- Standard Number:
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.
May 4, 2000
Alan C. Ferranto
Director of Safety and Health
National Association of Letter Carriers
100 Indiana Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001-2144
Dear Mr. Ferranto:
Thank you for your February 9, 2000 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) [Directorate of Enforcement Programs (DEP)]. You requested a clarification of the Postal Service's obligation under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (the Act). Your specific concerns and our clarification follow.
Concern 1: A Postal Service memorandum states, "New OSHA requirements mandate that we secure the signature of all employees in attendance for all safety stand up talks and OSHA required training." You request OSHA's clarification of this requirement because, "we have prior settlement agreements with the Postal Service providing that signatures may not be required for such purposes."
Reply: There is no OSHA standard that requires "the signatures of all employees in attendance for all safety stand up talks." However, certain OSHA standards, such as our Personal Protective Equipment standard, 29 CFR 1910.132, require verification, through a written certification, that each affected employee has received and understood the required training. The written certification must contain the name of each employee trained, the date(s) of training, and identify the subject of the certification. It is a common industry practice to take attendance of all employees who attended training sessions, however, OSHA does not require signatures from employees who have attended training sessions.
Concern 2: I have also enclosed a copy of Subpart 825, OSHA Inspections of the Postal Service, Employee and Labor Relations Manual for your review. We are concerned that parts of this subchapter are inconsistent with the postal service's obligation under OSHA.
Reply: We reviewed the document, OSHA Inspections of the Postal Service, subpart 825 of the Employee and Labor Relations Manual. As you know, the Postal Employees Safety Enhancement Act, which became effective on September 28, 1998, subjects the U.S. Postal service to all provisions of the Act in the same manner as a private sector employer. Subsequent to that date, policies and procedures for enforcement activity in the U.S. Postal Service must be the same as those followed for any other employer in the private sector.
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 also be affected by subsequent rulemaking. In the future, should you wish to verify that the guidance provided herein remains current, you may wish to consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the [Office of General Industry Enforcement] at (202) 693-1850.
Richard E. Fairfax, Director
[Directorate of Enforcement Programs]