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.


March 13, 1985

Mr. Michael Vadyak
Apartment #4
14 West Broad Street
Tamaqua, PA 18252

Dear Mr. Vadyak:

This is in reply to your letter to the Wilkes-Barre OSHA office concerning medical removal protection (MRP) benefits for Mr. Chuck Pierce. Your letter was forwarded to this office for reply.

The OSHA lead standard, 29 CFR 1910.1025, requires that the employer maintain the earnings and other benefits of an employee as though the employee had not been removed from exposure to lead or otherwise limited. It is our understanding that the other employees in the plastic plant receive a $45.00 bonus as well as an extra day of overtime per month since this is required to maintain the earnings they had in their previous lead-area jobs and that the bonus and overtime are not inherent in the plastic plant jobs. Assuming this is the case, Mr. Pierce is not entitled to these benefits since the benefits received by the other employees are MRP benefits for those employees. Mr. Pierce would, however, be entitled to work as many hours in the plastics plant, up to a maximum of nine per day, that would provide him with the equivalent compensation that he received in his previous lead-area maintenance job. This presumes that the hourly rate in the plastics plant is the same or higher than Mr. Pierce's hourly rate in his maintenance job. If the hourly rate in the plastics plant is lower than Mr. Pierce's hourly rate in the maintenance department, then Mr. Pierce is to receive his hourly rate as if he were still doing maintenance work since this would retain his salary as if he were not medically removed. In no case, could he be required to work more than nine hours per day in order to receive compensation equivalent to his maintenance job since his maintenance job did not require him to work more than nine hours per day.

I hope this clarification has been helpful. Please contact this office if we can be of further assistance.

Sincerely yours,

Regional Administrator
[Corrected 08/16/2007]

February 26, 1985




Regional Administrator
ATTENTION: Ken Gerecke
ARA/Tech Support
SUBJECT: Interpretation of Standards


Attached is a letter requesting a formal interpretation of the lead standard as it applies to medical removal protection benefits. In accordance with OSHA Directives, this request is forwarded to your office for a response. The individual has been advised that the letter was sent to the Regional Office.

Leo Carey
Area Director
Wilkes-Barre Area Office
Room 2005, Penn Place
20 North Pennsylvania Avenue
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701


U.S. Dept. of Labor — OSHA
February 15, 1985
Wilkes-Barre Area Office
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701

Mr. Hedash,

This letter concerns a Mr. Chuck Pierce who works in the maintenance dept. Chuck worked nine(9) hrs/day, five(5) days/week at the time he was rotationally removed to the plastic plant (a low-lead area). By rotational removal, I mean under the MRP level of 60 but higher than a 50 blood-lead level even though removed, he is still protected by MRP benefits. At the time of removal, all people working in the plastic plant were receiving:





1 wk 8 hrs/day 5 days wk $45 bonus
2 wk 8 hrs/day 5 days wk $45 bonus
3 wk 8 hrs/day 5 days wk $45 bonus
4 wk 8 hrs/day 6 days wk (OT) $45 bonus


For the month, every month.

This procedure was set up because all of the other people who were sent to the plastic/low-lead area, were working that type of shift at their previous job in the lead plant. Examples of these jobs are furnace, kettle, floaters, etc.

This procedure is called the Four-shift system. My contention is that Mr. Pierce should receive nine(9) hrs/day, plus receive the $45 bonus and odd day OT. It would be unfair, to say the least, to make this man work extra days and shifts to equal monetarily his previous gross earnings. I request a written opinion concerning this matter.


Michael Vadyak
14 W. Broad St.
Apt. #4
Tamaqua, PA 18252