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 26, 1976

Mr. William S. McLaughlin Sr.
Route #2, Newport Road
Lititz, Pennsylvania 17543

Dear Mr. McLaughlin:

This is in response to your letter of February 2, 1976, concerning requirements when working with or around belt driven machines and motors.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have a standard requiring that a minimum of two people be present at all times when working with or around belt driven machinery and motors. However, General Industry Safety and Health Regulations, Part 1910, Subpart O, (copy enclosed) contains the requirements for mechanical power-transmission apparatus. Depending on the size of the belt and the RPM, belts and pulleys, any part of which are seven feet or less from the floor or working platform shall be guarded.

I recommend that you discuss with your employer your concern of the conditions existing at your workplace and try to resolve the situation. If all efforts fail, you have a right to file an employee complaint with the nearest OSHA Area Office listed below:

[USDOL OSHA, Harrisburg Area Office
Progress Plaza
49 North Progress Avenue
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17109-3596
Phone: (717) 782-3902
Fax: (717) 782-3746]

Thank you for your concern and continuing interest in occupational safety and health.


John K. Barto, Chief
[Directorate of Enforcement Programs]


[Corrected 10/22/2004]