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.

August 9, 1983

Mr. Ken Raymond
Health and Safety Coordinator
Globe Battery Division
Johnson Controls, Inc.
900 East Keefe Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212

Dear Mr. Raymond:

Assistant Secretary Thorne Auchter has asked me to respond to your letter of June 30, concerning Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements on battery installations.

OSHA regulations for battery installation are contained in 29 CFR 1910.305(j)(7), which requires ventilation of gases from storage batteries to prevent the accumulation of explosive mixtures. There are no OSHA regulations specifically applicable to the grounding of battery racks; however, the provisions of 29 CFR 1910.304(f) on the grounding of systems and equipment applies generally. For your convenience, I have enclosed a copy of the electrical safety standards contained in Subpart S of 29 CFR Part 1910. These standards are based on the National Electrical Code (National Fire Protection Association Standard NFPA 70), which contains additional details on battery installations in Article 480. It should be noted that OSHA's regulations apply only to workplaces and not to private residences.

I appreciate your interest in safety and hope that this information will be helpful.


Barry J. White
Director, Directorate of Safety
Standards Programs