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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 2, 1995
The Honorable Scott Klug
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515-4902
Dear Congressman Klug:
Thank you for your letter dated December 16, 1994, to Mr. Tadd Linsenmayer, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, on behalf of your constituent, Mr. John Reindl, regarding his inquiry about the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) policy on enforcing the provision for toilet facilities on construction and demolition sites. I apologize for the delay in responding to your inquiry.
With regard to paragraph 29 CFR 1926.51(c) which requires toilets to be provided at all construction jobsites, the Agency's policy is to issue citations for violations of that standard. OSHA continues to enforce all applicable regulations to ensure employee safety and health. Although the Agency has recently begun a focused inspection program for the construction industry which concentrates inspection efforts primarily on the four hazards that account for the most fatalities and serious injuries, the Agency will continue to issue citations for "other-than-serious" hazards which are not immediately corrected during an OSHA inspection. A copy of that new policy is enclosed for your information.
Also, please find enclosed a copy of the December 30, 1994 letter from Mr. Michael G. Connors, Regional Administrator, to Mr. Reindl regarding this matter.
Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. I believe this letter will assist you in serving Mr. Reindl with regard to OSHA's enforcement policy for toilets at construction and demolition jobsites.
Joseph A. Dear Assistant Secretary
December 16, 1994
Mr. Tadd Linsenmayer
Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
200 Constitution Avenue NW Rm N3641
Washington, D.C. 20210-0001
Dear Mr. Linsenmayer:
I am writing on behalf of my constituent Mr. John Reindl, the Recycling Manager for the Dane County Department of Public Works. Mr. Reindl has some questions regarding the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and has contacted me for assistance.
Mr. Rule works for a portion of the County Government that is trying to find new ways to reduce waste. During his research he found some regulations by OSHA that may prove helpful in this quest. While he is familiar with these regulations he has some questions regarding them. I would appreciate it if you would please respond to them.
I would appreciate it if you could check into this matter in accordance with the law and OSHA regulations. For your assistance I have enclosed a copy of the letter sent to me by Mr. Reindl. Please direct your correspondence in reply to this inquiry to my District Office in Madison. Feel free to contact my Constituent Liaison, Matt Inman of that office if you have any questions.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Member of Congress
December 13, 1994
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
US Department of Labor
4802 E. Broadway Madison, WI 53716
I am writing to you to inquire about OSHA's policy on enforcing its standards on construction and demolition sites, specifically its standards for the provision of toilet facilities.
The Wisconsin Council on Recycling was created by state law to provide advice and recommendations to state agencies, the Governor and the Legislature to facilitate recycling. In turn, the Council has created a separate subcommittee on construction and demolition (C & D) debris, which represents upwards of 45% of all municipal waste landfilled in the state. I serve both on the Council and as chair of the subcommittee.
Last week, the C & D subcommittee toured a C & D recycling facility in northern Wisconsin. When the operator was asked what the state could do to facilitate the recycling of C & D material, he responded that the state could require that all construction and demolition sites have portable toilets. A significant portion of the material he receives at his recycling facility is contaminated with human wastes from the workers on the construction and demolition job sites.
In talking to the Wisconsin Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations, I learned that OSHA regulates this issue for construction and demolition sites, and I found the regulation in CFR 1926.51(c). However, in talking to people in DILHR and the construction industry, I was also told that OSHA does not actively enforce these regulations.
I would appreciate hearing from you on what is the current OSHA policy for enforcement of this regulation, and its possible future policy. I would also welcome any comments that your agency has on regulations it has that may limit or facilitate the diversion of waste from construction and demolition sites from landfills.