OSHA Field Inspection Reference Manual CPL 2.103|
Section 6 - Chapter II. Inspection Procedures
OSHA Field Inspection Reference Manual - Table of Contents
- Chapter Number: II
- Chapter Title: Inspection Procedures
|NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and no longer represents OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.|
A. General Inspection Procedures.
1. Inspection Scope. Inspections, either programmed or
unprogrammed, fall into one of two categories depending on
the scope of the inspection:
a. Comprehensive. A substantially complete inspection
of the potentially high hazard areas of the
establishment. An inspection may be deemed comprehensive
even though, as a result of the exercise of
professional judgment, not all potentially hazardous
conditions, operations and practices within those areas
b. Partial. An inspection whose focus is limited to
certain potentially hazardous areas, operations,
conditions or practices at the establishment. A
partial inspection may be expanded based on information
gathered by the CSHO during the inspection process.
Consistent with the provisions of Section 8(f)(2) of
the Act, and Area Office priorities, the CSHO shall use
professional judgment to determine the necessity for
expansion of the inspection scope, based on information
gathered during records or program review and
2. Conduct of the Inspection.
a. Time of Inspection. Inspections shall be made
during regular working hours of the establishment
except when special circumstances indicate otherwise.
The Assistant Area Director and CSHO shall confer with
regard to entry during other than normal working hours.
b. Presenting Credentials.
(1) At the beginning of the inspection the CSHO
shall locate the owner representative, operator
or agent in charge at the workplace and present
credentials. On construction sites this will
most often be the representative of the general
(2) When neither the person in charge nor a
management official is present, contact may be
made with the employer to request the presence
of the owner, operator or management official.
The inspection shall not be delayed unreasonably
to await the arrival of the employer representative.
This delay should normally not exceed one
hour. If the person in charge at the workplace
cannot be determined, record the extent of the
inquiry in the case file and proceed with the
A. 2. c. Refusal to Permit Inspection. Section 8 of the
Act "provides that CSHOs may enter without delay
and at reasonable times any establishment covered
under the Act for the purpose of conducting an
inspection". Unless the circumstances constitute a
recognized exception to the warrant requirement
(i.e., consent, third party consent, plain view,
open field, or exigent circumstances) an employer
has a right to require that the CSHO seek an
inspection warrant prior to entering an
establishment and may refuse entry without such a
NOTE: On a military base or other Federal
Government facility, the following
guidelines do not apply. Instead, a
representative of the controlling authority
shall be informed of the contractor's
refusal and asked to take appropriate action
to obtain cooperation.
(1) Refusal of Entry or Inspection. When the
employer refuses to permit entry upon being
presented proper credentials or allows entry but
then refuses to permit or hinders the inspection
in some way, a tactful attempt shall be made to
obtain as much information as possible about the
establishment. (See A.2.c.(4), below, for
the information the CSHO shall attempt to
(a) If the employer refuses to allow an
inspection of the establishment to proceed,
the CSHO shall leave the premises and
immediately report the refusal to the
Assistant Area Director. The Area Director
shall notify the Regional Solicitor.
(b) If the employer raises no objection to
inspection of certain portions of the
workplace but objects to inspection of other
portions, this shall be documented.
Normally, the CSHO shall continue the
inspection, confining it only to those
certain portions to which the employer has
raised no objections.
(c) In either case the CSHO shall advise the
employer that the refusal will be reported
to the Assistant Area Director and that the
agency may take further action, which may
include obtaining legal process.
(d) On multiemployer worksites, valid consent
can be granted by the owner, or another
co-occupier of the space, for site entry.
(2) Employer Interference. Where entry has been
allowed but the employer interferes with or
limits any important aspect of the inspection,
the CSHO shall determine whether or not to
consider this action as a refusal. Examples of
interference are refusals to permit the
walkaround, the examination of records essential
to the inspection, the taking of essential
photographs and/or videotapes, the inspection of
a particular part of the premises, indispensable
employee interviews, or the refusal to allow
attachment of sampling devices.
A. 2. c. (3) Administrative Subpoena. Whenever there
is a reasonable need for records, documents,
testimony and/or other supporting evidence
necessary for completing an inspection
scheduled in accordance with any current and
approved inspection scheduling system or an
investigation of any matter properly falling
within the statutory authority of the
agency, the Regional Administrator, or
authorized Area Director, may issue an
administrative subpoena. (See OSHA
Instruction ADM 4.4.)
(4) Obtaining Compulsory Process. If it is
determined, upon refusal of entry or refusal to
produce evidence required by subpoena, that a
warrant will be sought, the Area Director shall
proceed according to guidelines and procedures
established in the Region for warrant
(a) With the approval of the Regional Solicitor,
the Area Director may initiate the
(b) The warrant sought when employer consent has
been withheld shall normally be limited to
the specific working conditions or practices
forming the basis of the unprogrammed
inspection. A broad scope warrant, however,
may be sought when the information available
indicates conditions which are pervasive in
nature or if the establishment is on the
current list of targeted establishments.
(c) If the warrant is to be obtained by the
Regional Solicitor, the Area Director shall
transmit in writing to the Regional
Solicitor, within 48 hours after the
determination is made that a warrant is
necessary, all information necessary to
obtain a warrant, as determined through
contact with the Solicitor, which may
include the following:
1 Area/District Office, telephone number,
and name of Assistant Area Director
2 Name of CSHO attempting inspection and
inspection number, if assigned.
