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 21, 1992

Mr. Jamie Williamson
Product Manager
Spectra-Physics Laserplane, Inc.
5475 Kellenburger Road
Dayton, Ohio 45424-1099

Dear Mr. Williamson:

This is in further response to your September 23 letter requesting that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) grant "de minimis violation" status in regard to the provisions of 29 CFR 1926.54 for your two laser models referred to as the PlumbPlane Vertical Alignment Systems.

The degree of hazard associated with low power lasers used in the construction industry is relatively low, and Class I lasers are typically not hazardous. However, the OSHA construction industry standard for lasers at 29 CFR 1926.54, does not differentiate with respect to class of lasers and, thus, all lasers are covered by the standard.

Because of the low hazard nature of Class I lasers, OSHA has determined that violations of 29 CFR 1926.54 for such lasers are "de minimis." This means there will be no citations, no penalties, and no abatement dates. There is one exception: the specific exposure limits of paragraph (j) of the OSHA standard do not depend on the laser's class and continue to have full effect for all lasers.

If the two models of lasers referred to in your letter as PlumbPlane Vertical Alignment Systems fall within the Class I classification as established in 21 CFR 1040.10 (less than 1mW), OSHA would consider violations of 1926.54 (except paragraph (j)) to be de minimis.

If we can be of any further assistance, please contact Mr. Roy Gurnham or Dale Cavanaugh of my staff in the Office of Construction and Maritime Compliance Assistance at (202) 219-8136.


Roger A. Clark
Directorate of Compliance Programs