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.

May 8, 1995

The Honorable Larry E. Craig
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510-1203

Dear Senator Craig:

Thank you for your letter of March 22, on behalf of your constituent, Mr. Arlo D. Luke, concerning the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) revised asbestos standard (Federal Register 59:40964, August 10, 1994). Mr. Luke raises three issues: (1) the training required for a floor maintenance worker; (2) the requirement to identify asbestos-containing floors; and (3) possible OSHA penalties for non-compliance.

The asbestos standard for General Industry, 29 CFR 1910.1001(k)(7), contains specific provisions for the care of asbestos-containing flooring material. In general, the standard describes three work practices relating to floor maintenance such as stripping of finishes and sanding asbestos-containing floor material. It is OSHA's view that these work practices will minimize worker exposures to airborne asbestos fibers. An employee performing the floor maintenance would need to be trained in the safe work practices and the health effects of asbestos. The awareness training in the General Industry standard does not specify the training duration. The standard specifies only the specific topics that must be included in the training.

The standard requires the employer to know the presence, location, and quantity of asbestos-containing material (ACM) and presumed asbestos-containing material (PACM) and to communicate this to employees who work in areas where ACM or PACM is present. Housekeeping activities such as sanding asbestos-containing flooring can disturb the ACM and may result in fiber release. In OSHA's view, it is only when the employer knows where ACM and PACM is present, that employees performing certain floor maintenance tasks can be protected.

Finally, your constituent was concerned that the failure to train one worker could lead to a $100,000 fine to add to "OSHA coffers." Let me assure you that OSHA would not assess such a penalty for one training violation. The typical citation in the case where an employer failed to train one employee would be classified as "other-than-serious" and a penalty would not be assessed. Further, the monies collected for OSHA penalties are sent to the U.S. Treasury.

We hope that this response answers the concerns of your constituent. Should you require additional information, please feel free to contact Mr. John B. Miles, Jr., Director, Directorate of Compliance Programs at (202) 219-9308. Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health.


Joseph A. Dear
Assistant Secretary

March 22, 1995

Tad Linsenmayer
Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
U.S. Department of Labor
Room N3641
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210

Dear Mr. Linsenmayer:

Enclosed are a number of letters I received from my constituents regarding problems they have had with OSHA regulations. In each case, I would appreciate your careful review and response including the status of the regulations mentioned, and whether you have had reports of a similar problems in the past.

Please forward your response to the address below:

Senator Larry E. Craig
313 Hart Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20510
Attention: Tim Olsen

Thank you for your assistance.


United States Senator

February 6, 1995

The Honorable Larry Craig
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Senator Craig,

I'm writing you concerning recent directives from OSHA, namely Osha 29CFR parts 1910. This pertains to occupational exposure to asbestos.

I suppose that OSHA plays an important role in our lives, but I'm always aware of their over-kill that results in controls, added burden upon business, and severe penalties over issues that generally are rare and insignificant.

Frankly, I was extremely angered when one of my staff presented the new OSHA requirements. There may be a need to protect the public from occupational exposure under extreme circumstances, but what they are requiring from us is ridiculous.

If we have a floor maintenance worker who may clean a floor that has asbestos in it, we are required to provide him/her a 2 hr. training course every year designed by an EPA certified trainer. We have to identify every floor in every building and tract who cleans the floor and their ongoing training. If we make a mistake or fail to provide training for one worker, we are privileged to add $100,000 to the coffers of OSHA. The chance for a particle going through the air, being breathed into the worker's lungs, and even causing cancer, is for less their him/her getting hit by lighting.

My business associated and I are sick and tired of excessive government controls and demands that are unnecessary and costly. Please work for us and get government out of our lives. Thank you.


Arlo D. Luke, CBSE

Note: Enclosed is a letter I sent to a Congresswoman who is championing a cause in the service industry that will cost the United States government over $35 billion dollars over the next nine years. Illegal subcontracting or worker misclassification unaddressed is deeply hurting the legitimate contractors in our industry.

February 7, 1995

United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Craig,

I am writing this in order to add another voice to the rest of the U.S. concerning getting the Federal Government off our backs. I am writing this as an employee of a small business.

At a time when you are looking for ways to return some of the government back to the States, and cut the Federal Budget, please consider this: O.S.H.A. is nothing more than a duplicate of what the States already have. The States that I am familiar with already have an employee safety system, complete with inspectors, set up and running. I realize there needs to be some federal oversight for the states, but O.S.H.A. has become a menace. Their rules and regulations have become so complex there is now no way to keep up with it.

The latest that we are getting hit with is this O.S.H.A 200 log that employers of 10 or more employees are required to keep. With this we are now going to have to have someone working eight hours a day just to satisfy O.S.H.A. paperwork. With only 10 employees, 10% of our work force goes into non-production. Small businesses are still the backbone and future of this Country.

When an O.S.H.A. representative comes out on the job site, his main objective is to fine, not to educate how to correct a problem. He is mainly interested in how much of a fine he can collect. IS O.S.H.A. SUPPORTED BY THESE FINES?

I would really like some return correspondence on this subject, please.

Thank you,

Dale M. Eberly
2145 1st Avenue South
Payette, Idaho 83661