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Investigation and Review Procedures

  1. Background
    The Outreach Training Program is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) voluntary 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, abate, avoid, and prevent job-related hazards.  Trainers authorized through the OSHA Outreach Training Program must conduct Outreach training classes in accordance with the current Outreach Training Program Requirements, Procedures, and Guidance issued by the Directorate of Training and Education (DTE).

    The OSHA Office of Training Programs and Administration (OTPA) will continually evaluate the manner in which training is provided by OSHA authorized Outreach trainers (Outreach trainers), based upon monitoring by OSHA (or its designee) and the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers, complaints received from the public, and/or other available information.

    OSHA may take corrective action including probation, suspension, or revocation of an Outreach trainer’s (individual or institutional) authorization to conduct OSHA Outreach Training Program classes and to distribute course completion cards to students, for failure to comply with Outreach Training Program Requirements, Procedures, and Guidance.

  2. Procedures Applicability
    The procedures contained in this document will be used to investigate and review actions and activities of all individuals or organizations that are authorized by OSHA to conduct OSHA Outreach Training Program courses. OSHA will also use these procedures to address organizations acting on behalf of individual Outreach trainers.

  3. Responsibility of Authorized Outreach Trainer
    It is the responsibility of every Outreach trainer, whether individual or institutional, to ensure adherence to the current Outreach Training Program Requirements, Procedures, and Guidance. Failure to comply with current Outreach Training Program Requirements, Procedures, and Guidance may necessitate corrective action by OSHA, up to and including the revocation of authorization to conduct or provide training within the Outreach Training Program.

  4. Investigation Process
    The following procedures are to be used to process all complaints or allegations of failure to comply with Outreach Training Program Requirements, Procedures, and Guidance.

    1. Fact Finding
      The Director of OTPA will review instances in which an Outreach trainer (individual or institutional) or an organization acting on behalf of an Outreach trainer may not be in compliance with the current Outreach Training Program Requirements, Procedures, and Guidance. The Director of OTPA shall collect all available information and request additional information from OTI Education Centers or any complaining party. OTPA shall create an investigative file to include all available and relevant material in the investigation.

      If additional information for rendering a decision is needed, the Director of OTPA may contact the applicable OSHA Regional Office for assistance. The OSHA Regional Office may assign a staff member ("Investigator") to investigate the complaint(s) or allegation(s) of misconduct by the Outreach trainer. The Investigator may contribute to the investigative file to ensure inclusion of any available and relevant material in the investigation. Once complete, the Investigator will forward any information collected during the investigation to the Director of OTPA.

      The Director of OTPA may, at his/her discretion, suspend the issuing of cards to the Outreach trainer or the organization acting on behalf of an Outreach trainer, until the conclusion of the investigation.

    2. Notification
      The Director of OTPA shall notify the Outreach trainer or the organization acting on behalf of an Outreach trainer in an initial letter regarding any allegations of failure to comply with Outreach Training Program Requirements, Procedures, and Guidance and/or to gather additional records.
        Allegations. The Notification of allegations of failure to comply with Outreach Training Program Requirements, Procedures, and Guidance must name the Outreach trainer and provide a clear and concise description of the facts and circumstances that constitute the basis for the allegations.

        Request for response. The Director of OTPA must notify the Outreach trainer of the due date of the response, of the name and address of the person with whom the response must be filed, and that a Decision by Default may be rendered against the Outreach trainer in the event that a timely response is not filed.
    3. Outreach Trainer Response
      The Outreach trainer or the organization acting on behalf of an Outreach trainer must respond to the Initial Letter in a timely manner. The response must address all allegations raised in the Notification.

    4. Initial Decision
      The Director of OTPA shall consider all available and relevant material in the investigative file in addition to any arguments and/or documents submitted by the Outreach trainer when rendering the Initial Decision. The Initial Decision shall be issued to the Outreach trainer or the organization acting on behalf of an Outreach trainer in writing to the address provided in the trainer’s or the organization’s response.

      The Initial Decision shall include a statement of findings and conclusions and shall notify the Outreach trainer of the right to appeal the Initial Decision to the Director of the DTE.

    5. Decision by Default
      In the absence of a timely response to the Notification or an appeal of the Initial Decision, the Initial Decision will become the Final Decision of the DTE.

    6. Appeal
      The Outreach trainer or the organization acting on behalf of an Outreach trainer may appeal the Initial Decision with the Director of the DTE.  The appeal must include specific reasons 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.

    7. Final Decision
      The Director of the DTE shall review an appeal and render a Final Decision.

        Standard of Review.  If an appeal is received, the Director of the DTE may consult OSHA staff to assist in the review but shall exercise independent judgment when rendering the Final Decision.

        Decision on Review. The Director of the DTE may affirm, modify, or reverse the Initial Decision or remand it for further investigation.

        Notification of Final Decision.  The Director of the DTE shall notify the Outreach trainer or the organization acting on behalf of an Outreach trainer in writing of the Final Decision and that no further review will be available within the Department of Labor.
  5. Corrective Action/Effect of Probation, Suspension, or Revocation
    A Final Decision or a Decision by Default may subject the Outreach trainer (individual or institutional) to corrective actions including, but not limited to, probation, suspension, or revocation of their Outreach trainer authorization.  A Final Decision or a Decision by Default may subject the organization acting on behalf of an Outreach trainer to equivalent corrective actions. The OTPA will advise its OTI Education Centers of the status of trainers 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 authorization (individual or institutional), the Outreach trainer may be afforded the opportunity to demonstrate or achieve compliance with the Outreach Training Program Requirements, Procedures, and Guidance through a probationary period.
      • In cases where the Final Decision or the Decision by Default recommends probation, the Outreach trainer may continue to offer and teach courses through the Outreach Training Program and to receive student course completion cards if the Outreach trainer complies with the terms of the probation, which may include, but are not limited to, the following:
      • Notify OSHA in advance of any planned Outreach Training Program classes
      • Provide OSHA advance copies of all promotional materials (including hard copy, electronic, and website)
        related to the Outreach trainer’s Outreach Training Program classes
      • Submit any additional course documentation or detailed records for each class conducted, as requested
    2. Suspension
      If the Final Decision or the Decision by Default recommends suspension, the Outreach trainer may not conduct any additional Outreach Training Program courses during the designated time period.  The Final Decision or the Decision by Default may require that the Outreach trainer request reinstatement as an Outreach trainer when the suspension has been completed. Following the end of the suspension, the Outreach trainer will be placed in probationary status and subject to the requirements noted above.

    3. Revocation
      If the Final Decision or the Decision by Default recommends revocation, the Outreach trainer is barred from conducting or otherwise offering any courses under the auspices of the OSHA Outreach Training Program.
  6. OSHA Outreach Trainer Watch List
    The OSHA Outreach Trainer Watch List is a list of individuals or organizations whose authorized status 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, and Guidance. The OSHA Outreach Trainer Watch List will also list the status or corrective actions taken on organizations which acted on behalf of an Outreach trainer.  This list is maintained on the OSHA Outreach Training Program web site (www.osha.gov/dte/outreach/index.html).

  7. Review of Procedures
    OSHA will monitor the effectiveness and fairness of these procedures and make modifications as warranted.