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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 10, 1999
John P. Resuta
Primate Products, Inc.
7780 N.W. 53rd Street
Miami, Florida 33166-4102
Dear Mr. Resuta:
Thank you for your letter dated July 13, 1999. You requested information regarding the release of data contained on the OSHA No. 200, Log and Summary of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Please excuse our belated response. Your letter raises several issues which I will address below.
You indicated that Primate Products Inc. is a biomedical research facility. According to the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Manual, 1987, biomedical research facilities are classified as SIC 8731, Commercial Physical and Biological Research. Employers in SIC 87 are regularly exempt from maintaining the OSHA No. 200 (see enclosed 29 CFR 1904.16). It would appear from the limited information included in your letter that OSHA does not require your company to complete the OSHA No. 200 on an annual basis. You also indicated that your company is a "USDA Class B Dealer". We are unfamiliar with the particulars of this classification and do not know if they would affect the classification of your establishment as SIC 8731. If you would like to discuss this for further clarification, please call the referenced phone number below.
Please be aware that companies that are regularly exempt from keeping the OSHA No. 200 Log and Summary of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses must comply with the following: (a) Obligation to report under Part 1904.8 concerning fatalities or multiple hospitalization accidents; and (b) Obligation to maintain a log of occupational injuries and illnesses under Part 1904.2 and to make reports under Sections 1904.17 and 1904.21 upon being notified in writing by OSHA or the Bureau of Labor Statistics that the employer has been selected to participate in a survey of occupational injuries and illnesses.
Disclosure to employees, former employees, employee representatives and government representatives.
29 CFR Part 1904.7 requires employers that are required to keep the injury and illness records to provide access to the entire Log and Summary of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA No. 200) to representatives of the Secretary of Labor, representatives of the Secretary of Health and Human Services and to representatives of a State accorded jurisdiction for safety and health inspections. Furthermore, complete access to the entire form is to be provided to employees, former employees, and their representatives in a reasonable manner and at a reasonable time. The entire log includes the employer identification section, columns (A) through (F), including the employees' names, columns (1) through (13), and the totals and certification sections. These access provisions do not apply to individuals other than those listed above.
Disclosure to the general public.
In regards to disclosure under the FOIA, individuals may request from an agency of the federal government copies of records controlled by that agency. The records are to be disclosed unless they fall within the scope of one or more exemptions within the FOIA. Please be aware that, if OSHA does not have a copy of a company's OSHA No. 200 form, it could not be subject to a FOIA request for disclosure.
When OSHA obtains a copy of a company's OSHA Log during an inspection, it is generally contained in the inspection file. OSHA and its attorneys have carefully reviewed whether any of FOIA's exemptions apply to this data. Based on this review, the Agency believes that a good case can be made in appropriate circumstances to claim either exemption 4 (the data is privileged or confidential commercial or financial information) or 7(A) (disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings) or both, to protect the various categories of Log data. Prior to disclosure of Log data, OSHA would contact the submitter of the data to obtain the company's views on disclosure of the data (as directed by Executive Order 12600).
I hope you find this information useful. If you have any questions, please contact the Division of Recordkeeping Requirements at 202-693-1720.
Cheryle A. Greenaugh
Directorate of Information Technology