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 23, 1983

Honorable Matthew J. Rinaldo
House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Congressman Rinaldo:

This is in response to your letter of June 29, 1983, on behalf of Mr. Allen W. Beals, concerning safety precautions for security guards. Please accept my apology for the delay in response.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has no specific standards for security guards. Our standard for sanitation, 29 CFR 1910.141 (copy enclosed), does require employers to provide adequate toilet facilities and drinking water, with which Mr. Beals expressed concern. We do not, however, have a specific standard regarding hot or cold temperatures at work.

Many of Mr. Beals' concerns relate to protection from possible personal assault, over which OSHA has no statutory authority; these would be matters to be dealt with in the employer's arrangements with him, in light of any local regulations that may apply.

We are informed that the Wage and Hour Division of the Employment Standards Administration will answer your letter on Mr. Beals' concerns with labor practices and working conditions that do not involve safety or health hazards.

I hope this information will be helpful to you. Should you require any further assistance, please contact me.


Thorne G. Auchter
Assistant Secretary