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.
NOV 19 1992
MEMORANDUM FOR: REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS
FROM: LEO CAREY, Director Office of Field Programs ROGER A. CLARK, Director Directorate of Compliance Programs
SUBJECT: Tenth Letter Inspections
The purpose of this memorandum is to convey to you a change in the agency's policy related to non-formal complaints. The Field Operations Manual (FOM) currently requires the Area Director to schedule an inspection for every tenth case in which a satisfactory response has been submitted by an employer in reply to a non-formal complaint. These inspections are referred to as tenth letter inspections, and we have conducted approximately 1,600 of these inspections to date this fiscal year.
As part of the FY 1994 budget process, the Acting Assistant Secretary has determined that current resources devoted to tenth letter inspections can be used more effectively if they are devoted to other agency priorities. Therefore, effective immediately you will no longer be required to conduct tenth letter inspections.
The policy of responding to non-formal complaints where the employer fails to respond, or where the response is inadequate is not affected by this policy change. Further, it is recommended that you continue to encourage the complainant to notify the Area Director if the employer fails to take corrective action. A "pen and ink" replacement page for the FOM is provided as an attachment. Formal revisions to the non-formal complaint policy will be developed and provided to you as soon as possible. If you have any questions regarding this change please contact Art Buchanan of my staff at (202) 219-8041.
OSHA Instruction CPL 2.45B CH-3
Office of General Industry Compliance Assistance
A. 8. b. (1) Status of Corrective Action. Where an ambiguity exists or where the employer has a correction plan which he has not yet had time to implement fully, the Area Director shall communicate further, as appropriate, with the employer and/or the complainant to determine what interim protective steps have been taken until the corrective action shall have been completed and, later, whether the hazard has been adequately corrected. On the basis of information available, the Area Director shall decide whether an inspection is warranted.
SECTION A.8.b.(2) thru SECTION A.8.b.(2)(c) WERE DELETED
9. Scope of Inspection. Complaint inspections shall include a complete investigation of the circumstances of the complaint. These investigations may be expanded at the discretion of the Area Director when any of the conditions described in Chapter II, F.1.b. exists, but see Chapter III, D.1.d.(5)(b). Any departure from these guidelines shall be supported by adequate documentation.
10. Procedures. In general, the procedures in Chapter III shall be followed in conducting complaint inspections. Particular attention, however, is directed to the following special requirements for complaint investigations:
a. Copy of the Complaint. A copy of the complaint shall be given to the employer at the opening conference.
(1) In the case of a multi-employer worksite, such as a construction site, a copy of every complaint, including those against subcontractors, shall be provided to the general contractor as well as to the employer against whom the complaint has been filed.