Identify whether inspection to be
conducted included safety items, health
items or both.
3 Legal name of establishment and address
including City, State and County.
Include site location if different from
A. 2. c. (4) (c) 4 Estimated number of employees
at inspection site.
5 SIC Code and high hazard ranking for
that specific industry within the State,
as obtained from statistics provided by
the National Office.
6 Summary of all facts leading to the
refusal of entry or limitation of
inspection, including the following:
a Date and time of entry.
b Date and time of denial.
c Stage of denial (entry, opening
conference, walkaround, etc.).
7 Narrative of all actions taken by the
CSHO leading up to during and after
refusal, including the following
a Full name and title of the person to
whom CSHO presented credentials.
b Full name and title of person(s) who
c Reasons stated for the denial by
person(s) refusing entry.
d Response, if any, by CSHO to c,
e Name and address of witnesses to
denial of entry.
8 All previous inspection information,
including copies of the previous
9 Previous requests for warrants. Attach
details, if applicable.
10 As much of the current inspection report
as has been completed.
11 If a construction site involving work
under contract from any agency of the
Federal Government, the name of the
agency, the date of the contract, and
the type of work involved.
12 Other pertinent information such as
description of the workplace; the work
process; machinery, tools and materials
used; known hazards and injuries associated
with the specific manufacturing process or
A. 2. c. (4) (c) 13 Investigative techniques which will be
required during the proposed inspection;
e.g., personal sampling, photographs, audio/
videotapes, examination of records, access
to medical records, etc.
14 The specific reasons for the selection
of this establishment for the inspection
including proposed scope of the
inspection and rationale:
a Imminent Danger.
o Description of alleged imminent
o Date received and source of
o Original allegation and copy of typed
report, including basis for
reasonable expectation of death or
serious physical harm and immediacy
o Whether all current imminent danger
processing procedures have been
o The OSHA-36F filled out in as much
detail as possible.
c Complaint or Referral.
o Original complaint or referral and
copy of typed complaint or referral.
o Reasonable grounds for believing that
a violation that threatens physical
harm or imminent danger exists,
including standards that could be
violated if the complaint or referral
is true and accurate.
o Whether all current complaint or
referral processing procedures have
been strictly followed.
o Additional information gathered
pertaining to complaint or referral
A. 2. c. (4) (c) 14 d Programmed.
o Targeted safety--general industry,
o Targeted health.
o Special emphasis program--Special
Programs, Local Emphasis Program,
Migrant Housing Inspection, etc.
o Date of initial inspection.
o Details and reasons followup was to
o Copies of previous citations on the
basis of which the followup was
o Copies of settlement stipulations and
final orders, if appropriate.
o Previous history of failure to
correct, if any.
o Date of original inspection.
o Details and reasons monitoring
inspection was to be conducted.
o Copies of previous citations and/or
settlement agreements on the basis of
which the monitoring inspection was
o PMA request, if applicable.
(5) Compulsory Process. When a court order or
warrant is obtained requiring an employer to
allow an inspection, the CSHO is authorized to
conduct the inspection in accordance with the
provisions of the court order or warrant. All
questions from the employer concerning
reasonableness of any aspect of an inspection
conducted pursuant to compulsory process shall
be referred to the Area Director.
A. 2. c. (6) Action to be Taken Upon Receipt of
Compulsory Process. The inspection will
normally begin within 24 hours of receipt of
a warrant or of the date authorized by the
warrant for the initiation of the
(a) The CSHO shall serve a copy of the warrant
on the employer and make a separate notation
as to the time, place, name and job title of
the individual served.
(b) The warrant may have a space for a return of
service entry by the CSHO in which the exact
dates of the inspection made pursuant to the
warrant are to be entered. Upon completion
of the inspection, the CSHO will complete
the return of service on the original warrant,
sign and forward it to the Assistant
Area Director for appropriate action.
(c) Even where the walkaround is limited by a
warrant or an employer's consent to specific
conditions or practices, a subpoena for
production of records shall be normally served,
if necessary, in accordance with A.2.c.(3),
above. The records specified in the subpeona
shall include (as appropriate) injury
and illness records, exposure records, the
written hazards communication program, the
written lockout-tagout program, and records
relevant to the employer's safety and health
management program, such as safety and
health manuals or minutes from safety
(d) The Regional Administrator, or Area Director
authorized to do so, may issue, for each
inspection, an administrative subpoena which
seeks production of the above specified
categories of documents. The subpoena may
call for immediate production of the records
with the exception of the documents relevant
to the safety and health management program,
for which a period of 5 working days
normally shall be allowed.
(e) If circumstances make it appropriate, a
second warrant may be sought based on the
review of records or on "plain view"
observations of other potential violations
during a limited scope walkaround.
(7) Federal Marshal Assistance. A U.S. Marshal
may accompany the CSHO when the compulsory
process is presented.
A. 2. c. (8) Refused Entry or Interference with a Compulsory
(a) When an apparent refusal to permit entry or
inspection is encountered upon presenting
the warrant, the CSHO shall specifically
inquire whether the employer is refusing to
comply with the warrant.
