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 http://www.osha.gov.

June 22, 1976

Mr. Harold Fay,
Business Representative
District No. 9, I.A.M. & A.W. 159
Shamrock Street East
Alton, Illinois 62024

Dear Mr. Fay:

We are in receipt of your letter dated June 10, 1976 regarding showers and lunch areas. This subject matter is covered in 29 CFR 1910.141, and I am enclosing a copy of the June 1974 regulations that include Section 141.

There are a few matters I wish to call to your attention in reading through these regulations: 1910.141(d)(3)(i) begins by stating, "Whenever showers are required by a particular standard ....." This preamble means that not every employer is required (under these standards) to provide showers. An example of a required shower would be illustrated in 1910.93(c): 4-Nitrobiphenyl (recently updated to 1910.1003: 4-Nitrobiphenyl). On page 23546, center column,     (Correction 06/27/00) [1910.1003(c): 13 Carcinogens (4-Nitrobiphenyl, etc.).] [S]ubparagraph (5)(iii) states that each authorized employee entering that area shall, "Be required to shower upon removing the protective garments and hood."

There is no direct reference to shower heads in Section 141, but paragraph (d)(3)(ii), on page 23675 states that, "One shower shall be provided for each 10 employees of each sex ...." The question of multiple shower heads from individual spuds seems not to be answered.

1910.141(g) is addressed to consumption of food and beverages on the premises and is found on page 23675, columns 1 and 2. Please note the applicability of paragraph (g) listed at the beginning. There is no requirement at present for employers to provide lunchrooms or eating areas to employees. However, an employer who grants permission to eat on company premises must adhere to paragraph (g).

If you should have any other questions feel free to contact me or my staff at the above address (note the change), or by phone (in Illinois) at (312) 353-1370.

Very truly yours,

EDWARD J. LARGENT
Assistant Regional Administrator
for Technical Support