OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

January 16, 1976

MEMORANDUM FOR: Robert C. Tice, Jr.
Regional Administrator
Subject: Apparent Conflict Between the FOM and the Act

This is in response to your memorandum dated December 12, 1975.

The authority to permit the delivery of the "Notification of Proposed Penalty," OSHA-3 Form is derived from 29 CFR 1903.15(a). The regulation permits the use of either certified mail or a CSHO.

The basic consideration is the employer's receipt of the "Notification of Proposed Penalty." Since certified mail may be refused, the choice of the method to be used is left to the Area Director. The Area Director may, when he considers it necessary due to previous experience or problems with the particular employer or similar organizations, select the method of delivery that best assures receipt.

Barry J. White
Associate Assistant Secretary
for Regional Programs