(b) If the employer refuses to comply or if
consent is not clearly given, the CSHO shall
not attempt to conduct the inspection but
shall leave the premises and contact the
Assistant Area Director concerning further
action. The CSHO shall make notations
(including all witnesses to the refusal or
interference) and fully report all relevant
facts. Under these circumstances the Area
Director shall contact the Regional
Solicitor and they shall jointly decide what
further action shall be taken.
d. Forcible Interference with Conduct of Inspection or
Other Official Duties. Whenever an OSHA official
or employee encounters forcible resistance, opposition,
interference, etc., or is assaulted or threatened with
assault while engaged in the performance of official
duties, all investigative activity shall cease.
(1) The Assistant Area Director shall be advised by
the most expeditious means.
(2) Upon receiving a report of such forcible
interference, the Area Director or designee
shall immediately notify the Regional
e. Release for Entry.
(1) The CSHO shall not sign any form or release or
agree to any waiver. This includes any employer
forms concerned with trade secret information.
(2) The CSHO may obtain a pass or sign a visitor's
register, or any other book or form used by the
establishment to control the entry and movement
of persons upon its premises. Such signature
shall not constitute any form of a release or
waiver of prosecution of liability under the
f. Bankrupt or Out of Business. If the establishment
scheduled for inspection is found to have ceased
business and there is no known successor, the CSHO
shall report the facts to the Assistant Area Director.
If an employer, although adjudicated bankrupt, is continuing
to operate on the date of the scheduled inspection, the
inspection shall proceed. An employer must comply with the
Act until the day the business actually ceases to operate.
A. 2. g. Strike or Labor Dispute. Plants or
establishments may be inspected regardless of the
existence of labor disputes involving work
stoppages, strikes or picketing. If the CSHO
identifies an unanticipated labor dispute at a
proposed inspection site, the Assistant Area
Director shall be consulted before any contact is
(1) Programmed Inspections. Programmed
inspections may be deferred during a strike or
labor dispute, either between a recognized union
and the employer or between two unions competing
for bargaining rights in the establishment.
(2) Unprogrammed Inspections. Unprogrammed
inspections (complaints, fatalities, etc.) will
be performed during strikes or labor disputes.
However, the seriousness and reliability of any
complaint shall be thoroughly investigated by
the supervisor prior to scheduling an inspection
to ensure as far as possible that the complaint
reflects a good faith belief that a true hazard
exists. If there is a picket line at the
establishment, the CSHO shall inform the
appropriate union official of the reason for the
inspection prior to initiating the inspection.
h. Employee Participation. The CSHO shall advise the
employer that Section 8(e) of the Act and 29 CFR
1903.8 require that an employee representative be
given an opportunity to participate in the inspection.
(1) CSHOs shall determine as soon as possible after
arrival whether the employees at the worksite to
be inspected are represented and, if so, shall
ensure that employee representatives are
afforded the opportunity to participate in all
phases of the workplace inspection.
(2) If an employer resists or interferes with
participation by employee representatives in an
inspection and this cannot be resolved by the
CSHO, the continued resistance shall be
construed as a refusal to permit the inspection
and the Assistant Area Director shall be
contacted in accordance with A.2.c. of this
NOTE: For the purpose of this chapter, the term
"employee representative" refers to (1) a
representative of the certified or
recognized bargaining agent, or, if none,
(2) an employee member of a safety and
health committee who has been chosen by the
employees (employee committee members or
employees at large) as their
OSHA representative, or (3) an individual
employee who has been selected as the
walkaround representative by the employees
of the establishment.
A. 3. Opening Conference. The CSHO shall attempt to
inform all effected employers of the purpose of the
inspection, provide a copy of the complaint if
applicable, and shall include employees unless employer
objects. The opening conference shall be kept as brief
as possible and may be expedited through use of an
opening conference handout. Conditions of the worksite
shall be noted upon arrival as well as any changes
which may occur during the opening conference.
NOTE: The CSHO shall determine if the employer is
covered by any of the exemptions or limitations
noted in the current Appropriations Act (see
OSHA Instruction CPL 2.51H, or the most current
version), or deletions in OSHA Instruction CPL
2.45B Chapter II, F.2.b.(1)(b)5 b or
a. Attendance at Opening Conference. OSHA encourages
employers and employees to meet together in the spirit
of open communication. The CSHO shall conduct a joint
opening conference with employer and employee
representatives unless either party objects. If there is
objection to a joint conference, the CSHO shall conduct
separate conferences with employer and employee
b. Scope. The CSHO shall outline in general terms the
scope of the inspection, including private employee
interviews, physical inspection of the workplace and
records, possible referrals, discrimination complaints,
and the closing conference(s).
c. Forms Completion. The CSHO shall obtain available
information for the OSHA-1 and other appropriate forms.
d. Employees of Other Employers. During the opening
conference, the CSHO shall determine whether the
employees of any other employers are working at the
establishment. If these employers may be affected by
the inspection, the scope may be expanded to include
others or a referral made at the discretion of the
CSHO. At multiemployer sites, copies of complaint(s),
if applicable, shall be provided to all employers
affected by the alleged hazard(s), and to the general
e. Voluntary Compliance Programs. Employers who
participate in selected voluntary compliance programs
may be exempted from programmed inspections. The CSHO
shall determine whether the employer falls under such
an exemption during the opening conference.
