DOL-OSHA-DEP-OHE-2020-012 - This document does not have the force and effect of law and is not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.

December 22, 2020

Deputy Assistant Secretary

Acting Director, Directorate of Enforcement

Director, Directorate of Construction

Employer Identification Number

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been making efforts to collect the Employer Identification Numbers of establishments it inspects. In response to language in the Statement of Managers for the Fiscal Year 20 appropriations law, which directed OSHA to "explore options for gathering and entering Employee Identification Numbers from all inspections of worksites and . . . consider exemptions for small worksites with few employees," OSHA has continue to find ways to efficiently collect this data. The General Accountability Office recommended that the agency examine the feasibility of "requiring a corporate identification number in its inspection database and enabling its website to be searched by that number."1 On May 31, 2019, OSHA issued a memorandum to Regional Administrators encouraging Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) to make efforts to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) during an inspection2. Obtaining the EIN also furthers the Federal Government’s ability to collect overdue civil monetary penalties through the Cross Servicing and Treasury Offset program, consistent Secretary Order 4-2020, which is aimed at strengthening departmental collections processes. This memorandum provides additional protocols for CSHOs to follow in obtaining EINs.

As part of the planning process for each inspection (see Chapter 3, Inspection Preparation of Inspection History of the Field Operations Manual) CSHOs are directed to make reasonable efforts to obtain the establishment’s EIN prior to opening an inspection. While many establishment listings in the OSHA Information System (OIS) already contain the EIN, where it is not, the Area Office also should consult the following sources:

  • From a government computer, access ReferenceUSAGov Click the "Start Search" button under U.S. Businesses, enter the information on the establishment to be inspected, checkmark the correct location, and click the "Details" button. If ReferenceUSAGov has the EIN, it will display it.
  • OSHA collects the EIN from establishments that are required to report their Form 300A data under 1904.41. The collection of this value began with the collection of CY 2019 data. To access these data, the Area Office can login to ListGen, choose Injury Tracking Application (ITA) data, and use the search function to locate the establishment. If the establishment provided 2019 data to OSHA, the results table will display the establishment information including the EIN number.

When no EIN is available, CSHOs are still directed to attempt to obtain the information as directed by the May 31, 2019 "Collecting Employer Identification Numbers During Inspections" memorandum.

[1] DEFENSE CONTRACTING: Enhanced Information Needed on Contractor Workplace Safety. GAO-19-235.

[2] Memorandum from Patrick Kapust to Regional Administrators, May 31, 2019.