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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

August 18, 1994

Mr. Douglas H. Delsemme

V.P. & General Counsel 6231 Robinson P.O. Box 2932 Shawnne Mission, KS 66201

Dear Mr. Delsemme:

This is in response to your May 25 letter, requesting an interpretation of the Explosives and Blasting Agents standard, 29 CFR 1910.109. Specifically, you requested clarification on whether the work site process described in the scenario below would be covered by 1910.109(k)(2). This standard requires the manufacture of explosives as defined in 1910.109(a)(3) to meet the requirements contained in the Process Safety Management (PSM) of Highly Hazardous Chemicals (HHCs) standard, 29 CFR 1910.119. Your question and our response follow. Please accept our apology for the delay in responding.

Scenario: Our question relates to our re-packaging operation located at our facility at 6335 Lind Road, Shawnee, Kansas. We received packaged, smokeless powder from two vendor manufacturers in bulk containers of 15 pounds (lbs) (6.80 kg), 30 lbs (13.6 kg) and 100 lbs (45.36 kg). We in turn re-package the same product, without change, in our 1-lb (0.45 kg), 5-lb (2.27 kg) and 8-lb (3.63 kg) containers. We do not mix, blend or otherwise change or alter the product as received. We empty the larger containers and re-package the same product into our smaller containers for resale. [During an August 4 telecon between you and Mr. Ron Davies of my staff you further clarified that the work site including the facility where the smokeless powder is re-packaged contains no other process involving the manufacturing of explosives nor involving a threshold quantity or great amount of other HHCs which would be subject to the PSM standard].

Question: Is the re-packaging of smokeless powder (Class 1.3C, UN 0161, formerly, a Class B explosive) as described in the above scenario, covered by the PSM standard?

Reply: The re-packing you described is considered to be storage and handling activities which are not covered by the PSM standard.

We appreciate your interest in occupational safety and health. If we can be of further assistance, please contact Mr. Ronald Davies of my staff, telephone #202-219-8031, extension 110.


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