A. 3. e. (1) Section 7(c)(1) and Contract Consultations.
In accordance with 29 CFR 1908.7 and Chapter IX of
the Consultation Policies and Procedures Manual
(CPPM), the CSHO shall ascertain at the opening
conference whether an OSHA-funded consultation is
in progress or whether the facility is pursuing or
has received an inspection exemption through
consultation under current procedures.
(a) An on site consultation visit in progress
has priority over programmed inspections
except as indicated in 29 CFR 1908.7(b)
(2)(iv), which allows for critical
inspections as determined by the Assistant
(b) If a consultation visit is in progress, the
inspection may be rescheduled.
(c) If a followup inspection (including
monitoring) or an imminent danger,
fatality/catastrophe, complaint or referral
investigation is to be conducted, the
inspection shall not be deferred, but its
scope shall be limited to those areas
required to complete the purpose of the
investigation. The consultant must
interrupt the onsite visit until the
compliance inspection shall have been completed
(Ref. 29 CFR 1908.7).
(2) Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). In
the event a CSHO enters a facility that has
been approved for participation in a VPP and
is currently under an inspection exemption,
the approval letter shall be copied and the
inspection either be terminated (if it is a
programmed inspection) or limited to the
specified items in the complaint or referral
(if it is unprogrammed).
f. Walkaround Representatives. Those representatives
designated to accompany the CSHO during the walkaround
are considered walkaround representatives, and will
generally include employer designated and employee
designated representatives. At establishments where
more than one employer is present or in situations
where groups of employees have different
representatives, it is acceptable to have a different
employer/employee representative for different phases
of the inspection. More than one employer and/or
employee representative may accompany the CSHO
throughout or during any phase of an inspection if the
CSHO determines that such additional representatives
will aid, and not interfere with, the inspection (29
(1) Employees Represented by a Certified or
Recognized Bargaining Agent. During the
opening conference, the highest ranking union
official or union employee representative on-site
shall designate who will participate in the
walkaround. OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1903.8(b)
gives the CSHO the authority to resolve all
disputes as to who is the representative
authorized by the employer and employees. Title
29 CFR 1903.8(c) states that the representative
authorized by the employees shall be an employee
of the employer. The CSHO can decide to include
A. 3. f. (2) Safety Committee. The employee members
of an established plant safety committee or
the employees at large may have designated
an employee representative for OSHA
inspection purposes or agreed to accept as
their representative the employee designated
by the committee to accompany the CSHO
during an OSHA inspection.
(3) No Certified or Recognized Bargaining Agent.
Where employees are not represented by an
authorized representative, where there is no
established safety committee, or where employees
have not chosen or agreed to an employee
representative for OSHA inspection purposes
whether or not there is a safety committee, the
CSHO shall determine if any other employees
would suitably represent the interests of
employees on the walkaround. If selection of
such an employee is impractical, the CSHO shall
consult with a reasonable number of employees
during the walkaround.
g. Preemption by Another Agency. Section 4(b)(1) of
the OSH Act states that the OSH Act does not apply to
working conditions over which other Federal agencies
exercise statutory responsibility. The determination
of preemption by another Federal agency is, in many
cases, a highly complex matter. Any such situations
shall be brought to the attention of the Area Director
as soon as they arise, and dealt with on a case by case
h. Disruptive Conduct. The CSHO may deny the right of
accompaniment to any person whose conduct interferes
with a full and orderly inspection (29 CFR 1903.8(d)).
If disruption or interference occurs, the CSHO shall
use professional judgment as to whether to suspend the
walkaround or take other action. The Assistant Area
Director shall be consulted if the walkaround is
suspended. The employee representative shall be
advised that during the inspection matters unrelated to
the inspection shall not be discussed with employees.
i. Trade Secrets. The CSHO shall ascertain from the
employer if the employee representative is authorized
to enter any trade secret area(s). If not, the CSHO
shall consult with a reasonable number of employees who
work in the area (29 CFR 1903.9(d)).
A. 3. j. Classified Areas. In areas containing
information classified by an agency of the U.S.
Government in the interest of national security,
only persons authorized to have access to such
information may accompany a CSHO (29 CFR
k. Examination of Record Programs and Posting
(1) Records. As appropriate, the CSHO shall
review the injury and illness records to the
extent necessary to determine compliance and
identify trends. Other OSHA programs and
records will be reviewed at the CSHO's
professional discretion as necessary.
(2) Lost Workday Injury (LWDI) Rate. The LWDI
may in the CSHO's discretion be used in
determining trends in injuries and illnesses.
The LWDI rate is calculated according to the
If the number of employees hours worked is
available from the employer, use:
LWDI Rate = # LWDI's x 200,000
# employee hours worked
# LWDI's = sum of LWDI's in the reference
# employee hours worked = sum of employee
hours in the reference years.
200,000 = base for 100 full-time workers,
working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year.
