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.

February 1, 1996

Mr. Joe O'Connor
1 Endicott Avenue
Johnson City, New York 13790

Dear Mr. O'Connor:

This is in response to your letter of May 19, 1995 concerning contractors and the criteria for applying the 29 CFR 1910.12(b) standard. Please accept our apology for the delay in this response.

Section 29 CFR 1910.12(b) defines construction work as "construction, alteration, and/or repair including painting, and decorating." Further, construction work is defined as work not limited to new construction, which includes the repair of existing facilities, and the replacement of structures and their components.

In order for work to be construction work the employer need not be a construction company. The construction industry standard applies "to every employment and place of employment of every employee engaged in construction work The terms "construction", "completion" or "repair" mean all types of work done on a particular building or work site.

At one time, the construction industry was governed by 29 CFR 1910, only if a 29 CFR 1926 standard was not applicable. On June 30, 1993, the applicable 29 CFR 1910 standards were incorporated into the 29 CFR 1926 standards This was done to allow those employees engaged in construction work to be governed by the construction rules and regulations.

We have attached a copy of an interpretative memorandum off of CD-ROM which was mailed to all OSHA Regional Administrators, to further assist you. I hope that we have provided adequate information and explanation to address your concerns. Thank you for your interest in workers safety and health.

Please contact Margo Daniel at (202)219-8041 #107 if we can be of further assistance.


Ray Donnelly, Director
Office of General Industry Compliance