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.

April 21, 1988

Mr. A.Y. Schultz
Schultz Company
Post Office Box 173
St. Louis, Missouri 63043

Dear Mr. Schultz:

This is in response to your letter of February 9, regarding the need for material safety data sheets for your liquid plant food.

As discussed with Mr. Steven Simon of my staff during a telephone conversation on February 19, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) does not apply to consumers. You would, therefore, not have to supply consumers with material safety data sheets.

The HCS exempts consumer type products if the employer can demonstrate it is used in the workplace in the same manner as normal consumer use, and such use results in a duration and frequency of exposure which is not greater than exposures experienced by consumers.

Based on your experience and knowledge of your product, if you determine that downstream employees will not be exposed differently from consumers, then your product would be exerted from coverage under the HCS; and material safety data sheets would not have to be provided to your customers.

If I can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact me again.


Thomas J. Shepich, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs