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.

February 18, 1992

William K. Blocher President
BBC Computers Inc.
7 Columbia Circle
Merrimack, New Hampshire 03054

Dear Mr. Blocher:

Thank you for your letter of January 23, requesting clarification on the applicability of 29 CFR 1910 Subpart S, Electrical standards, to desktop computers.

Desktop computers are "appliances" otherwise described as "utilization equipment" when used by employees in the workplace. By 29 CFR 1910.303(a) "equipment" required or permitted by 29 CFR 1910 Subpart S shall be "accepted" only if "approved". "Approved" means acceptable to the authority, that is, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, enforcing 29 CFR 1910 Subpart S. The definition of "acceptable" includes three different methods to determine acceptable equipment, and these methods are specified at 1910.399. A copy of the 1910.399 definitions, specified by quotation marks in this letter, is enclosed for your use.

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


Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs