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Home offices will not be inspected
OSHA FORMALIZES POLICY ON HOME-BASED WORK
Home offices will not be inspected for violations of federal safety and health rules, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed today in a new compliance directive issued to formalize agency policy about home-based work. The directive, which provides guidance to OSHA compliance officers who enforce such rules, also states that employers are not expected to conduct home inspections either.
The policy was first announced by OSHA Administrator Charles N. Jeffress in Congressional testimony prepared for delivery on Jan. 25, 2000.
"OSHA respects the privacy of people's homes, and we expect that employers will too," Jeffress said. The directive also states that employers are not liable for an employee's home office.
Though OSHA will not inspect home offices under any circumstances, the agency will, when asked, follow-up on complaints involving potentially hazardous factory work being performed in the home. Examples include assembling electronics, using unguarded crimping machines, or handling potentially hazardous materials without adequate protection.
Under the provisions of the directive, distributed electronically to OSHA's regional and area offices, inspections will take place in home manufacturing and similar operations only after the agency "receives a complaint or referral that indicates that a violation of a safety or health standard exists that threatens physical harm, or that an imminent danger exists, including reports of a work-related fatality." In addition, inspections would be limited only to the employee's actual work activities and not the entire dwelling.
The directive and Jeffress' Congressional testimony can be found on OSHA's home page at http://www.osha.gov. Copies of the directive can also be obtained from the agency's Publications Office by calling (202) 693-1888.
This news release text is on the OSHA home page at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202)693-1999.
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