EXAMPLE: An establishment scheduled for
inspection in October 1993 employed an average of
54 workers in 1992, 50 workers in 1991, and 50
workers in 1990. Therefore, injury and employment
data for the two preceding calendar years will be
# LWDI's in 1991 = 5
# LWDI's in 1992 = 3
# Employee hours worked in 1991 = 100,000
# Employee hours worked in 1992 = 108,000
LWDI Rate = (5 + 3) x 200,000
100,000 + 108,000
= 7.69 (rounded to 7.7)
(3) Posting. The CSHO shall determine if
posting requirements are met in accordance with
29 CFR Parts 1903 and 1904.
A. 4. Walkaround Inspection. The main purpose of the
walkaround inspection is to identify potential safety
and/or health hazards in the workplace. The CSHO shall
conduct the inspection in such a manner as to eliminate
unnecessary personal exposure to hazards and to
minimize unavoidable personal exposure to the extent
a. Evaluation. The employer's safety and health
program shall be evaluated to determine the employer's
good faith. See Chapter IV, C.2.i.(5)(b).
b. Record All Facts Pertinent to an Apparent
Violation. Apparent violations shall be brought to
the attention of employer and employee representatives
at the time they are documented. CSHOs shall record at
a minimum the identity of the exposed employee, the
hazard to which the employee was exposed, the
employee's proximity to the hazard, the employer's
knowledge of the condition, and the manner in which
important measures were obtained.
NOTE: If employee exposure (either to safety or
health hazards) is not observed, the CSHO
shall document facts on which the determination
is made that an employee has been or could be
c. Collecting Samples.
(1) The CSHO shall determine as soon as possible
after the start of the inspection whether
sampling, such as but not limited to air
sampling and surface sampling, is required by
utilizing the information collected during the
walkaround and from the pre-inspection review.
(2) If either the employer or the employee
representative requests sampling results,
summaries of the results shall be provided to
the requesting representative as soon as
(3) The CSHO may reference the sampling strategy
located in OSHA Instruction CPL 2-2.20B for
additional information on sampling techniques.
A. 4. d. Taking Photographs and/or Videotapes.
Photographs and/or videotapes shall be taken
whenever the CSHO judges there is a need.
Photographs that support violations shall be properly
labeled, and may be attached to the appropriate
OSHA-1B. The CSHO shall ensure that any
photographs relating to confidential or trade
secret information are identified as such. All
film and photographs shall be retained in the case
file. Videotapes shall be properly labeled and
stored. Refer to OSHA Instruction CPL 2.98 for
further information on videotaping.
e. Interviews. A free and open exchange of
information between the CSHO and employees is essential
to an effective inspection. Interviews provide an
opportunity for employees or other individuals to point
out hazardous conditions and, in general, to provide
assistance as to what violations of the Act may exist
and what abatement action should be taken. Employee
interviews are also an effective means to determine if
advance notice of inspection, when given under the
guidelines in Chapter I, E.3., has adversely affected
the inspection conditions.
(1) Purpose. Section 8(a)(2) of the Act
authorizes the CSHO to question any employee
privately during regular working hours in the
course of an OSHA inspection. The purpose of
such interviews is to obtain whatever information
the CSHO deems necessary or useful in
carrying out the inspection effectively. Such
interviews shall be kept as brief as possible.
Individual interviews are authorized even when
there is an employee representative present.
(2) Employee Right of Complaint. The CSHO may
consult with any employee who desires to discuss
a possible violation. Upon receipt of such
information, the CSHO shall investigate the
alleged hazard, where possible, and record the
findings. If a written complaint is received,
the written response procedures in Chapter I
shall be followed.
(3) Time and Location. Interviews shall be
conducted in a reasonable manner and normally
will be conducted during the walkaround;
however, they may be conducted at any time
during an inspection. If necessary, interviews
may be conducted at locations other than the
(4) Privacy. Employers shall be informed that
the interview is to be in private. Whenever an
employee expresses a preference that an employee
representative be present for the interview, the
CSHO shall make a reasonable effort to honor
that request. Any employer objection to private
interviews with employees may be construed as a
refusal of entry and handled in accordance with
the procedures in A.2.c. of this chapter.
A. 4. e. (5) Interview Statements. Interview
statements of employees or other individuals
shall be obtained whenever the CSHO
determines that such statements would be
useful in documenting adequately an apparent
(a) Interviews shall normally be reduced to
writing, and the individual shall be
encouraged to sign and date the statement.
The CSHO shall assure the individual that
the statement will be held confidential to
the extent allowed by law, but they may be
used in court/hearings. See OSHA
Instruction CPL 2.98 for guidance on
(b) Interview statements shall normally be
written in the first person and in the
language of the individual.
1 Any changes or corrections shall be
initialed by the individual; otherwise,
the statement shall not be changed,
added to or altered in any way.
2 The statements shall end with wording
such as: "I have read the above, and it
is true to the best of my knowledge."
The statement shall also include the
following: "I request that my statement
be held confidential to the extent
allowed by law." The individual,
however, may waive confidentiality. The
individual shall sign and date the statement
and the CSHO shall then sign it as a
3 If the individual refuses to sign the
statement, the CSHO shall note such
refusal on the statement. The statement
shall, nevertheless, be read to the
individual and an attempt made to obtain
agreement. A note that this was done
shall be entered into the case file.
(c) A transcription of a recorded statement
shall be made if necessary.
f. Employer Abatement Assistance.
(1) Policy. CSHOs shall offer appropriate
abatement assistance during the walkaround as to
how workplace hazards might be eliminated. The
information shall provide guidance to the
employer in developing acceptable abatement
methods or in seeking appropriate professional
assistance. CSHO's shall not imply OSHA
endorsement of any product through use of
specific product names when recommending
abatement measures. The issuance of citations
shall not be delayed.
