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.

April 10, 1991



SUBJECT:            Interpretation of 29 CFR 1910.110(b)(6)(ii)

This is in response to your memorandum of January 30, in which you requested an interpretation of 29 CFR 1910.110(b)(6)(ii) with respect to the separation of LPG containers from--and a definition of--"important buildings", and whether or not OSHA can use table H-23 of the above mentioned standard to cite distances between LPG containers.

First, "important building", as used by OSHA and NFPA, does not have a singular meaning. According to Ted Lemoss, NFPA's Gases Engineer and technical expert for LPG, value is the basic criteria for defining an important building. Value can range from the building's contents to its importance in firefighting. OSHA defines "important building" as any building where employees may be exposed to potential or actual hazards.

Second, the spacing of the containers with regard to each other should not be cited under our .110(b)(6)(ii) standard due to the ambiguity of Table H-23, but instead should be cited as a 5(a)(1) violation based on the clarified language of NFPA 59-25, 1986 Edition, Section 3-2.2.2. The language of our current OSHA standard, taken from NFPA 58, 1969, the most current standard at the time of OSHA's adoption, is not clear enough to use as a basis for citing under .110 of the standard. A copy of the 1986 Edition is attached for your information.

If additional information is needed, please let me know.