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.

October 8, 1991

Mr. Clyde Carson
Director of Sanitation and Safety Grain
Millers, Inc.
P.O. Box 21339
Eugene, Oregon 97402-0405

Dear Mr. Carson:

This is in response to your letter of May 20 requesting an interpretation of 29 CFR 1910.272, the standard for Grain Handling Facilities. Please accept our apologies for the delay in responding.

Specifically, you asked about the applicability of 1910.272(i)(2) which addresses grain dust accumulations, and 1910.272(p), which covers inside bucket elevators, to the Eugene milling facility. As described in your letter, a bulk raw agricultural commodity, that is, oats, is conveyed for storage and, subsequently, for mill processing in the same building.

The grain dust housekeeping and inside bucket elevator standards are not applicable to your facility when the bulk raw oats are conveyed to storage for mill processing at speeds no greater than the speeds of conveyers transporting the oats during mill processing. However, bulk raw oats conveyed to storage for mill processing at high speeds similar to the speeds of conveyers in grain elevators are subject to 29 CFR 1910.272 standards. Then, in accordance with 1910.272(i)(2)(i)(A) and (i)(2)(ii), floor areas within 35 feet of the inside bucket elevators are priority housekeeping areas from which fugitive grain dust accumulations, whenever they exceed 1/8 inch (0.32 cm), shall be removed immediately by the employer. Conveyance of the oats from storage to processing, and mill processing of the oats subsequently conveyed from storage are not subject to 29 CFR 1910.272(i)(2),(m),(o), and (p) of the standard. However, the conveyance of bulk raw oats from storage for the purpose of shipment from the building to an external storage area or to another building or establishment is subject to these grain handling standards.

We appreciate your interest in employee safety and health. If we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Program