A. 4. f. (2) Disclaimers. The employer shall be informed that:
(a) The employer is not limited to the abatement
methods suggested by OSHA;
(b) The methods explained are general and may
not be effective in all cases; and
(c) The employer is responsible for selecting
and carrying out an effective abatement
g. Special Circumstances.
(1) Trade Secrets. Trade secrets are matters
that are not of public or general knowledge. A
trade secret is any confidential formula,
pattern, process, equipment, list, blueprint,
device or compilation of information used in the
employer's business which gives an advantage
over competitors who do not know or use it.
(a) Policy. It is essential to the
effective enforcement of the Act that the
CSHO and all OSHA personnel preserve the
confidentiality of all information and
investigations which might reveal a trade
(b) Restrictions and Controls. When the
employer identifies an operation or
condition as a trade secret, it shall be
treated as such. Information obtained in
such areas, including all negatives,
photographs, videotapes, and OSHA
documentation forms, shall be labeled:
"ADMINISTRATIVELY CONTROLLED INFORMATION"
"RESTRICTED TRADE INFORMATION"
1 Under Section 15 of the Act, all
information reported to or obtained by a
CSHO in connection with any inspection
or other activity which contains or
which might reveal a trade secret shall
be kept confidential. Such information
shall not be disclosed except to other
OSHA officials concerned with the
enforcement of the Act or, when
relevant, in any proceeding under the
A. 4. g. (1) (b) 2 Title 18 of the United States
Code, Section 1905, provides criminal
penalties for Federal employees who disclose
such information. These penalties include
fines of up to $1,000 or imprisonment of up
to one year, or both, and removal from
office or employment.
3 Trade secret materials shall not be
labeled as "Top Secret," "Secret," or
"Confidential," nor shall these security
classification designations be used in
conjunction with other words unless the
trade secrets are also classified by an
agency of the U.S. Government in the
interest of national security.
(c) Photographs and Videotapes. If the
employer objects to the taking of
photographs and/or videotapes because trade
secrets would or may be disclosed, the CSHO
should advise the employer of the protection
against such disclosure afforded by Section
15 of the Act and 29 CFR 1903.9. If the
employer still objects, the CSHO shall
contact the Assistant Area Director.
(2) Violations of Other Laws. If a CSHO
observes apparent violations of laws enforced by
other government agencies, such cases shall be
referred to the appropriate agency. Referrals
shall be made using appropriate Regional
procedures (see A.3.g. of this chapter).
5. Closing Conference.
a. At the conclusion of an inspection, the CSHO shall
conduct a closing conference with the employer and the
employee representatives, jointly or separately, as
circumstances dictate. The closing conference may be
conducted on site or by telephone as deemed appropriate
by the CSHO.
NOTE: When conducting separate closing conferences
for employers and labor representatives
(where the employer has declined to have a
joint closing conference with employee
representatives), the CSHO shall normally
hold the conference with employee
representatives first, unless the employee
representative requests otherwise. This
procedure will ensure that worker input, if
any, is received--and that any needed
changes are made--before employers are
informed of violations and proposed
b. The CSHO shall describe the apparent violations found
during the inspection and other pertinent issues as
deemed necessary by the CSHO. Both the employer and
the employee representatives shall be advised of their
rights to participate in any subsequent conferences,
meetings or discussions, and their context rights. Any
unusual circumstances noted during the closing conference
shall be documented in the case file.
A. 5. b. (1) Since the CSHO may not have all pertinent
information at the time of the first closing
conference, a second closing conference may
be held by telephone or in person to inform
the employer and the employee
representatives whether the establishment is
(2) The CSHO shall advise the employee
(a) Under 29 CFR 2200.20 of the Occupational
Safety and Health Review Commission
regulations, if the employer contests, the
employees have a right to elect "party
status" before the Review Commission.
(b) They must be notified by the employer if a
notice of contest or a petition for
modification of abatement date is filed.
(c) They have Section 11(c) rights.
(d) They have a right to contest the abatement
date. Such contest must be in writing
and must be filed within 15 working days
after receipt of the citation.
B. Special Inspection Procedures.
1. Followup and Monitoring Inspections.
a. Inspection Procedures. The primary purpose of a
followup inspection is to determine if the previously
cited violations have been corrected. Monitoring
inspections are conducted to ensure that hazards are
being corrected and employees are being protected,
whenever a long period of time is needed for an
establishment to come into compliance, or to verify
compliance with the terms of granted variances.
Issuance of willful, repeated and high gravity serious
violations, failure to abate notifications, and/or
citations related to imminent danger situations are
examples of prime candidates for followup or monitoring
inspections. Followup or monitoring inspections would
not normally be conducted when evidence of abatement is
provided by the employer or employee representatives.
Normally, there shall be no additional inspection
activity unless, in the judgment of the CSHO, there
have been significant changes in the workplace which
warrant further inspection activity.
B. 1. b. Failure to Abate.
(1) A failure to abate exists when the employer has
not corrected a violation for which a citation
has been issued and abatement date has passed or
which is covered under a settlement agreement,
or has not complied with interim measures
involved in a long-term abatement within the
(2) If the cited items have not been abated, a
Notice of Failure to Abate Alleged Violation
shall normally be issued. If a subsequent
inspection indicates the condition has still not
been abated, the Regional Solicitor shall be
consulted for further guidance.
