- 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 https://www.osha.gov.
February 28, 2014
John D. Smart
500 Winstead Building
2728 N. Harwood Street
Dallas, Texas 75201
Dear Mr. Smart:
Thank you for your letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding the recordkeeping regulation contained in 29 CFR Part 1904 - Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. In an effort to provide the public with prompt and accurate responses, we developed and continue to refine a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), in addition to maintaining a log of Letters of Interpretation (LOI) on the OSHA Recordkeeping web page.
Your letter requests clarification of OSHA's injury and illness recordkeeping requirements at Section 1904.30, Multiple businesses. You represent a company (the Company) that regularly contracts with the federal government and other entities. The Company's employees perform services at several hundred locations controlled and operated by clients. The clients assume responsibility for the health and safety program for their employees at these sites. The Company has no authority to oversee health and safety issues at these sites without first seeking the approval of the client.
You also state that the Company has employees who perform work at remote locations that are not associated with any Company-owned or leased building, or client site. The Company maintains OSHA 300 logs at its central headquarters and has the capability to transmit information to the Company's employees at any client site by the next business day following a request, and within four hours of any request made by the government.
Based on the information described above, you request clarification of the five questions below. For purposes of this response, we assume that Company employees are not supervised on a day-to-day basis by client personnel.
Question 1: Does each site operated and controlled by a client at which employees are assigned constitute an "establishment" of the Company for purposes of 29 CFR 1904.30(a)? Is the Company required to maintain a separate OSHA 300 log at each client site?
Response 1: Section 1904.46 of OSHA's recordkeeping regulation includes a definition of the term "establishment."
"An establishment is a single physical location where business is conducted or where services or industrial operations are performed. For activities where employees do not work at a single physical location, such as construction; transportation; communications, electric, gas and sanitary services; and similar operations, the establishment is represented by main or branch offices, terminals, stations, etc. that either supervise such activities or are the base from which personnel carry out these activities."
Section 1904.30(a) provides that employers must keep a separate OSHA 300 log for each establishment that is expected to be in operation for one year or longer. If your company has a continuous presence at a client's site (i.e., a physical space at the job site for one year or longer), you must treat it as an establishment and maintain an OSHA 300 log. On the other hand, Section 1904.30(b)(1) provides that for short-term establishments, (i.e., those that will exist for less than one year), employers are required to keep injury and illness records, but are not required to keep separate OSHA 300 logs. Instead, employers may keep one OSHA 300 log covering all short-term establishments, or they may include short-term establishment records in logs that cover individual company divisions or geographic regions.
Question 2: Under the facts stated above, is the Company permitted to maintain OSHA 300 logs for its employees working at client-controlled locations at its central headquarters?
Response 2: Yes. Section 1904.30(b)(2) provides that employers can keep injury and illness records for all establishments at their headquarters or other central locations. However, Section 1904.30(b)(2) makes clear that this is only permitted when the employer can produce copies of the injury and illness forms when access to them is needed by a government representative, an employee or former employee, or an employee representative, as required by Sections 1904.35 and 40.
Question 3: How should the Company record injuries and illnesses that occur to employees working at a remote location not associated with a company-owned or leased building, or with any client site?
Response 3: Recordable injuries or illnesses sustained by an employee at a remote location must be recorded on that employee's home establishment's OSHA 300 log. In cases where employees work at several different locations, or do not work at any establishment, Section 1904.30(b)(3) requires that each employee must be linked, for OSHA recordkeeping purposes, to one of the employer's establishments. This means that all of the employee's injuries or illnesses must be recorded on either his or her home establishment's OSHA 300 log, or a general OSHA 300 log for short-term establishments. This requirement ensures that all employees are included in a company's records. See, the preamble to the January 19, 2001 final rule revising OSHA's recordkeeping regulation at 66 Federal Register 5915, 6036.
Question 4: Does posting the OSHA 300-A Summary Form electronically for all employees to review satisfy OSHA's posting requirements?
Response 4: No. Employers must post a hard copy of the OSHA 300-A form at each of their establishments in a conspicuous place where notices to employees are normally posted in the workplace. OSHA's FAQ 32-3 states:
"If employers electronically post the OSHA 300-A Summary of Work-related Injuries and Illnesses, are they in compliance with the posting requirements of 1904.32(b)(5)?
No. The recordkeeping rule allows all forms to be kept on computer equipment or at an alternate location, as long as the employer can produce the data when needed. Section 1904.32(b)(5), requires employers to post a copy of the Annual Summary in each establishment, where notices are normally posted [see 1903.2(a)], no later than February 1 of the year following the year covered by the records and kept in place until April 30. Only the OSHA 300-A Summary form should be posted."
Question 5: How should the Company satisfy its obligation to post the annual summary with respect to employees that work at remote locations not affiliated with a company-owned or leased building, or a client site?
Response 5: An annual summary posted at the employee's home (or linked) establishment will satisfy this requirement.
Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. 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 responses to new information. To keep appraised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov.
John Hermanson, Acting Director
Directorate of Evaluation and Analysis