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 6, 1986

The Honorable Quentin M. Burdick
United States Senate
Washington, D. C. 20510

Dear Senator Burdick:

This is in response to your letter of July 7, concerning your constituents, Mr. Glen R. Winter and Ms. Lynn Lammer of Midwest Asbestos Consultants, Inc., in Fargo, North Dakota. These individuals expressed concern about the extreme difficulties asbestos abatement consultants are experiencing in obtaining professional liability insurance at an affordable price.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a standards setting and enforcement agency that deals with matters of occupational safety and health. Although we can appreciate the concerns of your constituents, we are not in a position to address their difficulty with insurance as OSHA has no experience or jurisdiction in that area.

Correspondence about problems such as those of concern to your constituents should be addressed to the Department of Justice at the following address:

The Honorable Richard K. Willard
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Division
Department of Justice
Room 3143
10th and Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D. C. 20530

Thank you for your interest in this important matter.


John A. Pendergrass
Assistant Secretary

June 24, 1986

Senator Quentin N. Burdick
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

RE: SENATE BILLS S2300 & S2083.

Dear Senator Burdick:

We wish to applaud and encourage your efforts to strengthen and expand present legislation dealing with the hazards associated with exposure to asbestos fibers. Previous bills and regulations seemed deliberately designed to skirt the issue but S2300 and S2083 appear to face the issue squarely by demanding appropriate action.

An additional step worthy of your consideration is to also address the extreme difficulties asbestos abatement consultants are experiencing in obtaining professional liability insurance at an an affordable price (at any price in many instances). It is a paradox that we who have the training, expertise and experience necessary to assist in alleviating the asbestos hazard are penalized and effectively prevented from doing so by the lack of liability insurance. Somehow, we must convince or force the insurance industry to recognize the fact that consultants and contractors who are trying desperately to correct this hazardous situation should not be classified as equivalent risks to those manufacturers who caused the problem. There is no basis for comparison of the potential liabilities. Further, the overall potential for asbestos injury claims is being heightened by discouraging our abatement efforts; thus prolonging the exposure to a hazardous situation.

Again, we fully support your efforts. If you can also address the insurance dilemma, you will be performing an invaluable service to every building owner in America as well as the people who occupy those buildings.


Midwest Asbestos Consultants, Inc.

Glen R. Winter

Lynn Lammer
General Manager

July 7, 1986

Mr. John A. Pendergrass
Assistant Secretary
Occupational Safety and Health
200 Constitution Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20210

Dear Mr. Pendergrass:

I have received the attached letter from a consulting firm specializing in asbestos removal.

I would appreciate your review and advice on the questions raised on insurance premiums.

With kind regards, I am


Quentin N. Burdick