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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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 13, 1998


SUBJECT: Terms of Clearance OMB 1218-0209


Attached is OSHA's policy for the nonresponders to the collection of the 1997 data to be conducted during FY 1998. Basically, first time establishments to the data collection will not be eligible for citation for simply not responding to the data collection. Only firms that were in the data collection previously would be eligible for citation if they did not respond to the collection of the 1997 data. Participation in a previous survey and non response to this survey are the determining factors.

These conditions will be included in written and telephone communications with the employer during the data collection process after the employer has not responded to the initial attempt to collect the data.

Attachment: 1


OSHA Data Initiative Enforcement Policy

(Federal Jurisdiction Only)

Any employer included in both the FY 1997 OSHA data collection and the FY 1998 OSHA data collection will be subject to citation if they do not return the requested data by the end of the data collection process ( September, 1998 ). Establishments that are included in the data collection for the first time in FY 1998 will not be subject to sanctions for simply not returning the form with the data, but they may be subject to sanctions if other recordkeeping regulations are violated. The data collection process includes at least two mailings and at least two call backs to the employer to collect the data. The employer has the option to submit the data by mail, by fax, or over the Internet.

If such employer fails to respond to the FY 1998 data collection process, they will be sent a last request for the data by OSHA and informed that the next request for the data will contain a citation and penalty: the citation will be for violation of 29 CFR 1904.17. The employer has the following rights and responsibilities of which he will be informed with the citation:


  1. The employer can have an informal meeting with the area director where his data is supplied and the area director can reduce the penalty.
  2. The employer can pay a reduced (specified in the citation) penalty and submit the data with the penalty.

Clarification: This policy addresses only responses to the collection of CY 1997 data during 1998. Sanctions will be based only on employer non-response to the CY 1997 collection during 1998. The employers presence in the CY 1996 collection during 1997 will determine if the employer is eligible to be subject to sanctions and the employer's response or not to the CY 1996 collection during 1997 is not a consideration.