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.

March 25, 1977

Mr. James F. McGlame, Jr.
Massachusetts Council of Construction
Employers, Inc.
260 Summer Street, Room 704
Boston, Massachusetts 02210

Dear Mr. McGlame:

This is in reference to your class application for variance from Section 1926.154(d) Solid Fuel Salamanders, of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards, for which and interim order was issued.

Section 1926.154(d) prohibits the use of solid fuel salamanders in buildings and on scaffolds. This standard was adopted to prevent the fire and carbon monoxide hazards associated with the burning of spark-producing fuels such as wood and paper in open salamanders. The ban was not intended to apply to properly constructed and equipped solid fuel salamanders which are fueled by coke of coal and are used in structures under construction. The use of open solid fuel salamanders (heating units with combustion exhausting into the surrounding enclosed atmosphere) will continue to be prohibited on scaffolds or in buildings defined as roofed and walled structures. For these reasons, a variance from Section 1926.154(d) to permit the use of solid fuel salamanders for curing of concrete in buildings under construction is not necessary.

Section 1926.700(a), however, requires that all equipment and materials used in concrete construction and masonry work shall meet the applicable requirements for design, construction, inspection, testing, maintenance and operations as prescribed in ANSI A10.9-1970, Safety Requirements for Concrete Construction and Masonry Work.

Paragraph 5.6.4 of ANSI A10.9-1970 states in part: "When salamanders of similar heating devices are used to protect concrete, the following precautions shall be taken:

(1) All salamanders shall be covered and equipped with exhaust stacks.

(2) Heating units shall not be set on or placed near wood or combustible materials.

(3) Salamanders should be attended at all times, and suitable fire extinguishers maintained readily available in the area."

In addition, it should be noted that other applicable requirements of 29 CFR 1926, particularly Section 55(a) and Section 154 shall be observed.

No further action will be taken on your request for a variance. The interim order granted on December 27, 1973 is now moot.

All companies included in the request for a variance shall be informed of this decision and shall be required to inform their employees in the same manner in which they were informed of the request for a variance.


James J. Concannon
Director Office of Variance Determination