December 3, 2014

Deputy Assistant Secretary
Directorate of Enforcement Programs
Procedures for Local and Regional Emphasis Programs

This memorandum sets forth new requirements within OSHA's Procedures for the Approval of Local Emphasis Programs (LEP) Directive. The National Office has established four new requirements for all future Local and Regional Emphasis Programs, in order to continue to enhance their means of preventing and reducing injuries, illnesses and fatalities in industries with the highest hazards and effectively focusing resources where they are needed most. These requirements only apply to new LEP/REPs that are established and made effective following the date of this memorandum.

New Requirements

First, no LEP/REP inspection will be conducted until the applicable directive is posted on OSHA's public web page.

Second, all LEPs/REPs must adhere to proper generation and randomization of inspection targeting lists. Specific instructions on how an inspection list is to be compiled, ordered and randomized, is contained in the various directives for national, local and regional emphasis programs. For additional instructions on list generation and randomization, and how Area Offices can schedule inspections under NEPs/LEPs/REPs, see the memorandum from Francis Yebesi and Dorothy Dougherty to the Regional Administrators, dated November 12, 2014, on "Establishment-Targeting Lists for Emphasis Programs."

Third, all LEPs/REPs must include a paragraph detailing the need for initiating the program and how it supports OSHA's Strategic Plan. The paragraph shall meet the following parameters;

  • Define the problem with data, BLS data are a good indication of the existence of a problem and should be included in any evaluation, where possible, as a descriptive statistic.
  • Other sources of data included NIOSH, EPA, County Business Patterns (CBP), State Public Health Agencies; State Workers Compensation Agencies [add more sources].

Finally, each Area Director should develop robust and comprehensive outreach activities under all LEPs/REPs, and conduct those activities at least three months prior to initiating inspections. Further guidance on enhancing outreach activities and compliance assistance is detailed below.

Enhancing Compliance Assistance and Outreach Activities

LEPs and REPs provide a proactive means of preventing and abating injuries, illnesses and fatalities in industries with the highest DART and hazard rates. They use limited resources effectively by: (1) focusing on the industries with the highest injury instance rates and highest hazards; (2) engaging with local community members, workers, organizations, interest groups and other stakeholders in educating, preventing, and abating injury and illness; and (3) offering compliance assistance and comprehensive outreach. The components of LEPs/REPs allow employers and industry time and the tools to abate hazards before they result in injuries, illnesses or fatalities of workers. Focusing on the highest DART rates, highest hazards, engaging with local resources, and offering a variety of compliance assistance and outreach makes LEPs/REPs a proactive, rather than reactive, means of ensuring safer workplaces. The compliance assistance and outreach components to LEPs/REPs are becoming more important to reaching this goal.

Each Area Director should develop an outreach plan and programs that will support their enforcement efforts, by working with compliance assistance specialists (CAS) to suggest relevant outreach materials and targeted audiences, provide guidance for how to best implement current and new outreach activities, and continue successful outreach strategies implemented in the past and/or currently being implemented. Outreach activities should utilize OSHA's already established compliance assistance workshops, tools and resources, as well as other mediums, such as news releases, informational packets, seminars, etc. In order to maximize and expand the scope, reach and effectiveness of outreach efforts, each Area Office should determine relationships to be established with local organizations, interested parties, stakeholders, and community groups, as well as foster already existing relationships.

The method of outreach is at the Area Director's discretion, yet efforts should take place at least three months before the initiation of inspections. A detailed description of outreach activities should be included in each Area Offices' Regional notice of LEPs/REPs, as well as in their subsequent evaluations. Below are examples for outreach activities and other compliance assistance to be incorporated into LEP/REP procedures.

Outreach to Industry, Workers and other Stakeholders

Outreach activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Encourage employers to utilize OSHA's free on-site consultation programs and provide educational and compliance assistance information relevant to the industry, along with other applicable outreach materials to appropriate stakeholders.
  • Develop linguistically appropriate materials to ensure a comprehensive approach that reaches all affected and interested parties and ensures maximum participation. Inform employers that many new resources target vulnerable workers with limited English proficiency, and that training tools exist for use, as well as posters to display at their worksites.
  • Upon establishing a list of affected industries, provide a letter to inform industry, employees and other stakeholders of hazards associated with that particular industry, and inform employers of your outreach and targeting plan prior to commencement of inspection activities. Furthermore, inform employers and workers of educational resource pages that give them information on potential hazards and how to prevent them.
  • Develop worker protection training, information and materials to specific groups, appropriate to the industry.

Utilization of Existing OSHA resources and Outreach Tools

  • Conduct targeted training sessions and utilize OSHA's Outreach Training Program to train workers and employers on the recognition, prevention, and abatement of safety and health hazards in the workplaces. Provide information regarding workers' rights, employer responsibilities, and how to file a complaint.
  • Conduct stakeholder meetings and disseminate information through speeches, training sessions and Area Office newsletters.

Leveraging of Community Knowledge and Local Institutions

  • Outreach should be comprehensive and tailored to local considerations of specific industries and the communities in which workers and stakeholders are a part of. Therefore, outreach programs with employers, professional associations, advocacy groups, local unions, and others, should be implemented in conjunction with local resources, knowledge and relationships to involve employee and management stakeholders in the identification and elimination of worksite hazards.

This list consists of general outreach examples, many already used by regions. For Area Offices that have not yet included outreach activities in their LEPs or in regional notices and evaluations, we encourage you to use the guidance in this list. For Area Offices that already have outreach activities, continue to implement those that have been successful.

Attached is the referenced memorandum from Francis Yebesi and Dorothy Dougherty to the Regional Administrators, dated November 12, 2014, on "Establishment-Targeting Lists for Emphasis Programs."

If you have any questions regarding these new requirements, please contact the Office of General Industry and Agricultural Enforcement at 202-693-1850.