- Standard Number:
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 http://www.osha.gov.
May 13, 1977
Churchill Truck Lines, Inc.
Pleasant Valley, Missouri 64119
Dear Employees of Churchill Truck Lines:
This is in response to your letter of April 13, 1977, to Dr. Eula Bingham, requesting review of a decision of Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Administrative Law Judge Vernon Riehl in Secretary of Labor v. Churchill Truck Lines, Inc., OSHRC Docket No. 76-3962. In our view, the issuance of a citation to your employer for failure to comply with 29 CFR 1910.132(a) was appropriate because our inspection revealed that employees were exposed to hazards requiring the use of protective footwear.
Decisions of Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Judges are reviewed by the three member Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission which is located at 1825 K Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006. The Commission is totally independent of the U.S. Department of Labor and OSHA and therefore if you wish to pursue your objection to Judge Riehl's decision, I suggest that you write to the Commission at the address above and request that it review that decision.
In answer to your general comments, coordination with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Kansas City Area Office showed that the company's freight handlers sustained eight foot injuries in 1975 and two in 1976 to the date of the inspection. The OSHA General Industry standard 29 CFR 1910.132(a) requires personal protective equipment be used where there is a reasonable probability of injury that can be prevented by such protective equipment.
Furthermore, let me bring to your attention that the standard 29 CFR 1910.132(a) would also apply to the four foot and seven ankle injuries mentioned in your present letter as sustained by the Churchill Truck Line Employees. Proper protective equipment is required to prevent such future injuries even though the injuries may occur relatively infrequently. Protective safety equipment for the foot and ankle obviously should not be construed to be wholly provided by safety-toed shoes.
In answer to your comment on footwear comfort, the standard 29 CFR 1910.136 states: "Safety-toe footwear shall meet the requirements and specifications in American National Standard for Men's Safety-Toe Footwear Z41.1-1967." Section 4.2.1 of this standard states: "The safety footwear shall be constructed of suitable material for the exposure it is intended to receive and should provide comfort and wearability."
Should the Churchill Truck Line Employees have any further questions regarding OSHA and the standards, or the inspection in question, it is suggested they may find it expedient to contact OSHA Kansas City Area Office. The address and telephone number are:
Area Director U.S. Department of Labor - OSHA 1150 Grand Avenue - 6th Floor 12 Grand Building Kansas City, Missouri 64106 Telephone: 816-374-2756
If I may be of any further assistance, please feel free to contact me.
Richard P. Wilson
Federal Compliance and State Programs