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.

June 22, 1981

Director Office of Field Coordination
Acting Director Federal Compliance and State Programs
SUBJECT: Lead Standard - - Employee Notification Requirements

This memorandum is to clarify enforcement procedures for employee notification requirements under the lead standard, 29 CFR 1910.1025(d)(8).

29 CFR 1910.1025(d)(8) reads as follows:

(8) Employee notification.

(i) Within [15] working days after the receipt of monitoring results, the employer shall notify each employee in writing of the results which represent that employee's exposure.

(ii) Whenever the results indicate that the representative employee exposure, without regard to respirators, exceeds the permissible exposure limit, the employer shall include in the written notice a statement that the permissible exposure limit was exceeded and a description of the corrective action taken or to be taken to reduce exposure to or below the permissible exposure limit.

There may be a few isolated circumstances where not meeting the [15] working day limit can be justified. For example, where exposure levels generally do not exceed 50 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3), and where there are several thousand employees represented by the exposure level, it may not be practical for employers to notify all subject employees by the [15] working day requirement. In such situations, alternative procedures may be acceptable as long as employees are notified in a reasonable period of time (e.g., employer notifies those employees monitored in the required [15] days, and notifies the rest of the employees represented by the exposure level on a quarterly basis).

Ordinarily, citations should be issued for violating the [15] working day notification requirement. However, do not cite where the employer has compelling justification and has kept the employees and employee representatives informed of the situation.

The Division of Occupational Health Programming (FTS 523-8031) is available to assist in answering any questions from Regional Offices as to whether an employer has compelling justification.

You are requested to provide each of the Area Offices and State Designees in your Region with a copy of this memorandum.

[Corrected 11/22/2011]