Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
| Standard Number:||1903.10; 1903.3; 1903.4|
|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 http://www.osha.gov.|
Refusal to Permit Inspection.Although not specific to your inquiry, OSHA has assumed on February 3, 1997 [Secretary's Order 6-96, Dec. 27, 1996 (62 FR 111 (Jan. 2, 1997))], jurisdiction for whistleblower protection under other Federal statutes. A copy of the memorandum for Regional Administrators on this subject is also enclosed.
Section 8 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (Act) provides that Compliance Safety and Health Officer (CSHO) may enter without delay and at reasonable times any establishment covered under the Act for the purpose of conducting an inspection. Unless the circumstances constitute a recognized exception to the warrant requirement (i.e., consent, third party consent, plain view, open field, or exigent circumstances) an employer has a right to require that the CSHO seek an inspection warrant prior to entering an establishment and may refuse entry without such a warrant.
Section 8(a)(2) of the Act authorizes the CSHO to question any employee privately during regular working hours in the course of an OSHA inspection. The purpose of such interviews is to obtain whatever information the CSHO deems necessary or useful in carrying out the inspection effectively. The CSHO may consult with any employee who desires to discuss a possible violation under Section 8(f)(2); upon receipt of such information, the CSHO shall investigate the alleged hazard, where possible, and record the findings.
Private interviews may be conducted at any time during an inspection but must be conducted in a reasonable manner.
|Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
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