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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

October 26, 1982

Honorable Dan Rostenkowski
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 2051

Dear Congressman Rostenkowski:

Thank you for your letter of September 17, 1982, to Mr. Robert C. Wetherell, Jr, of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Mr. Wetherell forwarded your inquiry on behalf of Mrs. Theresa Wolverton of Chicago, Illinois for response.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under its regulation 29 CFR 1910.22, portion enclosed, requires that all walking and working surfaces be kept clean, orderly, and in a sanitary condition. It further requires that floors shall be kept dry or where wet processes are used, the floors shall be provided with proper surfaces appropriate to the circumstances.

OSHA has no regulations prohibiting the use of sawdust in a work area if its use does not create a hazard to employees. However, you should be aware of the Food Service Sanitation Service Manual, published by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Page 56, Paragraph 7-103 of this manual states that the use of sawdust on floors in food processing establishments is prohibited. It is our understanding that the Department of Agriculture and Department of Health Officers in the Chicago area enforce the FDA ordinance. I am enclosing this section of the FDA Manual for your information.

I hope this information is useful to you when responding to your constituent. If I may be of further assistance, please feel free to contact me.



Patrick P. Tyson
Director, Federal Compliance and State Programs