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.

November 21, 1995

Honorable Bill K. Brewster
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Attention: Ms. Lynn Marquis

Dear Congressman Brewster:

Thank you for your letter of August 25, to Ms. Geraldine Harris of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Your constituent's concerns are answered in the same order they were addressed to us. Please accept our apology for the delay in providing this response.

1. Enclosed are two lists of most cited standards for fiscal year 1995 as your constituent requested. The format for both is that the most frequently cited standards is listed at the top. Due to the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) search parameters, the top 100 of all industries list contains both "general industry" (29 CFR 1910) and "construction" (29 CFR 1926) citations. The construction citations have been lined out of the "all industry" list for ease of reading. The general industry standards that appear on the "construction" list reflect the 29 CFR 1910 standards relevant to and citable in construction.

2. The regulation identifiers 1218-AB41 and 1218-AB24 have no relationship with the Targeting Program which is currently being used in the Dallas Area Office. The pilot program implemented in the Dallas Area Office was designed to enhance targeting of programmed inspections for both safety and health. The purpose of the program was to: (1) permit the use of site-specific injury and illness information to prioritize inspections; (2) permit better planning of resource allocation; and (3) permit compliance officers to focus all available tools on making a real impact on safety and health in inspected establishments.

The response to the injury & illness data requests are voluntary, and the vast majority respond willingly to the request. Verbal response to the program has been over-whelmingly strong in both the employer community (who state that they re-dedicated their focus on safety and health after receiving the notice), and the professional safety and health community (who state they appreciate OSHA's focus on those who need the most help). Compliance officers also like the program because they enter each facility better prepared to make a difference in workplace safety and health.

The benefits of this program are: (1) more prudent allocation of employer and OSHA resources; (2) enhanced inspection focus on real hazards at each facility; (3) demonstration of inspection effectiveness through analysis of post-inspection site-specific injury/illness information; and, (4) increased participation in the OSHA Consultation Program, which is referenced in the first notice to employers.

The directive which establishes procedures for the implementation of experimental programs is OSHA Instruction CPL 2.102, Procedures for Approval of Local Emphasis Programs (LEPs) and Experimental Programs. A copy of the directive is attached for your review.

3. You also requested clarification on OSHA rules governing site inspections, specifically the giving of advance notice to employers. Section 2(b)(10) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) prohibits giving advance notice of any inspection and provides sanctions for any individual violating this prohibition. Section 17(f) of the OSH Act provides further guidance by allowing advanced notice when authorized by the Secretary or the Secretary's designee.

The Agency approved this pilot program for implementation to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach toward targeting. All employers within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Area Office receive identical inquiry letters. These information request letters, from a practical prospective, do not give individual employers specific advanced notice of when or even if an inspection will take place.

Thank you for referring your constituent's letter and the opportunity to comment to his/her's concerns. If you have any questions on this information, please contact Mr. John B. Miles, Jr., Director of Compliance Programs (202)219-9308.

Sincerely,



Joseph A. Dear
Assistant Secretary

Enclosure



August 25, 1995

Ms. Geraldine Harris
Occupational Safety and Health
Administration
Frances Perkins Building, Room S-2315
Third Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20210

Dear Ms. Harris:

I was recently contacted by a constituent in my district. He has requested information pertaining to programs run by OSHA. His concerns are as follows:

1) He would like a list of the most frequently cited general industry and construction standards for the most current, full year.

2) In Dallas there is a pilot program. He would like to know the progress of the program and a copy of the regulation that instituted the program. He did not know the name. He did know the regulation identifier number which is 1218-AB41 or 1218-AB24.

3) He is concerned that OSHA inspectors are calling businesses before they go to inspect the premise. He would like clarification of OSHA's rules governing site inspections.

I respectfully request a detailed response forwarded to my Washington office to the attention of Ms. Lynn Marquis. I appreciate your attention to this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can provide additional information.

Sincerely,



Bill K. Brewster
Member of Congress