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 https://www.osha.gov.

February 12, 1975

Mr. Glenn Bean
Safety Officer
Physical Plant Department
Ricks College
Rexburg, Idaho 83440

Dear Mr. Bean:

This is in response to your letter dated January 30, 1975, relative to the guarding of radial saws as required by Section 1910.213(h)(1) Woodworking Machinery Requirements - Radial Saws, of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards.

You have asked that OSHA approve or accept a plastic guard used for guarding the lower blade of your radial saws. The use of this guard is in lieu of the guard supplied by the manufacturer. Please be advised that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration does not exercise approval authority for proprietary items such as your saw guards.

The above standard requires, in part, that the sides of the lower exposed portion of the blade shall be guarded to the full diameter of the blade by a device that will automatically adjust itself to the thickness of the stock and remain in contact with stock being cut to give maximum protection possible for the operation being performed. It would appear from the photographs and description of the operation of the guard that this is being accomplished.

Any further questions you may have regarding this matter may be addressed to our Area Director, Mr. Richard Jackson, U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA, 228 Idaho Building, 216 North 8th Street, Bosie, Idaho 83702, telephone (208) 342-2067.


Barry J. White
Associate Assistant Secretary for
Regional Programs