Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

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

February 25, 1976



Memorandum For: Grover Wrenn, Acting Director of Standards
Subject: Standards with Identical Requirements


The language in Section 17(b) of the Act states that an employer shall be assessed a civil penalty for each serious violation of a standard. The Field Operations Manual authorizes grouping of multiple instances of a serious violation of a single standard for penalty purposes. However, in some instances the standards are written in such a way that violation of a single requirement may involve two standards. For example 29 CFR 1910.213(c)(1) and 1910.213(d)(1) wherein 29 CFR 1910.213(d)(1) refers to paragraph (c)(1) for guarding requirements.

The present standard effects two or more violations when good judgement indicates there should be one violation for similar operations on similar or identical pieces of equipment. In the example given, the only difference is the blade used, crosscut or ripsaw - all other items, including the guard, are identical.

It is recommended that 29 CFR 1910.213(c)(1) and (2), 1910.213(d)(1) and (2), and possibly 1910.213(e)(1) and (2) with 1910.213(f)(1) and (2) be combined under one heading, 1910.213(c), with the title "Circular Saws."

Barry J. White
Associate Assistant Secretary
for Regional Programs