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 19, 1995

Mr. Jim Maness, Chairman
Safety, Health and Environmental Quality
National Grain and
Feed Association Committee
1201 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 830
Washington, D.C. 20005

Dear Mr. Maness:

Thank you for your letter of April 3, 1995, addressed to Mr. Zettler, in which you expressed concern regarding the Hazard Information Bulletin of December 15, 1994.

OSHA's December 15, 1994 Bulletin is intended to alert OSHA's field compliance personnel and employees of potential suffocation hazards in grain handling facilities. The Bulletin describes the exclusion contained in 1910.272(g) and references other pertinent safety regulations. Section 1910.272 states that, "it does not apply to employees entering flat storage buildings or tanks, where the diameter of such structures is greater than the height, unless entry is made from the top of the structure." This clause does not preclude the enforcement of other pertinent health and safety standards for hazards which may exist in structures excluded from coverage under 1910.272. For example, if the hazard of collapse of grain bridging exists in those large storage structures, protecting employees by using life lines, observers, or other similar means would be required, as provided in 1910.146.

If you need further assistance, please contact Alcmene Haloftis of my staff at 202-219-8031.


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