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.

January 23, 1986

Mr. Michael B. Wilson
Perry-Wilder Associates
Suite 106
7311 Eby Drive
Merriam, Kansas 66204

Dear Mr. Wilson:

This is in response to your letter of December 15, requesting information on any regulations or guidelines for the safe transportation, handling, storage, etc., of oxygen and oxygen delivery equipment, especially the at-home transfilling of portable oxygen cylinders by patients.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the Federal regulatory agency concerned with safety and health conditions of the workplace. OSHA's mandate concerns the welfare of the employee in a workplace. Clearly, a patient in a residence (or hospital for that matter) is outside the scope of OSHA regulations.

OSHA does have regulations for the installation of bulk oxygen systems on industrial and institutional consumer primises. (See the enclosed 29 CFR 1910 OSHA General Industry regulations, Section 2920.204.) However, these regulations do not apply to facilities with a storage capacity of less than 13,000 cubic feet of oxygen. Other OSHA regulations that apply to employee use of oxygen cylinders include Subpart M - Compressed Gases (general requirements) of the General Industry regulations.

With regard to the training of patients in the use of oxygen cylinders, we suggest that you and your clients consult any of the hospitals in your area. The Respiratory Center of the Kansas University Medical Center Hospital or the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, could be of some help to you.

Please contact this office if further assistance is necessary.


Alphonse Abadir
Acting Director
Office of Science and
Technology Assessment