- Standard Number:
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.
April 24, 1992
Ms. Valorie A. Ferrara
Safety Staff Assistant
Public Service Electric and
80 Park Plaza
Newark, New Jersey 07101
Dear Ms. Ferrara:
Thank you for your letter of March 20, requesting clarification on several OSHA recordkeeping issues. I will answer your questions by first restating each one and then responding to it. Wherever possible, I will reference the Recordkeeping Guidelines for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, 1986, by listing the page number and question(s) that apply. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Department of Labor (DOL) have indicated that the Guidelines are not regulations, but rather supplemental instructions to the OSHA recordkeeping forms (OSHA No's. 200, 101, and 200-S). Thus the OSH Act, 29 CFR 1904, the forms, and supplemental instructions provide the framework for the OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping system.
Question 1. For employees who are temporarily assigned to work at a location (facility) other than their home location, and who are under the supervision of their home location managers (who maintain their own OSHA logs and injury/illness records), is it required by any occupational safety and health regulation that a recordable injury or illness be listed on the log of the facility where the exposure occurred as opposed to being logged on the OSHA log of the home location? If yes, please cite the applicable regulation.
Answer: An employee that normally reports to one location but is injured or becomes ill at another one of the employer's establishments where he/she is temporarily assigned, should have his/her case recorded at the establishment where the event or exposure occurred. (page 20, Question A-10) This reference applies to rotating employees as described in your letter. Questions A-1 and A-2 on page 24 apply to employees of other firms.
Question 2. In the case cited above, if the OSHA log of the home location were available at the facility where the exposure occurred, would that satisfy the requirements of the applicable recordkeeping regulations?
Answer: No. One purpose of the OSHA log is to portray the injury and illness history of the particular establishment to which it relates. In the case described above, the recordable injury or illness should be entered on the log of the establishment where the employee was injured or became ill to reflect the conditions at that particular establishment.
Question 3. For employees who regularly report to numerous external (non-company) locations and who have an accident or become ill as a result of the "off-site" work, do the same recordkeeping rules apply? If not, why not (assuming the injured employee was under the supervision of his or her home location manager)?
Answer: If an employee is working at a non-company location and incurs a recordable injury or illness, the case must be recorded on the log of the employee's home location. Employers are not responsible for maintaining records for employees of other firms unless they provide day-to-day supervision. Therefore the case would not be entered on the log of the establishment where the worker was injured or became ill. (page 24, section A(1))
Question 4. Is there a difference between the recordkeeping rules for internal and external contractors? For example, two men, both on temporary assignment, work side by side fixing a steam line at generating plant XYZ. Worker #1 is from ABC contractors while worker #2 is from the Central Maintenance Shop of the company which owns and operates XYZ. While working, the steam line collapses, fracturing the legs of both workers. One interpretation of the BLS guidelines could be that XYZ generating station's OSHA log would list the Central Maintenance Shop worker's injury (internal contractor), while the ABC worker's identical accident would be recorded on ABC's log. This seems illogical. Logic would have both injuries on XYZ log or both injuries on the log of the home locations of the contractors (one on XYZ's Central Maintenance Shop's log and one on ABC's log).
Answer: As stated above, employers are not responsible for maintaining records for employees of other firms. Therefore the external contractor cannot be entered on XYZ's records (unless XYZ was providing day-to-day supervision). Worker #1 would be recorded on ABC's log and worker #2 would be recorded on XYZ generating plant's log.
One objective of the OSHA records is to provide OSHA compliance staff with information which can facilitate effective safety and health inspections at specific establishments. Unless cases are entered on the records of the establishment where the injury or illness occurred, the primary objective of hazard identification and abatement would become nearly impossible, not only for OSHA but for the employer as well.
In the upcoming revision of the recordkeeping regulations, forms, and supplemental instructions, we will be addressing the issue of comprehensive site records. These records would depict the injury and illness experience of all workers at a particular location or site. We look forward to any ideas or comments that you may have on any revision issue. We are hoping the proposals will reach the Federal Register some time during the summer of this year.
If you have any further questions please contact my staff at Area Code (202) 523-1463.
Stephen A. Newell
Office of Statistics