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 https://www.osha.gov.

June 29, 1977

Mr. A. Quayle
Blackwell Burner Co.
P.O. Box 37383
San Antonio, Texas 78237
Dear Mr. Quayle:

This is in response to your correspondence of June 8, 1977, regarding the discharge from exits in your plant. Your specific question relates to the adequacy of a 15 foot wide discharge from exits. The exits discharge includes the yard behind the plant, which has free access to a public street.

It appears that the applicable standard is 29 CFR [1910.36(c)(1)], which states ["Each exit discharge must lead directly outside or to a street, walkway, refuge area, public way, or open space with access to the outside." 29 CFR 1910.36(c)(2) states: "The street, walkway, refuge area, public way, or open space to which an exit discharge leads must be large enough to accommodate the building occupants likely to use the exit route."]

The aforementioned standard appears to be self-explanatory. If you have further questions, it may be more expedient to contact our [Austin Texas Area Office] at the following address and phone number:

U.S. Department of Labor - OSHA
[903 San Jacinto Boulevard Suite 319
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: (512) 916-5783]

Thank your for your continued interest in safety and health.


John K. Barto,
Division of Occupational Safety Programming

[Corrected 2/4/2004]