Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1903.3


January 8, 1991

James C. Burkhart CSP, CIH
Loss Control Manager
Continental Insurance
Continental Technical Services
One Continental Drive
Cranbury, New Jersey 08570-2105

Dear Mr. Burkhart:

Thank you for your letter of December 4, 1990, expressing your concern that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) use of loss control reports prepared by an insurance company for its policyholders, will create a detrimental relationship between the company and the policyholders.

During the course of safety and health inspections, OSHA compliance officers (CSHOs) are required to review and evaluate an employer safety and health programs and review employer records to gain valuable insight into where hazards may be found. These steps ensure more effective inspections.

An employer usually provides to the CSHO loss control reports that its insurance company created, among other records when requested, in order to demonstrate the company's overall good faith in ensuring a safe workplace for its employees.

When a company is found by the CSHO to have acted upon recommendations made by the insurance company, or by consultants, this information usually results in no citations, or citations with a reduced penalty structure based on the employer's good faith. This normally leads to a positive relationship between the employer and the insurance company, or other safety and health entities.

When the company is found by the CSHO to have knowledge of a hazard either by internal records, consultant's reports, or insurance company reports, such as the loss control reports, and have not taken action for correcting the identified hazard, then CSHOs are instructed to investigate the cause. If the reasons are sufficient to meet the definition of a willful violation, then OSHA may issue a willful citation with appropriate penalties.

It has always been OSHA's policy to use employer records to