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.

DATE:               July 13, 1999


MEMORANDUM FOR:     REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS
                    STATE DESIGNEES


THROUGH:            R. DAVIS LAYNE
                    DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY


FROM:               RICHARD FAIRFAX, DIRECTOR
                    DIRECTORATE OF COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS

SUBJECT:            Child Labor:  Importance of the Referral System
                    Established in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
                    between the Employment Standards Administration (ESA),
                    Wage and Hour Division, and OSHA

On February 28, 1991, OSHA published CPL 2.92, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Employment Standards Administration, Wage Hour Division, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Subsequently, on June 3, 1991, OSHA published a change to CPL 2.92 to correct the IMIS code provided for tracking referrals related to child labor issues and to clarify that referrals received from ESA/WH under the MOU were considered Safety and Health Agency Referrals.

The MOU between ESA/WH and OSHA sets forth a working relationship between the two agencies in order to protect the health and well-being of the Nation's work force. It established a referral system between the two agencies which provides for a coordinated enforcement effort, thereby securing the highest level of compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) and the various Federal Wage and Hour Laws.

This memorandum is sent to bring your attention to the importance of this document and the referral system established within the MOU. Adherence to the referral system is important in OSHA's efforts to provide more effective protection for young workers, who are especially vulnerable to workplace hazards. Young workers in this situation are those employees who are less than 18 years old. Please ensure that both the Regional and Area Office staff are aware of this document and make referrals to ESA as necessary.

Because this document is voluminous, we have not included it with this memorandum. It is available on OSHA's website at:

http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/Directive_data/CPL_2_92.html

If you have any questions, please contact Renee Carter or William Smith in the Office of General Industry Compliance Assistance at (202) 693-1850.