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.

June 30, 1992

Mr. Eric T. Howes
State Office Representative
for The Honorable William S. Cohen
United States Senator
11 Libson Street
Lewiston, Maine 04240

Dear Mr. Howes:

This is a follow-up letter to the letter sent to you dated January 6, 1989, from former Acting Assistant Secretary Alan C. McMillan, concerning exceptions to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules pertaining to the wearing of hard hats by employees who are members of certain religious groups.

Action has been taken to redirect OSHA policy on the application of hard hat personal protective equipment standards. Citations will not be issued to employers of employees who, because of personal convictions, object to wearing hard hats in the workplace. This policy is predicated of employers implementing work procedures and related training which emphasize safety precautions to be followed by employees to avoid head injuries. This new policy will be provided by directive to all OSHA Regional Administrators.

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 Programs