NOTE: If the employer has exhibited good
faith, a late PMA may be considered in
accordance with Chapter IV, D.2. where
there are extenuating circumstances.
(3) If it is determined that the originally cited
violation was abated but then recurred, a
citation for repeated violation may be
(1) A copy of the previous OSHA-1B, OSHA-1BIH, or
citation can be used, and "corrected" written on
it, with a brief explanation of the correction
if deemed necessary by the CSHO, for those items
found to be abated. This information may
alternately be included in the narrative or in
(2) In the event that any item has not been abated,
complete documentation shall be included on an
d. Followup Files. The followup inspection reports
shall be included with the original (parent) case file.
2. Fatality/Catastrophe Investigations. For guidance on
conducting fatality and catastrophe inspections, refer to
OSHA Instruction CPL 2.77 and CPL 2.94.
a. Definitions. The following definitions apply for
purposes of this section:
(1) Fatality. An employee death resulting from
a work-related incident or exposure; in general,
from an accident or illness caused by or related
to a workplace hazard.
B. 2. a. (2) Catastrophe. The hospitalization of
three or more employees resulting from a
work-related incident; in general, from an
accident or illness caused by a workplace
(3) Hospitalization. To be admitted as an
inpatient to a hospital or equivalent
medical facility for examination or treatment.
(4) Reporting. Area Directors shall report all
job-related fatalities and catastrophes which
may result in high media attention or have
national implications and that appear to be
within OSHA's jurisdiction as soon as they
become aware of them to the Regional
Administrator. See CPL 2.97.
b. Selection of CSHO. A CSHO, preferably with
expertise in the particular industry or operation
involved in the accident or illness, shall be selected
by the Area Director and sent to the establishment as
soon as possible. If a potential criminal violation
appears possible during the inspection, staff who have
received criminal investigation training at the Federal
Law Enforcement Training Center shall be assigned, if
c. Families of Victims.
(1) Family members of employees involved in fatal
occupational accidents or illnesses shall be
contacted at an early point in the
investigation, given an opportunity to discuss
the circumstances of the accident or illness,
and provided timely and accurate information at
all stages of the investigations as directed in
(2) All of the following require special tact and
good judgment on the part of the CSHO. In some
situations, these procedures should not be
followed to the letter; e.g., in some small
businesses, the employer, owner, or supervisor
may be a relative of the victim. In such
circumstances, such steps as issuance of the
form letter may not be appropriate without some
(a) As soon as practicable after initiating the
investigation, the CSHO shall attempt to
compile a list of all of the accident
victims and their current addresses, along
with the names of individual(s) listed in
the employer's records as next-of-kin
(family member(s)) or person(s) to contact
in the event of an emergency.
(b) The standard information letter should be
sent to the family member(s) or the
person(s) listed as the emergency contact
person(s) indicated on the victims'
employment records within 5 working days of
the time their identities have been
(c) The compliance officer, when taking a
statement from families of victims,
shall explain that the interview will be
kept confidential to the extent allowed by
law and that the interview will be handled
following the same procedures as employee
interviews. The greatest sensitivity and
professionalism is required for such an
interview. The information received must be
carefully evaluated and corroborated during
(d) Followup contact shall be maintained with a
key family member or other contact person,
when requested, so that the survivors can be
kept up-to-date on the status of the
investigation. The victim's family members
shall be provided a copy of all citations
issued as a result of the accident
investigation within 5 working days of
B. 2. d. Criminal. Section 17(e) of the Act provides
criminal penalties for an employer who is convicted
of having willfully violated an OSHA standard, rule
or order when that violation caused the death of an
employee. In an investigation of this type,
therefore, the nature of the evidence available is
of paramount importance. There shall be early and
close liaison between the OSHA investigator, the
Area Director, the Regional Administrator and the
Regional Solicitor in developing any finding which
might involve a violation of Section 17(e) of the
Act. An OSHA investigator with criminal
investigation training shall be assigned at an
early stage to assist in developing the case.
e. Rescue Operations. OSHA has no authority to direct
rescue operations--this is the responsibility of the
employer and/or of local political subdivisions or
State agencies. OSHA does have the authority to
monitor and inspect the working conditions of covered
employees engaged in rescue operations to make certain
that all necessary procedures are being taken to
protect the lives of the rescuers. See also memorandum
on Policy Regarding Voluntary Rescue Activities, dated
March 31, 1994, to the Regional Administrators from H.
Berrien Zettler, Deputy Director, Directorate of
f. Public Information Policy. The OSHA public
information policy regarding response to fatalities and
catastrophes is to explain Federal presence to the news
media. It is not to provide a continuing flow of facts
nor to issue periodic updates on the progress of the
investigation. The Area Director or his/her designee
shall normally handle responses to media inquiries.
3. Imminent Danger Investigations.
a. Definition. Section 13(a) of the Act defines
imminent danger as ". . . any conditions or practices
in any place of employment which are such that a danger
exists which could reasonably be expected to cause
death or serious physical harm immediately or before
the imminence of such danger can be eliminated through
the enforcement procedures otherwise provided by this
B. 3. b. Requirements. The following conditions must be
met before a hazard becomes an imminent danger:
(1) It must be reasonably likely that a serious
accident will occur immediately (see
B.3.c.(2)(b), below) or, if not immediately,
then before abatement would otherwise be
required (see B.3.c.2.(c), below). If an
employer contests a citation, abatement will not
be required until there is a final order of the
Review Commission affirming the citation.
