Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.106(e)(3)(v)(a)


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.


August 27, 2001

David C. Tabar, CSP
Corporate Director of Safety
The Sherwin-Williams Company
101 Prospect Avenue, N.W.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115-1075

Dear Mr. Tabar:

Thank you for your July 20 letter to Richard Fairfax, Director, Directorate of Compliance Programs, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any statement- not delineated within your original correspondence. You wanted to use the current edition of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 30 in lieu of OSHA 29 CFR 1910.106.

Question: Can NFPA 30 subsection 5.3.4.3 of Section 5.3.4 be used in lieu of OSHA 29 CFR 1910.106(e)(3)(v)(a)?

Reply: Originally, 29 CFR 1910.106 was adopted from the NFPA 30-1969, Standard for Flammable and Combustible Liquids. NFPA has updated its standard since the 1969 edition, but OSHA has not done the same with its standard. As a result, NFPA 30-2000 reflects the current guidelines concerning the safe storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids.

Under an OSHA policy for "de minimis violations," employers are allowed to comply with the most current consensus standard applicable to their operations, rather than with the standard in effect at the time of inspection, when the employer's action provides equal or greater employee protection. De minimis violations are violations of existing OSHA standards which have no direct or immediate relationship to safety or health and result in no citation or penalty; they do not have to be abated. Therefore, pursuant to the policy for de minimis violations, employers who fully comply with the specifications and requirements of NFPA 30-2000, Section 5.3.4, ventilation requirements (including subsections 5.3.4.1 through 5.3.4.5), would not be cited under 29 CFR 1910.106(e)(3)(v).

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


cc: Regional Administrator, Region V


Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents