OSHA Instruction STP 2-1.174 March 10, 1995 Office of State Programs
Subject: Issuance of Interpretive Rule Addressing OSHA's Policy on Employee
A. Purpose. This instruction clarifies OSHA's citation policy
regarding employers whose employees perform or attempt to perform voluntary
rescues of individuals in life-threatening danger.
B. Scope. This instruction applies OSHA-wide.
c. Federal Program Chance. This instruction describes a Federal
program change which affects State programs.
1. The Regional Administrator (RA) shall ensure that this change
is promptly forwarded to each State designee using a format consistent with
the Plan Change Two-way Memorandum in Appendix A, Part I, State Plan Policies
and Procedures Manual (SPM).
2. The RA shall explain the content of this change to the State
designee as required and shall provide a copy of the Federal Register
notice at 59 FR 66612, Policy on Employee Rescue Efforts, dated December 27,
1994, to the State designee upon request.
3. The State shall respond to this change at 29 CFR Part 1903.14,
within 70 days in accordance with paragraph I.1.a.(2)(a) and (b), Chapter III
of the SPM.
4. The State's acknowledgement shall include (a) the State's plan
to adopt and implement an identical change (b) the State's plan to develop an
alternative, which is as effective, or (c) the reasons why no change is
necessary to maintain a program which is as effective. The State shall submit
a plan supplement within six months (June 27, 1995) in accordance with
I.1.a.(3)(c), Chapter III of the SPM.
5. The RA shall review policies, instructions and guidelines
issued by the State to determine that this change has been communicated to
State compliance personnel.
6. Although OSHA has issued this policy through an interpretive
regulation, States may use alternative mechanisms to accomplish an "at least
as effective" policy.
1. The issuance of the interpretive rule at 29 CFR Part 1903.14
addresses the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's)
citation policy regarding employers whose employees perform or attempt to
perform voluntary rescues of individuals in life-threatening danger. Prior
to this the agency had no written instruction to its field offices providing
guidance in situations involving employee rescue efforts although a variety
of OSHA standards contain precautions and safeguards for rescue-related
operations including the standards for process safety management, hazardous
waste operations, confined spaces, and grain handling. Also, in the
construction standards, specific rescue precautions are prescribed for work
performed near or over water and for excavation work.
OSHA will not issue citations to any employer under any OSHA
standard or the general duty clause of the OSH Act for any rescue activity by
its employees except when the employer has specifically designated an
employee with responsibility to perform or assist in a rescue operation, or
when employees have duties directly related to workplace processes or
operations where the possibility of life-threatening accidents is
Joseph A. Dear Assistant Secretary
DISTRIBUTION: National, Regional and Area Offices State Plan Monitoring
Personnel State Designees OSHA Training Institute