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.

June 15, 1994

Mr. Edward A. Kinsel
C.J.'s Inc.
120 Wansley Drive
Cartersville, Georgia 30120

Dear Mr. Kinsel:

This is in response to your letter of February 15, 1993 and to the May 2, 1993 telephone conversation you had with Mr. James C. Dillard of my staff, in which you sought an interpretation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on whether the standard at 29 CFR 1910.107, Spray finishing using flammable and combustible materials, applies to flammable aerosol adhesives used to bond fiber and particle boards together. Please accept our apology for the delay in our response.

In the aforementioned communications, you stated that the adhesives are contained in both 12 ounce (0.34kg) aerosol cans and 40 pound (181.44kg) cylinders, with the latter hose-connected to a spray gun. With exceptions (See 1910.107(n), Scope.), flammable aerosol adhesives sprayed from containers as described above are covered by 1910.107.

OSHA's opinion is that the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA's) NFPA 33 Code is intended to cover all spray applications of flammable and combustible materials. The NFPA-33 Code, 1969 Edition, upon which OSHA adopted its 1910.107 standard, was originally titled Spray Finishing Using Flammable and Combustible Materials. Because of confusion as to what might be considered "Finishing", the title was changed in the 1973 edition of the NFPA-33 Code to Spray Application Using Flammable and Combustible Materials. At the request of OSHA, this opinion has been verified by Mr. W.H. White on the committee on finishing processes of the National Fire Protection Association. A copy of his letter is enclosed for your use.

Also, in your letter you stated that the use of aerosol containers which you describe as small portable spraying apparatus which could be used in multiple locations are excluded from 1910.107 coverage. Further you indicated your understanding that aerosol adhesives must be used properly, including only using them in areas where there are no open flames or sources of ignition within the possible vapor path. Please be advised that the routine inside use of small portable spraying apparatus, including small portable aerosol containers at the same location is covered by the 1910.107 standard. The occasional use of single aerosol containers at different locations inside a building would not be covered by the 1910.107 standard. Other applicabilities of this standard would have to be judged, on a case by case basis, upon inspection by our Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHO's). Additionally, CSHO's may inspect such applications for compliance with Subpart S - Electrical and Subpart Z - Toxic and Hazardous Substances and other applicable OSHA standards. Also Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) may also be used as a basis for citation of serious safety violations not specifically addressed by OSHA standards. Section 5(a)(1) of the OSHA Act states: "each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees".

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


John B. Miles, Jr., Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs