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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

March 26, 1996

[Name Withheld]

Dear [Name Withheld]:

This is a partial response to your letter of November 13, 1995, in which you requested information on temporary workers, particularly those in the electronic assembly industry and office workers like Kelly Services. This letter will only address multiemployer worksites. Later letters will address personal protective equipment (PPE), training, recordkeeping, and health issues.

In the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) 1974 Field Operations Manual (FOM) the enforcement policy on multiemployer worksites was first stated. In 1974 the policy provided for the citing of employers who exposed their employees to hazards.

Over the years this policy has changed to also provide for the citing of controlling employers. On December 23, 1981, OSHA issued directive CPL 2.49, Multi Employer Citation Policy, which incorporated this change. The guidance in this directive was incorporated into the FOM in 1983.

Eventually OSHA's policy evolved to also provide for the citing of correcting and creating employers as well. This revision was put in the FOM in 1989. When the FOM was reinvented and slimmed down in 1994 and became the Field Inspection Reference Manual (FIRM), the multiemployer policy was retained. Enclosed are five pages from the FIRM that addresses multiemployer worksites, which would also be appropriate to temporary workers.

Currently the multiemployer policy is not intended to apply only to construction worksites. It applies to all worksites, and, therefore, would apply to workplaces where temporary workers may be employed. It would be equally appropriate in an office workplace where the following employees may be found:

1. Kelly Services;

2. Accountemps;

3. Graphic artists/architects, who may be true independent contractors or employees of a graphic artist/architect firm working on a company's project in the company's office space;

4. Computer contractors, who frequently work on long term contracts (for years) doing a variety of computer services (programming, debugging, etc.); and

5. Telephone installers/trouble shooters (frequently when there is a big project they can be on the worksite for weeks or months).

Previous OSHA interpretations are generally available on OSHA's CD-ROM and through the Internet. Although some of these interpretations are old and policies may have changed, and the most recent interpretations will not have been added, it is a good source for a quick overview of OSHA's policies. The OSHA CD-ROM may be purchased through the Government Printing Office (GPO), Order #: 729-13-00000-5. See attached GPO order form.

OSHA's address on the Internet is: This will get you to the OSHA home page. Then proceed through "OSHA Standards and Related Documents" to the table of contents -- http:/ Clicking on any entry on this page will take you to a specific part of the Code of Federal Regulations. For example, selecting Part 1926, Safety and Health Regulations for Construction, will take you to a listing of the regulation's Subparts. If you click on Subpart E, Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment, you will be given a section by section breakdown. Then, if you click on section 1926.100, Head Protection, you will get the exact language of the regulation, plus an option to read OSHA's specific interpretations (please note the dates of these interpretations).

If you have any questions please contact Helen Rogers at (202) 219-8031 x121.


Raymond Donnelly, Director
Office of General Industry
Compliance Assistance