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• Record Type: Instruction
• Directive Number: CSP 01-01-030
• Old Directive Number: STP 2-1.174
• Title: Issuance of Interpretive Rule Addressing OSHA's Policy on Employee Rescue Efforts.
• Information Date: 03/10/1995

OSHA Instruction STP 2-1.174 March 10, 1995 Office of State Programs

Subject: Issuance of Interpretive Rule Addressing OSHA's Policy on Employee Rescue Efforts

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.

D. Background.

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 foreseeable.

Joseph A. Dear Assistant Secretary

DISTRIBUTION: National, Regional and Area Offices State Plan Monitoring Personnel State Designees OSHA Training Institute


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