Archives: OSHA Letter of Interpretation

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Who is Responsible for Recording Injuries and Illnesses of Temporary Workers?

OSHA is being criticized for a recent interpretation letter clarifying who is responsible for recording illnesses and injuries in what the agency considers a “joint employer relationship” where supervision is shared between a host employer and a staffing agency. In deciding whether the host employer or the staffing agency is responsible for recording injuries and … Continue Reading

Fainting At Sight of Blood From Work-Related Injury Recordable

In a recent interpretation letter, OSHA responded to an employer’s request for “clarification on whether an employee’s laceration and subsequent fainting at the sight of blood constitutes a recordable case on the OSHA Form 300.” The employee had scratched his finger on a vinyl saw clamp at work. The injury was minor and the only … Continue Reading

Laundering Responsibilities for FR Clothing

In an interpretation letter dated June 1, 2015, OSHA answered the question “Under OSHA regulations 29 CFR 1926.95(a) who is responsible for the laundering of fire retarding clothing that is provided to employees?” The section states that protective equipment “shall be provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition” but does not elaborate … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues New Interpretations of its Process Safety Management Standard

Authored by:  Linda Otaigbe OSHA has recently issued several memoranda updating guidance on its Process Safety Management (“PSM”) standard. On June 5, 2015, OSHA issued a memorandum to Regional Administrators explaining how inspectors should enforce recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices (“RAGAGEP”) requirements. Among other things, OSHA explained that when an employer’s internal standards … Continue Reading

OSHA Clarifies that Workers May Authorize a Union or Community Organization to Act as Their Representative

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) released a new interpretation letter on April 5, 2013, clarifying that non-union employees may select a non-employee who is “affiliated with a union” or with a “community organization” to act as their walk-around representative during OSHA inspections of their employer’s worksite.  In reaching this conclusion, OSHA concluded that … Continue Reading

OSHA Addresses Sweep Auger Policy in Grain Handling Industry

In a February 16, 2012 letter to Congresswoman Kristi Noem, OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels has provided additional guidance to employers in the grain handling industry regarding the use of sweep augers to remove grain from bins.  Sweep augers are common tools used in grain bins to push grain remaining at the bottom of a bin into a … Continue Reading

Exercise Regime Constitutes Medical Treatment for OSHA Recordability

Following its recent interpretation that "therapeutic exercise" constitutes medical treatment for OSHA recordability purposes, OSHA has now stated that an exercise regime recommended by a Certified Athletic Trainer for an employee who exhibits any signs or symptoms of a work-related injury involves medical treatment and is a recordable case.  OSHA made this interpretation in a letter recently posted … Continue Reading

“Therapeutic Exercise” Considered Medical Treatment for OSHA Recordkeeping Purposes

In a newly released letter of interpretation, OSHA has concluded that "therapeutic exercise" recommended by a health care professional in response to minor work-related "pain" constitutes medical treatment under OSHA’s recordkeeping rule. OSHA was asked whether exercises recommended for a short period of time by an on-site health care professional when an employee is experiencing minor … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Proposed Interpretation of Feasible Controls in Noise Standards

OSHA has issued a proposed interpretation of the terms "feasible administrative or engineering controls" as they are used in OSHA’s general industry and construction occupational noise standards.  Under these standards, employers must first implement feasible administrative or engineering controls before utilizing personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce employee exposures.  According to OSHA, the proposed interpretation will "clarify that feasible … Continue Reading

OSHA: Employees Do Not Need To Be Tied Off Over Water

In a recently issued letter of interpretation, OSHA has confirmed its policy that employees working in an aerial lift over water may unhook their lanyard from the boom or basket of the lift.  The letter was in response to an employee inquiry regarding a company policy of allowing employees to unhook their lanyards when performing operations … Continue Reading

OSHA: Employers May Require Employees to Take Flu Vaccines

Employers may order employees to take seasonal and H1N1 vaccines, the nation’s principal workplace safety and health agency has stated.  OSHA offered this opinion in a letter of interpretation, published recently on the agency’s website. The letter is addressed to Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), who relayed to OSHA a letter from a constituent asking whether … Continue Reading

OSHA Has No Authority to Ban the Use of Hazardous Substances?

OSHA has declared that it lacks the congressional authority to ban the use of hazardous substances. OSHA made this statement in a letter of interpretation, published on the agency’s website, responding to a question specifically related to OSHA’s ability to ban hexavalent chromium in the workplace. OSHA agrees that “product substitution” is the best solution to … Continue Reading

OSHA Mandates Recordkeeping for Team Building Event

In a new letter of interpretation, OSHA has confirmed that injuries to employees sustained at off-site team-building events are recordable on OSHA logs, so long as the injuries also meet other general recording criteria (such as requiring medical treatment beyond first aid). Employers are encouraged to review their recordkeeping practices to ensure that they are … Continue Reading

Employers Must Record Injuries Resulting from “Horseplay” at Work

In a recent letter of interpretation addressing a common issue at worksites around the country, OSHA confirmed that injuries to employees sustained at the worksite as a result of “horseplay” are recordable on OSHA Logs, so long as the injuries also meet other general recording criteria (such as requiring medical treatment beyond first aid). The … Continue Reading