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.

July 28, 1975

Mr. James J. Howard
Safety Director
Vickers, Incorporated
5353 Highland Drive
Jackson, Mississippi 39206

Dear Mr. Howard:

This is in reference to your request for a variance from Section 1910.27(b)(1)(iii) - Fixed Ladders, Rungs and Cleats, of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards.

You have indicated that your 37 foot fixed metal ladder meets all the specifications of 29 CFR 1910.27(b)(1)(iii) in that the clear length of rungs are 14 1/2" rather than 16" as required by the standard.

A review of your application indicates that a variance is not the proper procedure in this situation. A Program Directive has recently been issued to provide guidance to the OSHA field offices concerning the use of de minimis notices. A de minimis notice may be issued in a situation where there is not strict compliance with a standard, and the deviation from strict compliance does not affect safety and health. A de minimis notice carries no penalty and requires no abatement.

After studying your variance application and having discussion with the Jackson Area Office, it has been determined that your situation would appear to meet the conditions for a de minimis notice.

Any further questions concerning this matter should be directed to Mr. James Blount, Area Director, U.S. Department of Labor - OSHA, 57601-55 North Frontage Road East, Jackson, Mississippi 39211, telephone: (601) 969-4606.

No further action will be taken on your request for a variance.

Sincerely,



Barry J. White
Associate Assistant
Secretary for Regional Programs