(2) The harm threatened must be death or serious
physical harm. For a health hazard, exposure to
the toxic substance or other health hazard must
cause harm to such a degree as to shorten life
or cause substantial reduction in physical or
mental efficiency even though the resulting harm
may not manifest itself immediately.
(1) Scope. CSHO may consider expanding the
scope of inspection based on the information
available during the inspection process.
(2) Elimination of the Imminent Danger. As soon
as reasonably practicable after it is concluded
that conditions or practices exist which
constitute an imminent danger, the employer
shall be so advised and requested to notify its
employees of the danger and remove them from
exposure to the imminent danger. The employer
should be encouraged to do whatever is possible
to eliminate the danger promptly on a voluntary
(a) Voluntary Elimination of the Imminent
Danger. The employer may voluntarily and
permanently eliminate the imminent danger as
soon as it is pointed out. In such cases,
no imminent danger proceeding need be
instituted; and, no Notice of Alleged
Imminent Danger completed. An appropriate
citation and notification of penalty shall
(b) Action Where the Danger is Immediate and
Voluntary Elimination Is Not Accomplished.
If the employer either cannot or does not
voluntarily eliminate the hazard or remove
employees from the exposure and the danger
is immediate, the following procedures shall
B. 3. c. (2) (b) 1 The CSHO shall post the OSHA-8
and call the Area Director,
who will decide whether to
contact the Regional Solicitor
to obtain a Temporary
Restraining Order (TRO). The
Regional Administrator shall
be notified of the TRO
NOTE: The CSHO has no authority to
order the closing of the
operation or to direct employees
to leave the area of the imminent
danger or the workplace.
2 The CSHO shall notify employees and
employee representatives of the posting
of the OSHA-8 and shall advise them of
their Section 11(c) rights.
3 The employer shall be advised that
Section 13 of the Act gives United
States District Courts jurisdiction to
restrain any condition or practice which
is an imminent danger to employees.
4 The Area Director and the Regional
Solicitor shall assess the situation and
make arrangements for the expedited
initiation of court action, if
warranted, or instruct the CSHO to
remove the OSHA-8.
5 The CSHO's first priority in scheduling
activities is to prepare for litigation
related to TRO's in imminent danger
(c) Action Where the Danger is that the Harm
will Occur Before Abatement is Required.
If the danger is that the harm will occur
before abatement is required, i.e. before a
final order of the Commission can be
obtained in a contested case, the CSHO shall
contact the Area Director and Regional
1 In many cases, the CSHO or the AD may
not decide there is such an imminent
danger at the time of the physical
inspection of the plant. Further
evaluation of the file or additional
evidence may warrant consultation with
the Regional Solicitor.
2 In appropriate cases, the imminent
danger notice may be posted at the time
citations are delivered or even after
the notice of contest is filed.
B. 4. Construction Inspections.
a. Standards Applicability. The standards
published as 29 CFR Part 1926 have been adopted as
occupational safety and health standards under Section
6(a) of the Act and 29 CFR 1910.12. They shall apply
to every employment and place of employment of every
employee engaged in construction work, including
non-contract construction work.
b. Definition. The term "construction work" means
work for construction, alteration, and/or repair,
including painting and decorating. These terms are
discussed in 29 CFR 1926.13. If any question arises
as to whether an activity is deemed to be construction
for purposes of the Act, the Director of Compliance
Programs shall be consulted.
c. Employer Worksite.
(1) General. Inspections of employers in the
construction industry are not easily separable
into distinct worksites. The worksite is
generally the site where the construction is
being performed (e.g., the building site, the
dam site). Where the construction site extends
over a large geographical area (e.g., road
building), the entire job will be considered a
single worksite. In cases when such large
geographical areas overlap between Area Offices,
generally only operations of the employer within
the jurisdiction of any Area Office will be
considered as the worksite of the employer.
(2) Beyond Single Area Office. When a
construction worksite extends beyond a single
Area Office and the CSHO believes that the
inspection should be extended, the affected Area
Directors shall consult with each other and take
B. 4. d. Entry of the Workplace.
(1) Other Agency. The CSHO shall ascertain
whether there is a representative of a Federal
contracting agency at the worksite. If so, the
CSHO shall contact the representative, advise
him/her of the inspection and request that
he/she attend the opening conference. (For
Federal Agencies, see Chapter XIII and following
Appendix A, of OSHA Instruction CPL 2.45B or a
(2) Complaints. If the inspection is being
conducted as a result of a complaint, a copy of
the complaint is to be furnished to the general
contractor and any affected sub-contractors.
e. Closing Conference. Upon completion of the
inspection, the CSHO shall confer with the general
contractors and all appropriate subcontractors or their
representatives, together or separately, and advise
each one of all the apparent violations disclosed by
the inspection to which each one's employees were
exposed, or violations which the employer created or
controlled. Employee representatives participating in
the inspection shall also be afforded the right to
participate in the closing conference(s).
B. 5. Federal Agency Inspections. Policies and
procedures for Federal agencies are to be the same as
those followed in the private sector, except as
specified in Chapter XIII, and the following Appendix
A, of OSHA Instruction CPL 2.45B or a superseding
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OSHA Field Inspection Reference Manual - Table of Contents