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Outreach Training Program Investigation and Review Procedures

Revised March 2015
  1. Background

    The Outreach Training Program is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) voluntary hazard awareness orientation training program aimed at workers.  It provides workers with information about OSHA and teaches them about their rights, employer responsibilities, and how to file a complaint, as well as how to identify, prevent, and abate job-related hazards.  Trainers authorized through the OSHA Outreach Training Program and any organization acting on behalf of the trainer (or the training organization) must conduct Outreach Training classes in accordance with (1) the current Outreach Training Program Requirements; (2) the current General Industry Procedures, Construction Industry Procedures, Maritime Industry Procedures, and Disaster Site Worker Procedures, as applicable; and (3) other program guidance issued by OSHA.

    It is the responsibility of every Outreach trainer and training organization to adhere to the current Program Requirements, Procedures, and other program guidance.  Failure to comply may necessitate corrective action, up to and including the revocation of authorization to conduct or provide training under the OSHA Outreach Training Program. 

    As outlined below, OSHA may take corrective action, including probation, suspension, or revocation of an Outreach trainer's (or training organization's) authority to conduct OSHA Outreach Training Program classes and to distribute course-completion cards to students, for failure to comply with the Program Requirements, Procedures, and other program guidance.  OSHA may also publish the names of trainers and training organizations that have been subject to suspension or revocation on its public OSHA Outreach Trainer Watch List (http://www.osha.gov/dte/outreach/watchlist.html).

  2. Fact Finding

    The Director of the Office of Training Programs and Administration (OTPA) will review instances in which an Outreach trainer (or a training organization) may not be in compliance with the current Program Requirements, Procedures, and/or other program guidance.  The Director of OTPA shall collect all available information and request additional information from OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers, other persons, and other organizations.  OTPA shall create an investigative file to include all available and relevant material in the investigation.

    The Director of OTPA may contact OSHA Regional Offices for assistance in the investigation.  An OSHA Regional Office may assign staff to investigate allegations of misconduct and to forward any informationcollected during the investigation to the Director of OTPA.

    The Director of OTPA may exercise discretion to suspend the trainer's (or the training organization's) authority to conduct OSHA Outreach Training Program classes and to receive student course-completion cards until the conclusion of the investigation.

  3. Notification of Alleged Noncompliance

    The Director of OTPA shall notify the Outreach trainer (or the training organization) regarding any allegations of failure to comply with the Program Requirements, Procedures, and/or other program guidance.  The Notification shall:  (1) name the Outreach trainer (or the training organization); (2) provide a clear and concise description of the facts and circumstances that constitute the basis for the allegations; (3) inform the Outreach trainer (or the training organization) of the due date of the response; and (4) advise that a Decision by Default may be rendered against the Outreach trainer (or the training organization) if a timely response is not filed.

  4. Outreach Trainer Response

    The Outreach trainer or training organization must respond to the Notification within fifteen (15) calendar days from the date the Notification is received and must address all allegations raised in the Notification. 

  5. Decision by Default

    In the absence of a timely response by the Outreach trainer or the training organization to the Notification, OSHA may issue a Decision by Default.  This will result in an indefinite suspension, until the trainer or the training organization responds to the Notification.

  6. Voluntary Termination

    If at any point prior to the conclusion of the investigation, an Outreach trainer (or training organization) chooses to voluntarily terminate his/her authorized status instead of responding to the allegations, this will be considered a permanent revocation and the trainer's (or the training organization's) name will be placed on the OSHA Outreach Trainer Watch List  in the status of "revocation."

  7. Initial Decision

    The Director of OTPA shall consider all available and relevant material in the investigative file, as well as any arguments and/or evidence submitted by the Outreach trainer (or the training organization), when rendering the Initial Decision.  The Initial Decision shall include a statement of findings and conclusions, impose appropriate corrective action, and inform of the right to appeal the Initial Decision to the Director of the Directorate of Training and Education (DTE).

  8. Appeal

    The Outreach trainer (or the training organization) may appeal the Initial Decision to the Director of the DTE.  The appeal must include specific reasons why the Initial Decision should be modified or reversed.  The appeal brief/statement must be filed with the Director of the DTE within fifteen (15) calendar days from the date the Initial Decision was received.

  9. Final Decision

    The Director of DTE shall review an appeal and may consult OSHA staff to assist in the review, but shall exercise independent judgment when rendering a Final Decision affirming, modifying, or reversing the Initial Decision and/or remanding it for further investigation. The Final Decision shall advise that no further review will be available within the Department of Labor.

  10. Corrective Action/Effect of Probation, Suspension, or Revocation

    A Final Decision may subject the Outreach trainer (or training organization) to corrective actions, including, but not limited to, probation, suspension, or revocation of their Outreach trainer authorization.  In the event of suspension or revocation, the trainer's (or training organization's) name will be placed on the OSHA Outreach Trainer Watch List.  OSHA will advise its OTI Education Centers of the status of trainers and training organizations on probation, suspension, or revocation.

    1. Probation

      Except in cases of willfulness or those in which public health, interest, or safety requires otherwise, before any suspension, or revocation of an Outreach trainer's (or training organization's) authorization, the Outreach trainer may be afforded the opportunity to demonstrate or achieve compliance with the Program Requirements, Procedures, and other program guidance through a probationary period.

      In cases where the Final Decision recommends probation, the Outreach trainer (or the training organization) may continue to offer and teach classes through the OSHA Outreach Training Program and to receive student course-completion cards, if the Outreach trainer (or training organization) complies with the terms of the probation, which may include, but are not limited to, the following:

      • Advance notification of any planned OSHA Outreach Training Program classes;
      • Submission of advance copies of all promotional materials (including hard copy, electronic, and website) related to the Outreach trainer's OSHA Outreach Training Program classes;
      • Submission of  any additional class documentation or detailed records for each class conducted, as requested.

      Probation ends at the conclusion of the time period stated in the Final Decision.  Trainers (or training organizations) are not required to request reinstatement at the conclusion of their probations.

    2. Suspension

      If the Final Decision imposes suspension, the Outreach trainer (or training organization) may not conduct any OSHA Outreach Training Program classes during the suspension period.  The Final Decision may require the Outreach trainer (or training organization) to request reinstatement when the suspension has been completed.   Following reinstatement, the Outreach trainer (or training organization) will be placed in probationary status and subject to appropriate probationary terms.

    3. Revocation

      If the Final Decision or Decision by Default imposes revocation, the Outreach trainer (or training organization) is permanently barred from conducting or offering any class under the OSHA Outreach Training Program.  Those whose authority has been revoked are not eligible for reinstatement. 

  11. Reinstatement

    Trainers and training organizations under suspension may request reinstatement following the end of the prescribed suspension period.  This request must be submitted in writing (hard copy, not email) to the Director of OTPA.  Additional terms, including a probationary period, may apply to the reinstatement.

  12. OSHA Outreach Trainer Watch List

    OSHA publishes the OSHA Outreach Trainer Watch List, which contains individuals and organizations whose authority to conduct OSHA Outreach Training Program classes has been suspended or revoked as a result of failing to comply with the Outreach Training Program Requirements, Procedures, or other program guidance.  This list is maintained at http://www.osha.gov/dte/outreach/watchlist.html.

  13. Review of Procedures

    OSHA will revise these procedures as warranted.

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