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Ask the expert: Terrorist attacks and OSHA violations

Q: This may appear to be a weird question, but would OSHA fine a business for worker injuries from a terrorist attack?

A: OSHA would not apply enforcement procedures because of the unforeseeable nature of such a workplace emergency, according to a May 25, 2004 letter of interpretation [1].

The letter also explains that enforcement is only part of the agency’s mandate and identifies safety preparedness resources for such an unpredictable event on the OSHA Web site, including: