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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

June 4, 1996

Scott R. Steelman D.O., M.P.H.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Occupational Health Services, Inc.
3101 Broadway, Suite 1000
Kansas City, Missouri 64111

Dear Mr. Steelman:

Thank you for your letter dated May 8, requesting an interpretation regarding the proper recording of injuries and illnesses which occur to temporary workers. Your letter was forwarded to my office by Anne Cyr. The Division of Recordkeeping Requirements is responsible for the administration of the OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping system nationwide.

For OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping purposes, the primary factor to be considered in determining who should record work related injuries and illnesses of contract employees is who supervises these workers on a day-to-day basis. If the contract employees are subject to the supervision of the using firm, the using firm must keep the records for these personnel. (See Q&A A-2 on page 24 of the enclosed Recordkeeping Guidelines for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses.)

Additionally, the degree of supervision necessary to require maintenance of the injury/illness records is stated on page 24, Q&A A-1. "Employee status generally exists when the employer supervises not only the output, product or result to be accomplished by the person's work, but also the details, means, methods and processes by which the work objective is accomplished."

Therefore, if the using firm is providing day-to-day supervision to the contracted employees, they have the responsibility for recording the temporary workers' occupational injuries and illnesses on their Log.

Regarding potential "double counting", please note that temporary help services are normally exempt from OSHA recordkeeping requirements as an employer classified in a low-hazard industry and are not required to record injuries and illnesses on the OSHA Log. (See pages 4 and 5 of the Guidelines.) I hope you find this information useful. If you have any further questions, please contact us at Area Code (202) 219-6463.


Bob Whitmore
Division of Recordkeeping Requirements