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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

April 24, 1992

Ms. Rosalie C. Prano
Manager of Human Resources
Mikasa Drive
Post Office Box 1549
Secaucus, New Jersey 07096-1549

Dear Ms. Prano:

We have received your letter to the Bureau of Labor Statistics requesting information on why certain retail operations are exempt from OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping regulations. OSHA implemented a regulatory change in 1983 to exempt employers in certain industries from maintaining injury and illness records on a continuous basis. The exemptions were intended to reduce the paperwork burden on employers without compromising worker safety and health.

The exempt industries were selected on the basis of their average lost workday injury rates and the likelihood of their inclusion into an inspection targeting strategy. In general, if the industry's lost workday injury rate (LWIR) was less than 75 percent of the private sector average, it was exempted. Approximately 94 percent of the establishments covered by the exemption were expected to have fewer than two injuries per year.

For the Retail Division, there are five two digit standard industrial classifications (SICs), as defined by the Standard Industrial Classification Manual, 1987, that are exempt from injury and illness recordkeeping on a continuous basis. These industries are automotive dealers and gasoline service stations (SIC 55), apparel and accessory stores (SIC 56), furniture, home furnishings, and equipment stores (SIC 57), eating and drinking places (SIC 58), and miscellaneous retail (SIC 59).

These industries are legally exempt from maintaining the OSHA log and supplementary forms on a regular basis. However, we do not want to discourage these employers from using the forms as management tools for tracking occupational injuries and illnesses.

At the present time, OSHA is beginning the process of revising the recordkeeping regulations and interpretive materials. As part of that process, the exempt industry list is being reviewed. When the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) is published in the Federal Register, we certainly welcome input from you on this matter.

Although some industries are exempt from maintaining injury and illness records, they are required to notify OSHA of any occupational fatalities or accidents resulting in the hospitalization of five or more employees. They are also required to maintain injury and illness records for statistical purposes if notified in advance by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Enclosed is a copy of the Recordkeeping Guidelines for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, 1986. This is the most current set of supplemental instructions for recording occupational injuries and illnesses on the OSHA Log 200, and supersedes any previous publication.

If you have any questions concerning your establishment's SIC, or any other concerns, please contact my staff at Area Code (202) 523-1463.


Stephen A. Newell
Acting Director
Office of Statistics