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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

June 6, 1978

Mr. Jack Fees
Safety Education Director
Construction Industry
Service Program
Cleveland, Ohio 44114

Dear Mr. Fees:

This is in response to your letter dated April 25, 1978, requesting a full interpretation of 29 CFR 1926.16(a), Rules of Construction.

The standards issued under the Construction Safety Act and published as 29 CFR part 1926 have been adopted as occupational safety and health standards under Section 6(a) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and 29 CFR Section 1910.12. They shall apply to every employment and place of employment of every employee engaged in construction work. The term "construction work" means work for construction, alteration, and/or repair, including painting and decorating.

Each employer is responsible for the working conditions of his own employees. However, an employer may also be cited if his own employees are exposed or potentially exposed to an unsafe or unhealthful condition, even if he did not create the condition, but was aware that the unsafe condition existed. Additional guidelines are being considered at this time in issuing citations to employers on multi-employer worksites.

If I may be of any further assistance, please feel free to contact me.


John K. Barto, Chief
Division of Occupational
Safety Programming