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Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.305(j)(3); 1910.399

May 12, 2003

Mr. Trevor J. Sams
756, 132nd St. Circle, NE
Bradenton, FL 34212

Thank you for your March 13, 2003 letter to the U.S. Department of Labor. Your letter was assigned to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Directorate of Enforcement Programs (DEP). Please be aware that this response may not be applicable to any question or scenario not delineated within your original correspondence. You had questions regarding electrical safety in the workplace, specifically the use of rechargeable racks for paging transmitters that are commonly used in restaurants, hospitals, and in other service industries.

Question: Are there any OSHA regulations covering the use of electrical appliances in the workplace?

Reply: Yes, 29 CFR 1910.305(j)(3)(i-iii) addresses workplace use of electrical appliances. Furthermore, 29 CFR 1910.399, Definitions applicable to this subpart, defines Appliances as; "Utilization equipment, generally other than industrial, normally built in standardized sizes or types, which is installed or connected as a unit to perform one or more functions such as clothes washing, air conditioning, food mixing, deep frying, etc."

Question: Do rechargeable racks fall under any OSHA or other federal or state legislative code?

Reply: Yes. This equipment is covered by 29 CFR, Subpart S - Electrical, §1910.301- §1910.399. Additionally, electrical equipment that is used in the workplace must be acceptable and approved within the meaning of Subpart S. For the definitions of "acceptable" and "approved," see 29 CFR §1910.399, Definitions applicable to this subpart.

Furthermore, if you feel that you may be exposed to unsafe working conditions and you are an employee of the establishment, you have the right to file a formal complaint. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the Act) gives employees the right to file complaints about workplace safety and health hazards.

For further information on OSHA, including how to file a workplace complaint, you can visit our extensive website at:
http://www.osha.gov and click on the "workers page" graphic or you may contact our Area Office in Tampa:
Mr. Leslie Grove, Area Director
U.S. Department of Labor - OSHA
5807 Breckenridge Parkway, Suite A
Tampa, FL 33610-4249
(813) 626-1177
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 Enforcement at (202) 693-1850.


Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs

Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents

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