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.

June 30, 1977

Mr. Richard Maslow
Bellmonte Finishing Co., Inc.
30 Irving Place
New York, New York 10003

Dear Mr. Maslow:

This is in response to your letter dated May 25, 1977, requesting a permanent variance from Section 1910.213(h)(1) Woodworking Machinery Requirements - Radial Saws, of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards.

This standard requires, in part, that the upper portion of the saw blade be guarded by a hood to protect the operator from flying splinters and broken saw teeth. The lower exposed portion of the blade must be guarded by a device that will adjust itself automatically to the thickness of the stock being cut, thereby remaining in constant contact with it in order to provide the maximum protection possible during the operation being performed.

In your application, you have stated that adequate side guard protection from the blade is provided by the 3/4" deep by 3/8" wide channel in the cutting table in which the saw blade rides. However, you also state that the cross cutting operation with which you are concerned necessitates guarding the front of the blade as well as the sides. Therefore, you have designed an adjustable guard with a 1/8" front opening to provide this protection.

A review of your application and photographs reveal that your adapted guard design appears to meet the requirements of Section 1910.213(h)(1). However, it is extremely important that this fixed guard be properly installed, adjusted, and maintained to meet the intent of this standard.

We have discussed your situation with the Manhattan Area Director and he concurs with our decision. If you have any further questions, please contact the Manhattan Area Director, U.S. Department of Labor - OSHA, 70 Church Street - Room 1405, New York, New York 10007, telephone (212) 264-9840.

No further action will be taken on your variance request.


James J. Concannon,
Office of Variance Determination