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 http://www.osha.gov.
March 11, 1986
|MEMORANDUM FOR:||ASSISTANT REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS
|FROM:||BYRON R. CHADWICK
|SUBJECT:||Long-Term Abatements: Monitoring Inspections|
Paragraph II, E.1.c. of the FOM provides specific guidance on how frequently we are to make monitoring inspections when a long-term abatement plan is in effect, and for PMAs on serious, willful, and repeated violations. If these inspections are not made, the possibility exists that assigned interim abatement action will not be done on time, resulting in unnecessary continuing exposure for the affected employees.
I believe it is very important for us to make monitoring inspections in cases where abatement periods in excess of six months are involved. The exact frequency of these monitoring inspections will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Factors to be considered in setting monitoring inspection frequency include the severity of the hazard and number of employees exposed, any correspondence between you and the employer and employees which will verify interim abatement, the number and type of interim abatement steps involved, and other pertinent factors. Note that per FOM paragraph III.I.2, these monitoring inspections are conducted in the same manner as follow-up inspections.
Effective immediately, one or more monitoring inspections shall normally be made in every case which has an abatement period in excess of six months, in addition to any final follow-up inspection that might be conducted. You shall document in each such case file the reinspection schedule, briefly justifying the inspection frequency chosen. If the monitoring inspection is not made, you shall thoroughly document in the case file the reasons why an inspection was not made.
For PMAs, a monitoring visit shall be made on those which result in a final abatement date of six months or more from the original or most recent abatement date. This inspection shall be conducted as soon as possible after first contact with the employer, but no later than 15 working days following the receipt of certification of posting. For PMAs which will result in very long abatement periods, monitoring visits shall be made every six months.