• Record Type:
    OSHA Instruction
  • Current Directive Number:
    IPC 01-00-003
  • Old Directive Number:
    ADM 3.5
  • Title:
    Electronic Mail and Other Communication Applications on Salt Lake City VAX
  • Information Date:
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA Instruction ADM 3.5 May 23, 1988 Office of Field Programs

Subject: Electronic Communications

A. Purpose. This instruction provides guidelines for the use of electronic mail and other communication applications available on the VAX in Salt Lake City.

B. Scope. This instruction applies to the Office of Field Programs, Regional Offices and Area Offices.

C. References.

1. OSHA Instruction ADM 1-1.20, August 3, 1987, The Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) Communications Manual.
2. Electronic Mail User's Guide, April 17, 1988, Directorate of Technical Support.
3. OSHA Instruction ADM 12.4, September 26, 1986, OSHA Records Management Program.

D. Action. Office managers in organizational units that generate or receive written communications with a geographically distant unit of the agency shall follow the guidelines set forth in this instruction.

E. Definitions.

1. E-Mail. Electronic mail transmitted on the VAX in Salt Lake City is referred to as E-Mail.
2. A-Mail. Altos-to-Altos communication is referred to as A-Mail.
3. Records. Electronic messages which have not yet been printed are considered records according to the definition in OSHA Instruction ADM 12.4. Once an electronic message is printed, the electronic message is considered an extra copy, and is then a nonrecord.

F. Guidelines.

1. VAX E-Mail versus Altos A-Mail. Documents which meet the guidelines for electronic transmission contained in F.3. shall ordinarily be sent by regular E-Mail if: the message originated in the Office

OSHA Instruction ADM 3.5 MAY 23, 1988 Office of Field Programs

of the Field Programs for transmission to any Regional or Area Office; the message originated in a region for transmission to another region(s); the message originated in a Regional or Area Office for transmission to the Office of Field Programs. When a clear log-on to the VAX cannot be obtained due to busy FTS or 800 lines, electrical interference, or apparent hardware problems at the VAX, the System Manager should be immediately notified at FTS 588-4270 so that the problem can be investigated and corrected. If such problems prevent the transmission of urgent messages in a timely manner, A-Mail transmission may be used as a temporary alternative to regular E-Mail. Either E-Mail or A-Mail may be used for intra-regional communications. Such communications shall be subject to Regional Office guidelines in keeping with this instruction and the "Desired State" memorandum, date May 15, 1987.
2. System Security. To prevent unauthorized access to any electronic mail message, all electronic mail accounts shall be protected by passwords consisting of 6 to 8 characters. The passwords shall be designated by the office manager and shall be made known only to those persons authorized by the manager to access the electronic mail accounts. For additional security, the passwords shall be changed at least every 6 months. New passwords shall be installed on the E-Mail and A-Mail accounts by the office manager or his/her designee. E-Mail passwords shall be installed using the menu option available on the VAX.
3. Document Criteria. As a minimum guideline, electronic transmission shall be used for all communications which require rapid distribution, request a response within 1 week of the signature date, or involve multiple offices in editing the draft document. Backup transmission of such documents by regular mail shall not normally be required. If such documents contain attachments that cannot be sent by electronic mail, the entire document shall be sent by regular mail, unless there would be significant benefit to the addressee in having the memorandum without the attachments, prior to receiving the entire document by regular mail. All other documents may be sent by regular mail. Documents that do not meet the criteria listed in this section for electronic transmission may be sent E-Mail at the discretion of the message originator.
4. Message Format. All E-Mail messages shall be formatted according to the instructions in OSHA Instruction ADM 1-1.20, IV, G. All electronic mail messages shall contain the originating office's



OSHA Instruction ADM 3.5 MAY 23, 1988 Office of Field Programs

letterhead as the first lines of text. Electronic mail messages shall also contain the date that the original document was signed. The following, set off from the main body of the message by at least one blank line, shall be the last line of text: Transmitted by Electronic Mail.
5. Electronic Mail Distribution. The receiving office shall ensure that all secondary addressees, such as those listed for "Attention" or for "cc", receive either a hardcopy or an electronic forwarding of the electronic mail message. For electronic mail messages sent "Through" an intermediate addressee;, the originating office shall send the message to the intermediate and final addressees.
6. Private E-Mail. All sensitive written communications shall normally be sent to private E-Mail accounts, unless they contain attachments that cannot be electronically transmitted. The Director, Office of Field Programs, each Regional Administrator, and each Area Director shall designate one staff member and one back-up (both, if possible, nonbargaining unit employees) who shall be authorized to access the private E-mail accounts for the purpose of sending and receiving communications. Written communications involving the following subjects shall be sent to private E-Mail accounts:
O All personnel issues.
O Communications from the Office of the Assistant Secretary to Regional Administrators.
O Other sensitive issues which have restricted distribution.
7. E-Mail Management. Office of Field Programs E-Mail accounts shall be checked for new mail at least twice daily. Regional E-Mail accounts shall be checked for new mail at least daily. Area Office E-Mail Accounts shall be checked for new mail at least weekly. Each office shall check its E-Mail account more frequently, if advised of a message transmission. All E-Mail messages shall be archived or deleted at least twice monthly. If an office manager determines that an electronic mail message is a nonrecord, and that it will not be needed again, the electronic message shall be deleted from both the VAX and Altos rather than archived. In addition, informal messages, information governed by the Privacy Act and information regarding personnel actions shall be deleted after receipt. All



OSHA Instruction ADM 3.5 MAY 23, 1988 Office of Field Programs

other E-Mail messages shall be archived on the VAX according to the instructions in OSHA Instruction ADM 1-1.20.
8. OSHA News Bulletin Board in OSHA Computerized Information System (OCIS). This facility will be used to disseminate information on current developments within the agency. Each news item will consist of a short paragraph describing key elements of the news item and referencing a source document or individual for further, more detailed information. Specific instructions for utilizing this resource will be issued when the Bulletin Board becomes operational. Examples of new items include:
O Recent OSHA new releases and information on new or revised publications.
O New Pilot projects, experimental or special emphasis programs.
O New VPP participants, awards.
O Hazard Alert Notices.
O Significant enforcement actions.
O Federal Register publication of new, final or proposed standards, comment periods.
O Recent court or Review Commission decisions which impact on OSHA enforcement activities.
O Notice of Field Operation Manual, IMIS Manual Changes.
O Notice of nationwide abatement agreements.
O Significant state program issues or developments.


DISTRIBUTION: National, Regional and Area Offices