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.

February 12, 1981

Willie R. Templin, Chairman
NAS & FCA, Regional Committee No. 5
P.O. Box 7705
Fort Worth, Texas 76111

Dear Mr. Templin:

This is in response to your recent inquiry submitted to our Dallas Regional Office, regarding jurisdiction, conformance with Subpart L and employee rights to file complaints.

Your questions are either directly or indirectly related to 29 CFR 1910.159(a)(1). This standard states "The requirements of this section apply to all automatic sprinkler systems installed to meet a particular OSHA standard." (Emphasis added.) You will also note that 29 CFR 1910.159(b) provides exemptions for automatic sprinkler systems which are not required by OSHA.

If a particular OSHA standard requires automatic sprinkler systems, they must be in accordance with the appropriate standard and would be under OSHA jurisdiction in the State of Texas.

Employees who are subjected to hazards have the right to file a complaint with OSHA. Should the complaint be valid, the employer is subject to being cited and being required to correct those elements found to be not in compliance.

For information, we are enclosing a copy of Subpart L. Should you have any further questions, please call or write.


John K. Barto
Chief, Division of
Occupational Safety Programming