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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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 23, 1992

Robert A. Heidrich
Operations Department
Brewer Environmental Industries, Inc.
P.O. Box 48
Honolulu, Hawaii 96810

Dear Mr. Heidrich:

This is in response to your August 11 letter, requesting confirmation that Brewer Environmental Industries, Inc., by your interpretation, is a retail facility which is exempt from compliance with the 29 CFR 1910.119 standard on Process Safety Management (PSM) of Highly Hazardous Chemicals.

As indicated in your letter, your interpretation is predicated on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) definition of a retail facility, that is, "an establishment which would otherwise be subject to the PSM standard, at which more than half of the income is obtained from direct sales to end users." The basis of your interpretation is that Brewer Environmental Industries, Inc. is an establishment with 70 to 80 percent of its sales to end users. In consideration of the information presented in your letter, we cannot determine whether or not Brewer Environmental Industries, Inc., collectively, is a retail establishment. The following clarification is provided for your further interpretation of the term "establishment" as used to define retail facility.

The intent of the PSM Standard is to prevent catastrophic releases of highly hazardous chemicals, thereby, providing for safe and healthful workplaces for employees. Consistent with this intent, the term "establishment", when used to define retail facility, means a company name at a specific site (normally with a street address). Thus, if the Brewer Environmental Industries operates at several locations, some might be covered by the standard, and others not affected.

The State of Hawaii administers its own occupational safety and health program, under a plan approved by Federal OSHA. Hawaii has adopted and is enforcing a standard identical to the Federal PSM standard. The State may issue its own standards interpretations if they are as effective as the Federal interpretations but generally observes Federal interpretations. For specific information on enforcement of the Hawaii standard, I suggest that you contact:

                     Keith W. Ahue, Director
                     Hawaii Department of Labor
                     and Industrial Relations
                     830 Punchbowl Street
                     Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

                     Telephone:  (808) 586-8844

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


Roger A. Clark,
Directorate of Compliance Programs