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.

January 8, 1992

Mr. Earl K. Madsen
Bradley, Campbell, Carney and
Madsen Professional Corporation
1717 Washington Avenue
Golden, Colorado 80401-1994

Dear Mr. Madsen:

This is further response to your letter of September 24, on behalf of your client, Graphic Packing Corporation, concerning the applicability of 29 CFR 1910.106(d) to the storage of flammable and combustible liquids in the ink storage room within the warehouse facility.

Your letter has been reviewed and we have considered the additional facility references which you hand-delivered on October 31. In your letter you express concern that your client cannot comply with the 1990 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 30, adopted by the city of Boulder and the state of Colorado, and at the same time with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards at 29 CFR 1910.106(d) which are predicated on earlier NFPA standards. As requested, clarification of this apparent conflict follows.

As described in your letter, your client intends to store flammable and combustible liquids in the ink room, which is a cut-off room, in the detached ink warehouse at the Graphic Packaging Corporation facility in Boulder, Colorado. Your letter discloses that Graphic Packaging Corporation has constructed the ink room which includes an explosion venting capability and that it will store flammable and combustible liquids in compliance with the 1990 NFPA-30 standards, as determined by discussions with state and local authorities. Compared to OSHA standards at 29 CFR 1910.106(d), the 1990 NFPA-30 standards applicable to the ink room storage of flammable and combustible liquids in this facility provide greater protection. Therefore, Graphic Packaging Corporation is considered to be in compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act, with respect to ink room storage of flammable and combustible liquids when such storage complies with applicable 1990 NFPA-30 standards.

In your letter you relate that your client, Graphic Packing Corporation, "desires to not be in a position where it has engaged in a technical violation of any of these (OSHA) standards". Please be advised that a "de minimis violation" is an administrative device which is used by OSHA, in addition to other policy applications, to allow employers to abide by the most current consensus standard applicable to their operations, rather than with the standard in effect at the time of the inspection, when the employer's action provides equal or greater employee protection. De minimis violations are violations of existing OSHA standards which have no direct or immediate relationship to safety or health. Such violations of the OSHA standards result in no citation, no penalty and no required abatement.

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

Sincerely,



Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs