval of Local Emphasis Programs (LEPs) and Experimental Programs.

10. OSHA Instruction CPL 2-2.20B, April 19, 1993, OSHA Technical Manual.

11. OSHA Instruction CPL 2-2.35A, December 19, 1983, 29 CFR 1910.95(b)(1), Guidelines for Noise Enforcement, Appendix A, Noise Control Guidelines.

12. OSHA Instruction CPL 2-2.54, February 10, 1992, Respiratory Protection Program Manual.

13. OSHA Instruction ADM 1-1.31, September 20, 1993, The IMIS Enforcement Data Processing Manual.

14. OSHA Instruction ADM 4.4, August 19, 1991, Administrative Subpoenas.

15. OSHA Instruction ADM 11.3A, July 29, 1991, Revision A to the OSHA Mission and Function Statements.

16. Memorandum dated March 31, 1994, to the Regional Administrators from H. Berrien Zettler, Deputy Director, Directorate of Compliance Programs regarding Policy Regarding Voluntary Rescue Activities.

D. Action. The issuance of the FIRM will require a change to the FOM, but until this change is accomplished, if there are any discrepancies between the FIRM and the FOM, the FIRM prevails. Regional Administrators and Area Directors shall ensure that the policies and procedures established in this instruction are transmitted to all Area and District Offices, and to appropriate staff.

E. Effective Date. September 30, 1994.

F. Federal Agencies. This instruction describes a change that affects Federal agencies. Executive Order 12196, Section 1-201, and 29 CFR 1960.16, maintains that Federal agencies must also follow the enforcement policy and procedures contained in this instruction.

G. Federal Program Change. This instruction describes a Federal program change which affects State programs. Each Regional Administrator shall:

1. Ensure that this change is promptly forwarded to each State designee using a format consistent with the Plan Change Two-way Memorandum in Appendix P, OSHA Instruction STP 2.22A, CH-3. Explain the content of this change to the State designee as requested.

2. Encourage the State designees to review the streamlined procedures contained in the Field Inspection Reference Manual (FIRM) and adopt parallel procedures through a State FIRM or changes to the State Field Operations Manual (FOM).

3. Advise the State designees that specific policy changes have been made in the following areas, through the FIRM, which require a State response:

a. serious willful penalty increase (previously transmitted by June 14, 1994, memorandum "Revised Penalties and Willful Violations") - FIRM Chapter IV, C.2.m. b. good faith credit - FIRM Chapter IV, C.2.i.(5)(b) c. definitions concerning complaints - FIRM Chapter I, C.2. d. nonformal complaint procedures - FIRM Chapter I, C.7. e. voluntary rescue operations - FIRM Chapter II, B.2.e. f. imminent danger investigations - FIRM Chapter II, B.3. g. unobserved exposure - FIRM Chapter III, C.1.b.(4) h. reporting of fatalities/catastrophe (1904.8) - FIRM Chapter II, B.2.a. i. reporting time for fatalities (1904.8) - FIRM Chapter IV, C.2.n.(3)(c) j. notification of employee representatives of citation issuance - FIRM Chapter IV, B.1.b. k. economic feasibility - FIRM Chapter IV, A.6.a.(4)(b) and NOTE l. employee involvement in informal conferences/settlements - FIRM Chapter IV, D.1.b.

4. Ensure that the State designees are asked to acknowledge receipt of this Federal program change in writing to the Regional Administrator as soon as possible, but not later than 70 calendar days after the date of issuance (10 days for mailing and 60 days for response). The acknowledgment must include a statement indicating the State's general intention with regard to adopting the FIRM or incorporating the FIRM's procedures into its Field Manual and specific intention in regard to the 12 policy changes specified above.

5. Ensure that State designees submit an appropriate State plan supplement within 6 months and that it is reviewed and processed in accordance with paragraphs I.1.a.(3)(a) and (b), Part I of the State Plan Policies and Procedures Manual (SPM).

6. Review policies, instructions and guidelines issued by the State to determine that this change has been communicated to State compliance personnel.





Joseph A. Dear Ron Yarman Assistant Secretary Executive Vice President, NCFLL



DISTRIBUTION: National, Regional, and Area Offices All Compliance Officers State Designees NIOSH Regional Program Directors 7(c)(1) Project Managers
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and no longer represents OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.



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