Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

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

October 9, 1992

Mr. John Anicello
Technical Manager
Airco Gases
1588 Doolittle Drive
P.O. Box 2033
San Leandro, California 94577

Dear Mr. Anicello:

This is in response to your August 17 letter, requesting interpretations on the Final Rule on Process Safety Management (PSM) of Highly Hazardous Chemicals published in Volume 57, Number 36, of the Federal Register on Monday, February 24, 1992. Your questions and our responses follow.

Question 1:

Are facilities that fill propane tanks for "will call" type customers exempt from the Final Rule? Most of these facilities are under the aggregate quantity of 10,000 pounds (4535.9 kilograms). The majority of the business is transferring propane from the supply tank to small containers for barbecues and "RV" units.


The facilities you describe appear to be exempt from coverage by the PSM Standard because they are retail facilities or because they do not involve processes with threshold (or greater) quantities of propane. A retail facility is defined as a site specific establishment which otherwise would be subject to the PSM Standard, at which more than half of the income is obtained from direct sales to end users.

Question 2:

When a supply tanker delivers propane (at which time the supply tanker connects a fill hose and offloads propane into the storage tank of a customer), is the propane in the supply tanker included when calculating the total aggregate quantity of the customer's storage tank? During the delivery period, if the amount in the supply tanker is included when calculating the total aggregate quantity, the entire process could contain threshold (or greater) quantities of propane. The customer's storage tank alone can never exceed 10,000 pounds (4545.9 kilograms).


The Department of Transportation (DOT) and not the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has jurisdiction for the delivery of propane at the site under the conditions you described. The Hazardous Material Regulations of DOT apply. (See 49 CFR Subchapter C and particularly, Part 177 - Carriage by Public Highway). The PSM Standard would not apply to such situations, except in the rare situation when the customer's storage tank contains 10,000 or more pounds of propane.

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. If we may be of further assistance, please contact us.


Roger A. Clark
Acting Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs