Freedom of Information Act and Inspector's Notes Page

Please make note that MSHA now has a FOIA Officer. All FOIA requests should go to the address below. This is the same address that is referenced in the Sample Letter!

U.S. Department of Labor - MSHA
FOIA Officer
1100 Wilson Blvd., Room 2314
Arlington, VA 22209-3939


See The Inspectors notes

Dennis Johnson

Back in the late seventies, I asked MSHA how I could get The Inspector's Notes. I was told, "Subpoena them!" Being young and gullible, I accepted that and for almost 25 years believed that that was the only way to get them. Fortunately, I met Dennis Johnson, Regional Safety Manager, Chemical Lime LTD. He said, "Just ask for them under the Freedom of Information Act. I do it all of the time. I even tell the inspectors to write legibly because I don't want our people to have any trouble reading your notes." The notes are used for review during all citation contestments and are very handy when it comes to proving that you, not the inspector, are the expert on the condition of your site.

 The request is for notes relative to specific Agency activity (i.e., Inspections, investigations, etc.) and cover a specific time period. The request goes to MSHA's FOIA Office and you have them shortly for your review and planning.

Frank Adkins

Sample FOIA letter