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.

July 12, 1976

MEMORANDUM FOR: Donald E. MacKenzie
Regional Administrator
Subject: Interpretation of 29 CFR 1910.184(e)(4)

This is in response to Mr. R. A. Wendell's memorandum dated May 28, 1976, which requests clarification of 29 CFR 1910.184(e)(4).

The Division of Occupational Safety Programming and Safety Standards Development have reviewed all reference material involved. We concur with your literal interpretation of paragraph 5.2 of the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) A391-65. However, the scope of the standard reads, "This specification covers heat-tested alloy steel chain that generally is used for slinging, hoisting, and load binding purposes". The intent of the standard was that it would apply to an assembly of welded components, attached to tested alloy steel chain to form a sling.

When a chain assembly is made up of segments of proof-tested alloy steel chain and proof-tested individual components, such as master links, hooks and similar devices, it is not necessary to test the assembled unit, when appropriate test certifications and tagging are supplied by the manufacturer on each component. It should be considered equivalent to the testing required for welding assemblies.

As for your question concerning how to determine what is an equal entity, and equal entity is a manufacturer, a person, or organization, (it may be an employer).

Barry J. White
Associate Assistant Secretary
for Regional Programs