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 http://www.osha.gov.

July 17, 1989

MEMORANDUM FOR:   JAMES W. STANLEY
                 REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR

ATTENTION:        ACTING ASSISTANT REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR
                 FOR TECHNICAL SUPPORT

THROUGH:          LEO CAREY, DIRECTOR 
                 DIRECTORATE OF FIELD PROGRAM

FROM:             PATRICIA K. CLARK, ACTING DIRECTOR
                 DIRECTORATE OF COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS

SUBJECT:          Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) Labeling
                 Requirements for Industrial Thermometers

This is in response to your memo of June 6, which forwarded a memo from the Manhattan Area Office requesting an interpretation of the Hazard Communication Standard as it applies to labeling requirements for industrial thermometers.

If industrial thermometers are expected to break during normal conditions of use, exposing employees to mercury, they are not considered articles for purposes of the HCS. Under the labeling provisions of the HCS each thermometer container would have to be labeled, tagged, or marked with the required label information.