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 10, 1989

Mr. Leroy J. Pletten
8401 18 Mile Road #29
Sterling Heights, Michigan 48078-3099\

Dear Mr. Pletten:

Your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated July 18, addressed to Secretary of Labor Elizabeth Dole, was referred to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for action. You requested copies of requests from Federal agencies for approval of alternate standards pursuant to OSHA regulation, 29 CFR 1960.17 and copies of the approvals by OSHA. We received your request in this office on July 31.

We have enclosed a copy of the listing of Federal agencies that have requested approval of alternate standards. In addition, we have enclosed the following letters and one memorandum:


  1. The National Aeronautic and Space Agency:
    Requests for approval—October 5, 1976, and March 30, 1981.
  2. The Department of Defense:
    Request for approval—April 1, 1981.
    OSHA approval—May 6, 1981.
  3. Department of the Army:
    Request for approval—September 25, 1985.
  4. General Services Administration:
    Request for approval—April 20, 1981.
    OSHA approval—November 20, 1981.

    Request for approval—May 23, 1983.
    OSHA approval—December 9, 1983.
  5. Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA):
    Request for approval—initially on January 28, 1983.
    OSHA guidelines to TVA—June 7, 1983
    TVA final draft for approval—September 20, 1983.
    OSHA Atlanta Regional Office Memorandum recommended approval—December 16, 1983.
    OSHA approval of TVA revised standard—April 1984.
    Request for approval—July 17, 1984.
  6. U.S. Department of Commerce, Maritime Administration:
    Request for approval—May 29, 1979.
  7. United States Postal Service, Eastern Region:
    Request for approval—May 22, 1981.
  8. U.S. Department of Transportation, Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation:
    Request for approval—May 20, 1987.
  9. Veterans Administration:
    Request for approval—March 7, 1985.
  10. Panama Canal Commission:
    Requests for approval—December 3, 1984, and January 17, 1985.



There is no charge for the enclosed documents. Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health.


Patricia K. Clark, Acting Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs

[Corrected 10/20/08]