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|Title: 06/12/2006 - Operations that trigger the requirement for employers to provide washing facilities on construction jobsites under 29 CFR 1926.51(f)(1).|
|Record Type: Interpretation||Standard Number: 1926.51; 1926.51(f)(1); 1926.59; 1910.1200|
June 12, 2006|
Mr. John Schlack
Re: Operations that trigger the requirement for employers to provide washing facilities on construction jobsites under 29 CFR 1926.51(f)(1).
Dear Mr. Schlack:
This is in response to your letter dated September 25, 2005, to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding the requirements of 29 CFR 1926.51(f)(1). We apologize for the delay in responding.
We have paraphrased your questions as follows:
Question: Section 29 CFR 1926.51(f)(1) requires that "employers provide adequate washing facilities for employees engaged in the application of paints, coating, herbicides, insecticides, or in other operations where contaminants may be harmful to employees." We are an employer performing electrical construction work. Part of this work involves contact with: a corrosion preventative that coats Rigid, I.M.C. and E.M.T. conduit as well as AC and MC flexible metal covered cable; cutting oil used to thread and prepare the conduit; conductivity enhancing compound; glue used for connecting PVC conduit; and a compound used for "fire-stopping." Each of these cause eye and skin irritation, and the glue is also combustible, corrosive and poisonous. None of these materials are readily or adequately removed with waterless hand cleaner.
When doing this work, do the requirements of 29 CFR 1926.51(f)(1) apply?
(f) Washing facilities. (1) The employer shall provide adequate washing facilities for employees engaged in the application of paints, coating, herbicides, or insecticides, or in other operations where contaminants may be harmful to employees. Such facilities shall be in near proximity to the worksite and shall be so equipped as to enable employees to remove such substances. (Emphasis added.)In your letter, you describe employees performing several electrical construction activities where employees come in contact with various materials.1
A plain language reading of §1926.51(f)(1) and specifically, the "in other operations" clause emphasized above, indicates that OSHA intended to require employers to provide washing facilities when performing a broad range of activities beyond just "the application of paints, coating, herbicides, or insecticides."
Therefore, whether the activities you describe in your letter are within the scope of §1926.51(f)(1)'s requirement for employers to provide washing facilities depends upon whether those activities involve the use of "contaminants [which] may be harmful to employees." If the materials you describe are in fact harmful, the employer would be required to provide adequate washing facilities, including soap and potable water.2
Note that a good source of information regarding a hazardous chemical is its Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). An employer's obligations to make the MSDS for a hazardous chemical available to employees are described in 29 CFR 1910.1200, which is applicable to construction employers by §1926.59 (Hazard Communication). These standards can be viewed on OSHA's website at: www.osha.gov. (under "Laws and Regulations in the right hand column, click "Standards").
Noah Connell, Acting Director
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The official, public domain, OSHA version of this document is available at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=25400&p_text_version=FALSE