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 http://www.osha.gov.

February 10, 1994

MEMORANDUM FOR:     EDWARD J. KASSAK
                   ARA, FSO, REGION VIII

FROM:               ROY F. GURNHAM, DIRECTOR
                   OFFICE OF CONSTRUCTION AND MARITIME
                    COMPLIANCE ASSISTANCE

SUBJECT:            Application of 29 CFR 1926.51(f)

This is in response to your November 18 memorandum requesting guidance for the application of the washing facility requirements that were published on June 30 as part of the Incorporation of General Industry Safety and Health Standards Applicable to Construction Work.

In answer to your eight questions concerning the application of 1926.51(f), please be advised that paragraphs 1926.51(f)(2) through 1926.51(f)(4) only apply to permanent places of employment. The general scope statement (1910.141(a)(1)) limiting the application of these provisions was inadvertently omitted in the June 30 Federal Register publication. The Office of Construction and Civil Engineering Safety Standards is in the process of correcting this situation.

If you have any further questions please contact me or Mr. Dale Cavanaugh of my staff at (202) 219-8136.



November 18, 1993

MEMORANDUM FOR:     ROGER A. CLARK, Director
                   Directorate of Compliance Programs

FROM:               EDWARD J. KASSAK ARA, FSO

SUJECT:             Request Interpretation on New Construction Standard
                   29 CFR 1926.51(f)(3)(i)

We would like to request interpretive anwsers to several questions on the new construction standard (29 CFR Parts 1910 and 1926; Incorporation of General Industry Safety and Health Standards Applicable to Construction Work and Technical Amendments: Final Rules; June 30, 1993) regarding 1926.51(f)(3)(i) through (f)(4).

Our question are as follows:

(1) Are all constrution sites that furnish portable or fixed toilet facilities required to furnish handwashing facilities?

(2) Are contruction sites exempt from the handwashing (lavatories) requirements if toilet facilities are not provided?

(3) Are the construction definition, i.e., toilet facility, lavatory, consistent with the ganeral industry standards?

(4) Are the wet/moist towels acceptable in lieu of hot and cold running water, or tepid running water as referenced in 1926.51(f)(3)(ii)?

(5) Is there any preamble dialogue relevant to this section that explains the rationale to the standards we have in question?

(6) Does the language of 1926.51(f) still apply? Is there a paragraph 1926.51(f)(1)? Does 1925.51(f)(2),(3),(4) etc. only apply when the employees are engaged in the application of paints, coating, herbicides, or insecticides, or similar operations or does it apply to all construction sites?

(7) Can you define the differences between a lavatory and a toilet?

(8) Construction companies in out part on the country have expressed concern about this requirement. Has the National Office written any interpretations or letters on this issue that may not have been placed into OCIS or communicated to Regional or Area Offices?

Should you have any questions, please contact David Herstedt of my FSO Staff at (303) 844-3061, ext. 309.