Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at

February 17, 1976

Mr. John M. Reynolds, Manager
Occupational Safety and Health
General Electric Corporate Research
and Development Center
P. O. Box 8
Building K-1, Room 2C7
Schenectady, New York 12301

Dear Mr. Reynolds:

This is in response to your letter requesting clarification of [1910.37(a)(3)] requiring means of egress shall be maintained clear of all obstructions.

In our telephone conversation, you indicated that all passages were more than 44 inches unimpeded width and that vending machines, coat racks and similar items were only permitted where the hallways, passages and aisles exceeded the 44 inch width. It appears that compliance with OSHA part [1910.37(a)(3)] and [1910.36(g)(2)] has been achieved by maintaining unobstructed egress in excess of 44 inches.

Please feel free to contact us if there are further questions about OSHA.


Alfred Barden
Regional Administrator
Occupational Safety and Health

[Corrected 2/6/2004]