• Record Type:
    OSHA Instruction
  • Current Directive Number:
    CSP 01-05-002
  • Old Directive Number:
    STP 2-1.13
  • Title:
    Public Employee Recordkeeping Under 18(b) Plans
  • Information Date:

OSHA Instruction STP 2-1.13 October 30, 1978


April 3, 1973



RE: Public Employee Recordkeeping Under 18(b) Plans

Attached are "Guidelines for Public Sector Recordkeeping and Reporting on Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Under 18(b) Plans." You received in Program Directive 72-25 some requirements for State and local government employee protection under a State 18(b) Plan. The Directive left several unanswered questions in the area of recordkeeping and reporting, however. This guideline, developed in coordination with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, gives additional information on this aspect of the States' public employee program.

In the recordkeeping area, the guideline reiterates the 72-25 statement on recordkeeping, namely that all public employers must keep records in the same manner as employers in the private sector. In the reporting area, the guideline requires the State to develop a sample, for its sister agencies and for various types of local government, which yields valid estimates of the work injury and illness experience of those employees.

Please transmit this information to the State designated agency as soon as possible. This is especially important, since 90-10 planning funds administered by BLS will only be available during this fiscal year.

Chain Robbins Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor










Program Directive 72-25, page 4, states the OSHA policy regarding occupational injury and illness recordkeeping and reporting for public employees of States and political subdivisions:

In their contracts with States on the subjects of statistical programs and recordkeeping and reporting activity, Assistant Regional Administrators for State Programs should call the attention of the States to the special areas of recordkeeping and reporting on injuries and illnesses of public employees. To the extent that its plan covers such employees, a State will wish to develop statistical and recordkeeping and reporting techniques to aid in the management and evaluation of the public employee occupational safety and health program; OSHA concepts, definitions, and data requirements utilized in the private sector should be applied to the public sector.

The purpose of this directive is to provide additional guidelines for carrying out the principles outlined above.

Recordkeeping. Each State must provide for records to be maintained reflecting the injury, illness and fatality experience of all State and political subdivision employees covered by it 18(b) Plan. Reference should be made in this regard to Part 2(a) of OSHA Program Directive 72-22 dealing with coverage of State and local government employees in State Plans. Such records will provide both an aid to the conduct of inspections and a basis for making the reports described below.

In most respects, those records should be maintained in the same manner in which private sector records are kept. Thus the OSHA definitions of "recordable occupational injuries and illnesses," "lost workdays," "medical treatment," "work environment," etc., must be adhered to in deciding which injuries, illnesses and fatalities to record (see 29 CFR Section 1904.12 for such definitions). The information on injuries and illnesses must

GUIDELINES--2 March 22, 1973

be entered on the OSHA Forms 100, 101 and 102 in accordance with the accompanying instructions, or on equivalent State forms which must provide all of the information required by the OSHA forms. The State is free to require maintenance of additional injury and illness records as long as requirements are consistent with the purposes of Section 24 of the Act and will not jeopardize the comparability of data both among States and between the private sectors. Instructions and requirements for maintenance of records must parallel those applicable in the private sector; for example, require that records be kept on a calendar year basis, retained for at least five years following the end of the year to which they relate and accessible to authorized personnel.

Organizational level where records must be kept, on the other hand, is left to the discretion of the State agency responsible for implementing the safety programs. In view of the wide differences within and among the States in the organization of State and local governments, no single definition of the "establishment" where a particular set of records must be kept appears applicable at this time.

Reporting. The States must establish occupational injury and illness reporting systems that will provide the basis for developing reliable estimates of recordable injuries and illnesses for all State and local government employees on an annual basis to the extent covered in the State plan. The basic data reported must be based on the records described in this guideline. Form OSHA 103, modified to apply to activities unique to government, should be adopted to permit full utilization of manual procedures and computer systems established for processing reports in the private sector. The annual survey may be conducted on a sample basis or by universal coverage if economically feasible. The kind of reporting units included in the survey will largely depend on the State's determination of the organizational level where records must be kept. Initially, the survey should yield estimates of occupational injuries and illness separately for employees of the State and by type of local government, i.e., county, municipality, township, school district and special districts. This level of detail will satisfy present OSHA requirements for evaluation purposes but may be expanded to meet the needs of the State program. States should be encouraged to explore the feasibility of development of estimates by function as defined in the Census of Governments published by the Bureau of the Census.

GUIDELINES--3 March 22, 1973

Role of Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, through its grant programs to designated State agencies, is authorized to fund planning activities for extending recordkeeping and reporting to the public sector. During fiscal year 1973, such assistance can be given on a 90 percent Federal cost-sharing basis under Section 23(a)(3)(A) of the Act. Such statutory authority expires June 30, 1973. An ongoing statistical program in the public sector will be funded on a 50 percent cost-sharing basis under Section 24 of the Act.

Fundable planning activities include orientation seminar programs, negotiations among State agencies and with local government officials mailing notification of State recordkeeping and reporting requirements, development of a universe of State and local government units, testing methodology for establishing a reporting system, etc. BLS will assist and advise the States in working out all aspects of their plans for extending recordkeeping and reporting to the public sector.

Initiation of recordkeeping and reporting systems in the public sector is essential to the development of a standard and enforcement program. Section 24(a) of the Act provides for the compilation of occupational safety and health statistics in all employments including those in State and local governments. States should be encouraged to implement a statistical program for their employees in advance of any target date identified in their 18(b) Plans to insure maximum Federal funding and a body of statistics for evaluating the effectiveness of State programs in the public sector.