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 http://www.osha.gov.

October 17, 2001



[Name and Address Withheld]



[Name Withheld]

Thank you for your October 1, 2001 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Directorate of Compliance Programs (DCP). Please be aware that this response may not be applicable to any scenario not delineated within your original correspondence. You had specific questions regarding customer safety at the Home Depot.

As you may know, Congress created OSHA under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the Act) to assure,
"...safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women in America." However, there are limitations to our authority. One of these limitations involves the applicability of the Act. Section 4 of the Act limits OSHA's jurisdiction to, "employment performed in a workplace...." This means that OSHA can regulate employers and employees but has no authority over the merchant/customer relationship. If, as a customer, you feel your safety has been compromised, please contact your state, county or city government for additional guidance.

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. 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
http://www.osha.gov. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of General Industry Compliance Assistance at (202) 693-1850.

Sincerely,



Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs