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.


August 31, 1994

Mr. Mike Sessa
Hickson Timber Protection
3941 Bonsal Road
Conley, Georgia 30027

Dear Mr. Sessa:

Thank you for your letter of June 30, concerning the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), 29 CFR 1910.1200. Your inquiry requested review and comment on generic labels and consumer information sheets for chromated copper arsenate (CCA) pressure-treated lumber.

The HCS does not require manufacturers to obtain prior OSHA approval of their product labeling. Likewise, it is not the responsibility of OSHA to evaluate the consumer information sheet for CCA pressure-treated wood. Further, OSHA's evaluation of the proposed label for CCA pressure-treated wood would compromise the responsibility of the manufacturer to complete all hazard determinations for this product. Under the HCS, the manufacturers of CCA pressure-treated lumber are responsible for chemical hazard information (Material Safety Data Sheets, labels, etc.) to be transmitted to downstream employers.

In our conversations, it is OSHA's understanding that the hazard evaluation for CCA pressure-treated lumber has not been completed. Therefore, the proposed label for CCA pressure-treated wood may not provide employees with the appropriate hazard warning information. For example, any chemical additives present in the wood which represent a health hazard must be included on the MSDSs and/or label, as appropriate.

Additionally, the consumer information sheet is not required by the HCS. For clarification, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) provides that owners or operators of facilities must submit information in the form of material safety data sheets (MSDSs), as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, or emergency and hazardous chemical forms about the hazardous substance at their facilities to the local emergency planning committee, the state emergency response commission, and the local fire department. In turn, this information may be restructured into information/fact sheets for interested community residents.

Further, EPCRA requires facility-to-government reporting, with annual inventory updates. The statute does not mandate facility-to-consumer reporting. On a federal level, consumer information sheets cannot substitute for the emergency and hazardous chemical forms, nor can they be used by the manufacturer to substitute for an MSDS under 29 CFR 1910.1200.

We hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions please contact the [Office of Health Enforcement at (202) 693-2190].


Ruth McCully
Director Office of Health Compliance Assistance

[Reviewed; consistent with current policy 2/14/2008]