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.

August 25, 1975

Mr. Russell G. Sarkies
Safety Director
Shenango Steel Company
Post Office Box 68
Masury, Ohio 44438

Dear Mr. Sarkies:

This is in response to your letter dated July 16, 1975, addressed to Area Director Kenneth Bowman, regarding a union grievance concerning hand banding operations. The Chicago Regional Office's letter of July 21, 1975, addressed to you, explained the purpose of forwarding your correspondence to this office. In addition, this confirms a member of my staff's phone calls to you on August 11, and 14, 1975.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in administering the Act takes the position that union grievances to management are not within its jurisdiction. However, OSHA can take a position, based on the information given, whether a work practice is in compliance with a particular standard.

On the basis of your letter concerning this hand banding operation, the following comments that relate to 29 CFR 1910.179(n)(3)(x) are offered:

1910.179(n)(3)(x). The employer shall insure that the operator does not leave his position at the controls while the load is suspended.
  1. An overhead crane is used and banding is performed by the crane operator. Crane is pendant controlled by an operator on the floor.
  2. The coils are suspended approximately 4-inches to 6-inches off the floor.
  3. The crane operator leaves his position at the controls to perform the banding operation.

Based on the above information, the employer is not insuring that the operator does not leave his position at the controls while the load is suspended. This is in apparent violation of 1910.179(n)(3)(x). There are several ways to correct this apparent violation, including:

  1. One employee operating crane and one employee banding coils.
  2. Using a device to rest coils on and using the C-hook for guidance purposes, thus eliminating the suspension of the loads.
  3. Insuring the operator does not leave his position at the controls by making the employee the control position.



If I may be of further assistance, please feel free to contact me.


Barry J. White
Associate Assistant Secretary
for Regional Programs

[Corrected 09/5/2006]