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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

October 5, 1988

Mr. Walter G. Kozlowski
Vice President-General Counsel
Manpower Temporary Services
Post Office Box 2053
5301 North Ironwood Road
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201

Dear Mr. Kozlowski:

I am responding to your letter of August 15 to Stephen Newell of my staff concerning recordkeeping requirements under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970 for employees of temporary help services. Please excuse the delay in my response.

Enclosed is a copy of my response dated September 17 to the August 3 inquiry of Mr. Richard L. Cutshall, an area manager of Manpower Temporary Services concerning the same subject. In summary, it is the Department of Labor's interpretation that occupational injuries and illnesses incurred by your company's assignment staff should be recorded on the logs of your customers, if the customers provide immediate on-site, task-related supervision to these employees. Our position rests on the provisions regarding employer status in the OSH Act, the regulations (29 Code of Federal Regulations Part 1904) regarding the recording and reporting of occupational injuries and illnesses, labor-management case law, and occupational safety and health case law.

Further information on case law can be obtained from:

Mr. Kenneth A. Hellman
Occupational Safety and Health Division
Office of the Solicitor of Labor
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20210
Area Code: 202 219-6801


I also wish to remind you that as of January, 1983, employees of business services, as well as those in other low-risk industries, are exempt from OSHA recordkeeping unless prenotified in writing of their selection for participation in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. (See 29 CFR Part 1904.16). Thus, unless prenotified, Manpower Temporary Services need not maintain occupational injury and illness records for its non-assignment employees or assignment employees that Manpower directly supervises. This change in the recordkeeping requirements was instituted to reduce the Federal paperwork burden on employers in low-risk industries.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Office of the Solicitor of Labor are currently reevaluating the effectiveness of the current occupational injury and illness recordkeeping system, as well as the present BLS guidelines concerning injury and illness recordkeeping.

I would invite your participation in our efforts toward the development of an effective system that will meet the needs of employers of all sizes throughout the private sector, as well as produce accurate and consistent nationwide data.

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

Sincerely yours,

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