Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents

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

September 13, 2006

Mr. Morgan Melekos
1837 Cahaba Forest Cove
Birmingham, AL 35242

Dear Mr. Melekos:

Thank you for your August 16, 2005 letter to Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao. Your letter was referred to the Directorate of Enforcement Programs of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") for an answer to your specific question. You asked the Secretary to establish a nationally binding policy that would ban guns from American workplaces. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of its current policy on this matter, and may not be applicable to any question(s) or situation not delineated within your original correspondence.

OSHA is the organization within the Department of Labor that addresses hazards in the workplace, including workplace violence. Although no OSHA standard applies directly to workplace homicides, the Agency was proactive in addressing this issue when, in 1996, it made available to employers and employees guidelines developed by the Long Island Coalition for Workplace Violence Awareness and Prevention available to employers and employees.
1 Subsequently, OSHA developed additional general and workplace-specific guidelines on workplace violence that it provided, along with related material from other private organizations and public