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.
Jun 15 1988
|MEMORANDUM FOR:||REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS
|FROM:||JOHN A. PENDERGRASS Assistant Secretary
|SUBJECT:||Cooperation in State or Local Criminal Prosecutions|
This memorandum provides guidance to the field on OSHA's cooperation with State and local government entities undertaking criminal prosecutions in cases where employees have been killed or injured on the job. Please share this policy with the State plan States in your Region.
OSHA supports all efforts to encourage occupational safety and health and to this end will cooperate in State or Local prosecutions to the fullest extent appropriate. This policy of cooperation shall not be construed, however, as a statement of OSHA policy regarding the legal question of preemption which remains a complex issue to be resolved by the courts when raised by an affected party.
When you receive a request for records from State or local officials, you shall consult with the Regional Solicitor regarding the possible effect of a State or local prosecution on any pending or potential Federal case, criminal or civil. This consultation is also necessary to protect the integrity of the files, whether open or closed, from disclosure to other persons.
Further, as part of this cooperation, the following procedural principles shall be followed:
a. Notify the Director of Field Programs of such State and local prosecutions, who will in turn coordinate with the Directors of Compliance Programs and of Federal State Operations and the National Office Solicitor.
b. Coordinate any response with the Director of Field Programs and the Regional Solicitor in those cases where the testimony or written opinion of an OSHA official is requested. (Department of Labor guidelines set forth in 29 CFR Part 2, Subpart C, Employees Served with Subpoenas must be followed).
Please provide a copy of this memorandum to the State designees in your Region. If you have any questions, please contact Sandy Taylor on 523-8111.