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.

June 10, 1991

 

MEMORANDUM FOR:    LINDA R. ANKU
                  REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR

FROM:              PATRICIA K. CLARK, DIRECTOR
                  DIRECTORATE OF COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS

SUBJECT:           Hazard Communication in Construction - General Contractor
                  Responsibilities

This is in response to your memos of March 11 and May 8 regarding the enforcement of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) on construction sites. You specifically requested clarification on situations where the general contractor on a construction site may be responsible for or cited for violations of the HCS.

As explained in our letter to Senator Bentsen of January 29, 1990, and in CPL 2-2.38C (see pages 21-22 and pages A-14 through A-18), the Agency's citation policy for hazard communication violations at multi-employer worksites is no different than for violations of any other OSHA standard. The Field Operations Manual, Chapter V., Section F., "Multi-Employer Worksites," also gives specific guidance on the Agency's citation policies and states, at V.F.1.b. that: "It must be shown that each employer to be cited has knowledge of the hazardous condition or could have had such knowledge with the exercise of reasonable diligence. (See Chapter IV, B.1.b.(4)."

We believe this guidance is applicable to the situations raised in your memoranda. Please feel free to contact Melody Sands of my staff (FTS: 523-8036) if you have any further questions.