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 12, 1993

Ms. Angela Wynn
Contract Specialist
General Services Administration
Federal Supply Service
Washington, DC 20406

Dear Ms. Wynn:

This is in response to your telefax of September 7, 1993, addressed to Mr. Roy Resnick of my staff, consisting of correspondence from a representative of Underwriters Laboratories Inc. to Tennant, a manufacturer of battery power operated cleaning equipment, dated July 29, 1993, (Exhibit 1.A.), and a letter from Tennant to you, dated July 30, 1993 (Exhibit 1.B.), and further telephone conversations with him concerning additional developments associated with your letter of May 28, 1993. As requested in your conversations with Mr. Resnick, we will again attempt to clarify the situation as it involves requirements for third-party certification of certain equipment by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

To iterate, OSHA has determined that battery power operated cleaning (sweeper/scrubber) equipment is not regulated under the OSHA General Industry standard for powered industrial trucks, section 1910.178. The pertinent requirements are resident in Subpart S - Electrical, of our General Industry Standards (Exhibit 2, pertinent sections, pp 1-8). Where this equipment will be used in a classified locale, section 1910.307 - Hazardous (Classified) Locations, would apply.

Specifically, two of the three provisions under section 1910.307(c) - Electrical Installations, (pp 1 and 2), are applicable. Battery power operated cleaning equipment must comply with either section 1910.307(c)(1) - Intrinsically safe, or 1910.307(c)(2) - Approved for the hazardous (classified) location, both of which require that the specific hazardous (classified) location be identified. By referring to section 1910.399 - Definitions Applicable to This Subpart, and the definitions of "Approved" and "Acceptable", (p 3), you will note that the equipment in question must be certified by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL).

Section 1910.307(c)(3) - Safe for the hazardous (classified) location, (pp 1-2), has been interpreted, (p 8), to pertain to electrical equipment used in sewage wetwells.

Therefore, in summation, before any battery power operated cleaning (sweeper/scrubber) equipment can be used in a hazardous (classified) location within OSHA's jurisdiction, it must have been certified by an OSHA accredited third-party certifier (NRTL) for the specific hazardous (classified) location, and so identified.

The requirements for use of this equipment in non-hazardous locations and all other type power operated cleaning equipment are as described in my previous correspondence to you, dated June 8, 1993 (Exhibit 3), and the ADDENDUM, dated June 30, 1993 (Exhibit 4).

The use of equipment which is inappropriately certified, self-certified, or in any other way does not conform to OSHA's requirements for certification, places an employer in jeopardy of being cited for non-compliance.

Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact either Hank Woodcock at (202) 219-7065, or Roy Resnick at (202) 219-7193.






Patricia K. Clark
Directorate of Technical Support





[Corrected on 04/25/2014]