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.

March 15, 1996

Mr. Michael K. Haufe, P.E.
Technical Director
Distributions Products Division
Columbus Industries, Inc.
P.O. Box 257
2938 State Route 752
Ashville, Ohio 43103-0257

Dear Mr. Haufe:

Thank you for your letter of February 6 regarding spray finishing as covered under 29 CFR 1910.107. Your question related to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) possible future updating of 1910.107(b)(5)(vi) and what the agency's interim enforcement policy will be until such an updated standard is promulgated.

OSHA does not have any immediate plans to change or amend 1910.107 to reflect the newly revised NFPA-33 standard for spray application using flammable or combustible materials. Until such an amendment to the OSHA standard is made, however an employer who complies with a consensus standard rather than a standard in effect at the time of inspection and clearly provides equal or greater employee protection will not be cited. (OSHA's DE Minimis policy, OSHA Instruction 2.103, September 26, 1994, Field Inspection Reference Manual, Chapter III - 19 and 20.)

Furthermore, an employer choosing to comply with the NFPA 33 standard must comply with all relevant sections of Chapter 3. Sections 3-6 of this standard specifically allow for the use of dry overspray collection filters.

Thank you for your interest in safety and health. If we can be of any further assistance, please call Margo Daniel, of my staff, at (202) 219-8041, Ext. 107.


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