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.

October 30, 1978

Mr. Jesse L. Winchester
Field Safety Engineer
Dresser Atlas Division
Dresser Industries, Inc.
1320 Capital Towers
Jackson, Mississippi 39201

Dear Mr. Winchester:

This letter is in response to your inquiry concerning clarification of standards promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration with respect to jurisdiction over the storage, transportation, and use of explosives.

The OSH Act contains a statement which reads in part, "Nothing in this Act shall apply to working conditions of employees with respect to which other Federal agencies and State agencies exercise statutory authority to prescribe or enforce standards or regulations affecting occupational safety or health." This means, in effect, that since explosives storage facilities are maintained under the requirements of, and are enforced by, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and/or State agencies, your company would be required to comply with those requirements which are referenced in 29 CFR 1926.904(a).

This is also the case with respect to the transportation of explosives. The Department of Transportation exercises authority over the transportation of explosives on public highways. Thus, when explosives are transported over public highways, your company would be required to comply with DOT requirements. However, when the transportation of explosives is over private roads, your company would be required to comply with the OSHA Construction Standards concerning the transportation of explosives. The OSHA Construction Standards for the transportation of explosives are, however, essentially the same as those of DOT. Therefore, this should not pose any problems with respect to conflicts in the application of the requirements.

In answer to your third question, the OSHA Construction Standards would cover the use of explosives at drilling rigs and workover rigs. There should not be many instances where the OSHA standards overlap standards of another regulatory agency. However, if such overlapping of coverage does occur, it should be kept in mind that the OSHA standards are minimum standards. Therefore, those standards providing the maximum amount of safety to employees should be applied.

I hope this information has sufficiently answered your questions.


John K. Barto, Chief
Division of Occupational
Safety Programming