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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

September 17, 1988

Mr. Richard L. Cutshall
Area Manager
Manpower Temporary Services
Corporate Plaza
22 North Seventh Street
Allentown, Pennsylvania 18101

Dear Mr. Cutshall:

I am writing in response to your letter of August 3 requesting clarification of the recordkeeping requirements under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 for employees supplied by a temporary help service.

The primary factor to be considered in determining who should record work-related injuries and illnesses of contract employees is who supervises these workers on a day-to-day basis. Thus, if the contract employees are subject to the supervision of the using firm, the using firm must keep the records for these personnel. (See question and answer A-2, page 24 of the enclosed Recordkeeping Guidelines for Occupational Injures and Illnesses.) Additionally, the degree of supervision necessary to require maintenance of injury/illness records is stated on page 24, question and answer A-1..."employee status generally exists when the employer supervises not only the output, product or result to be accomplished by the person's work, but also the details, means, methods, and processes by which the work objective is accomplished."

If it is determined that the using firm is required to record the injury/illness experience for these employees, the hours of work (exposure hours) for these workers should also be included in the firm's records. (See question and answer A-3 on page 25.)

We are currently reevaluating the effectiveness of this requirement and other criteria in anticipation of a revision of the guidelines within the next year.

It is the intent of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to develop one set of guidelines that are comprehensible, that will meet the needs of employers of all sizes throughout the private sector, and that will produce accurate and consistent nationwide data. I would hope that you will participate in our efforts toward its development.

If we at BLS can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact my staff at Area Code: 202-272-3462.

Sincerely yours

William M. Eisenberg
Assistant Commissioner for Safety,
Health and Working Conditions