Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

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

March 9, 1989

Michael Lafond, CIH
Betz Laboratories, Inc.
Somerton Road
Trevose, Pennsylvania 19047

Dear Mr. Lafond:

This is in response to your letter of February 1, 1989, requesting an interpretation of 29 CFR 1910.106(d)(2)(i), as it applies to the storage of combustible liquids in plastic, e.g., polyethylene, containers.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has determined that it is a de minimis violation of 29 CFR 1910.106(d)(2)(i) to store combustible liquids in polyethylene containers, if the guidelines specified in the enclosed OSHA Instruction STD 1-5.14A are followed. The de minimis violation is merely a record kept by OSHA to verify compliance.

If we can be of any further assistance, please let us know.


Thomas J. Shepich, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs


February 1, 1989

Thomas J. Shepich
Director of Compliance Programs
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20210

Dear Mr. Shepich:

We are requesting your assistance in interpreting 29 CFR 1910.106(d)(2). Specifically we wish to determine if combustible liquids (flash points between 100 deg. F and 200 deg. F) can be stored in plastic (e.g. Polyethylene) containers of less than 60 gallons or plastic lined fiber drums of less than 60 gallons. These containers can be used to ship combustible liquids under the U.S. Department of Transportation rules due to an exclusion. 49 CFR 173.118a excludes combustible liquids in containers having a rated capacity of 110 gallons or less (unless the liquid is also a hazardous substance-as defined by DOT in 49 CFR 171.8). These containers are technically "approved" by DOT, but they are not "metal" containers.

If you would fall back to another standard or reference (e.g., NFPA 30) for compliance purposes then we are respectfully requesting the citation and your interpretation of the standard or reference.

If you have any questions, please call me at (215)355-3300, ext. 3712.



Michael Lafond, CIH