Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

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

September 27, 1977

Mr. Vernon K. Garrett, Jr. Director,
Office of Engineering
Washington Metropolitan Area
Transit Authority
600 Fifth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001

Dear Mr. Garrett:

This is in response to your letter of August 29, 1977, concerning floor loading protection.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) General Industry Standard, 1910.22(d)(1) presently requires in every building or other structure, or part thereof, used for mercantile, business, industrial, or storage purposes, the loads approved by the building official shall be marked on plates of approved design which shall be supplied and securely affixed by the owner of the building, or his duly authorized agent, in a conspicuous place in each space to which they relate. Such plates shall not be removed or defaced but, if lost, removed, or defaced, shall be replaced by the owner or his agent.

Your present procedure of reviewing and approving the structural adequacy of garages requiring a change of occupancy would appear to protect employees against some floor overloading failures. However, unless the loading plates are displayed as required by the aforementioned standard, the standard would be violated, but would no doubt be considered a de minimis violation at this time.

As indicated in your letter, OSHA's Office of Standards Development is drafting a new Subpart D, Walking-Working Surfaces, which will be published in the Federal Register later this year for public comment. Your comments concerning floor loading protection, pro or con, would be appreciated at that time. It is possible that any reference to loading plate requirements may be modified in that proposal.

If I may be of any further assistance, please feel free to contact me.


John K. Barto, Chief
Division of Occupational Safety Programming