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 14, 1975

Mr. D. H. Scott
Delaware Alloy Forge Company
2300 East Tioga Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19134

Dear Mr. Scott:

This is in reference to your application for a variance from Section 1910.218(a)(3)(viii) Forging Machines - Hammers and Presses, of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards.

Section 1910.218(a)(3)(viii) requires that a scale guard be provided at the back of every hammer to stop flying scale. The requirement for the guard at the back of the hammer is to protect other employees from flying scale. The operators would be at the front of the hammer protected from the flying scale by proper protective clothing. In addition, it is recognized that a scale guard on the front of the hammer would interfere with the work procedures.

Your variance application and the information obtained in the visit to your facility indicate that your forging hammers do not fall within the scope of the standard in that the operators work completely around the hammer, and that there are no other employees working within 20 feet of the hammer. Therefore, there are no employees exposed to a hazard from the flying scale and a scale guard is not required.

If the current operations should change so that there are other employees within 6 feet of the forging hammers, a barricade should be installed behind the operators to prevent flying scale from striking these employees. Frequent cleaning of the area is also necessary to maintain good housekeeping.

Accordingly, no further action will be taken on your variance application. The interim order granted in the Federal Register of July 2, 1974 (39 FR 24442) is now moot.


Barry J. White
Associate Assistant Secretary for
Regional Programs