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.
January 29 1990
MEMORANDUM FOR: REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS THROUGH: LEO CAREY OFFICE OF FIELD PROGRAMS FROM: THOMAS J. SHEPICH, DIRECTOR DIRECTORATE OF COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS SUBJECT: Handling of Large-penalty Cases
In the past several months, "non-egregious" cases have been developed in which proposed penalties totaled more than $100,000. Citations were issued, appropriately, without the type of National Office screening required where violation-by-violation penalties are involved.
These cases demonstrate the potential for eventual decentralization of all major cases, as we discussed at Salt Lake City; they also indicate a continuing need for notification of the National Office when large penalties are being issued. Particularly, it is essential that the Secretary and her spokespersons be informed of such cases, since they are likely to generate national publicity.
We will continue to screen egregious cases in the National Office. You should continue to coordinate those cases through the Directorate of Compliance Programs. In non-egregious, large-penalty cases, however, you should notify the Office of Field Programs at least 2 weeks before citations are issued, so that appropriate notifications can be made.