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 11, 1996

The Honorable Charles E. Grassley
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510-1501

Dear Senator Grassley:

Thank you for your letter of April 9, on behalf of your constituent [Name Withheld], who is concerned with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations for voluntary rescue and ambulance squads.

Rescue and ambulance squads are generally public employees (employees of a state, county or city). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration does not cover public sector employees, paid or otherwise. However, public employees are required to be covered in States that have an OSHA approved State plan. Whether volunteer rescue and ambulance squads would be covered would depend upon State law and policy. Since Iowa has an approved State plan, volunteers may be covered by the Iowa Division of Labor Services. You may wish to write to this agency for a determination.

Byron K. Orton, Commissioner
Iowa Division of Labor Services
1000 E. Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
Telephone: (515) 281-3606

[Name Withheld] concerns regarding "waste water" should be addressed to the local office regulating this environmental matter. OSHA's jurisdiction is restricted to workplace health and safety.

We appreciate the opportunity to clarify this matter for you. Should you have additional concerns, please feel free to contact OSHA's Office of Health Compliance Assistance at 202-219-8036.


Joseph A. Dear
Assistant Secretary

April 9, 1996

Intergovernmental Affairs Department
Occupational Safety and Health
Room N3641
200 Constitution, Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210

Dear Sir or Madam:

Enclosed please find a letter from [Name Withheld] regarding regulations for Rescue and Ambulance squads.

I would appreciate any assistance you could provide pertaining to this matter. Please mark your return correspondence to the attention of Heather Hobson when responding to my office.

Thank you for your attention to my request.


Charles E. Grassley
United States Senator


March 19, 1996

Senator Charles Grassley

Dear Sir,

I have some complaints about OSHA that I think you should know about.

They have come up with some regulations for the Rescue and Ambulance squads that are unreasonable.

They are to have a shower, washer and drier in the station. After every run, they are to shower and change their clothes. The waste water cannot be run into the sewer system, but have a lagoon of their own.

If the driver helps load a patient, he will have to change clothes before he can drive to the hospital.

They can't have a package of gum or cigarettes in their pocket. They may become contaminated.

These are just some of them. There are more. They also added much more paper work.

The small volunteer squads don't have the time, or personnel for all this, and they don't have the money.

I hope you can do something about this before it is too late, and they quit.

The Moorhead squad has been in operation for 20 years, and never had any problems.

Thank you,

[Name Withheld]