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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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 2, 2000

Mr. David S. Groleau
4637 Nervin Street
The Colony, Texas 75056

Dear Mr. Groleau:

Thank you for your May 14, 1999 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Directorate of Compliance Programs. You indicate that your employer has a safety incentive program which ties the amount of bonuses to the number of recordable accidents in a quarter. You ask whether any OSHA regulations prohibit employers from reducing bonuses "as a consequence of reporting what managers consider to be an excessive number of accidents." We appreciate the opportunity to provide you with clarification on this matter and apologize for the delay in our response.

OSHA does not have regulations prohibiting employers from reducing bonuses based on the number of accidents reported. Employers are, however, required by regulation to record and maintain an accurate log and summary (OSHA Form 200) of all recordable injuries and illnesses. (See 29 CFR 1904.2) Failure to include all recordable injuries and illnesses could result in the issuance of a citation and the assessment of a penalty.

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. Please be aware that OSHA's enforcement guidance is subject to periodic review and clarification, amplification, or correction. Such guidance could be affected by subsequent rulemaking. In the future, should you wish to verify that the guidance provided herein remains current, you may consult OSHA's website at If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of General Industry Compliance Assistance at 202-693-1850.


Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs