The last construction project involved in the Cooperative Compliance Program was completed in 1984. For the participants, memories of the CCP have grown dim with time. Even the institutional memory located in CAL / OSHA files may have been erased, for CAL / OSHA no longer exists, having been replaced in 1987 by federal OSHA. So it is difficult to say whether relevant documents still exist. Because the research reported here cannot be replicated, and the reader must therefore rely on the descriptive material I provide, it is doubly important that I present the details of how the research was carried out.
In deciding to undertake a study of this sort, one of the first issues the researcher must address is the question of access. To begin with, in April, 1983 I met CAL / OSHA's Deputy Chief and explained the purpose of my study. He agreed to give me complete access to CAL / OSHA s CCP-related files, provided that all names of individuals and companies remained confidential. In addition, he granted me permission to interview anyone within the agency. Next, I approached the four companies involved in the CCP, specifically, the managers of their respective safety departments. After I explained the purpose of my study and assured them of complete confidentiality, they also agreed to cooperate with the project. At the same time, though, these officials made it unmistakably clear that time is money, and that in granting me access to company personnel the use of their time was to be treated accordingly. As it