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 6, 2011

Mr. Mark Saner
Workrite Uniform Company
1701 N. Lombard Street, Suite 220
Oxnard, California 93030

Dear Mr. Saner:

Thank you for your May 11, 2011, letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Directorate of Enforcement Programs (DEP). This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any question not delineated within your original correspondence.

Your scenario and questions are restated below for clarity.

Background/Scenario: You are requesting more information of the March 19, 2010, OSHA memorandum entitled "Enforcement Policy for Flame-Resistant Clothing in Oil and Gas Drilling, Well Servicing, and Production- Related Operations." You are also seeking clarification of the Letter of Interpretation (LOI); to Dr. Lee Hunt (enclosed), Hunt Letter which addresses the same subject, Flame Resistant Clothing (FRC).

Question: Does OSHA require employers to provide certified FRC?

Reply: The "Enforcement Policy for Flame Resistant Clothing in Oil and Gas Drilling, Well Servicing, and Production - Related Operations," suggests that employers utilize NFPA 2112, Standard on Flame-resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel against Flash Fire, to assist them in understanding minimum requirements for the design, construction, evaluation and certification of flame-resistant clothing (FRC) used by industrial personnel. OSHA's standard 29 CFR 1910.132 (c) states "personal protective equipment shall be of safe design and construction for the work to be performed." The reference to NFPA 2112, Chapter 4[1] is an applicable national consensus standard that addresses this certification issue; however OSHA references this standard to provide guidance. It is essential that employers choose the FRC that provides the appropriate level of protection based on their hazard assessment. The memo also suggest employers utilize NFPA 2113, Standard on Selection, Care, Use, and Maintenance of Flame-Resistant Garments for the Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire, 2007 Edition as guidance (emphasis added).

The State of California administers its own occupational safety and health program, known as Cal/OSHA, under a plan approved and monitored by the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Under this plan, Cal/OSHA adopts and enforces occupational safety and health standards throughout the State. State standards promulgated under the plan must be as effective as those of Federal OSHA. For more information on OSHA-approved State Plans, please visit www.osha.gov.

If you would like further information on occupational safety and health enforcement in the State of California, please contact:

Ellen Widess, Chief
Division of Occupational Safety and Health
1515 Clay Street, Suite 1901
Oakland, CA 94612
Telephone: (510) 286-7000

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. Please be aware that OSHA's enforcement guidance is subject to periodic review and clarification, amplification, or correction. Such guidance could also be affected by subsequent rulemaking. In the future, should you wish to verify that the guidance provided herein remains current, you may consult OSHA's website at www.osha.gov If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of General Industry Enforcement at (202) 693-1850.

Sincerely,

Thomas Galassi, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs

Enclosures


[1] Chapter 4 Certification states [a]ll flame-resistant garments that are labeled as being compliant with this standard shall meet or exceed all applicable requirements specified in this standard and shall be certified.