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.

January 16, 1991

Mr. Norbert Kaleta
Group Manager
Gold Bond Building Products
Research Center 1650 Military Road
Buffalo, New York 14217

Dear Mr. Kaleta:

This is in response to your letter of November 27, 1990, regarding 29 CFR 1910.1450, commonly known as the Laboratory Standard. You stated in your letter that it is your interpretation that only your Analytical Laboratory meets the criteria of 29 CFR 1910.1450 while the other labs, Paper, Gypsum and Joint Compound are used to "simulate as production process" on a laboratory scale and are regulated under 29 CFR 1910.1200. In these labs current raw materials or proposed raw materials are evaluated for suitability on a lab scale. A product is formulated and tested for the appropriate characteristics.

Given the above information from your letter, we cannot provide you a definitive answer on the applicability of the Laboratory Standard to your facilities. If some of these laboratory functions are integral part of research and do not proceed onto production, these operations would be covered by the Laboratory Standard. In other words, laboratories that meet the definition of "laboratory scale" and "laboratory use" would be within the scope of the standard. Laboratories that are part of the production process or performing quality control of production would be covered by other appropriate general industry standards including 29 CFR 1910.1200. For example, evaluating the suitability of raw materials may be considered research. Once raw materials are selected and will be incorporated into the formulation of a product, the laboratory activities would be considered part of the production process and therefore not be within the scope of the Laboratory Standard.

If we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs