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.

February 17, 1978

Mr. D. D. Brennan
Vice President
Elgood Mayo Corporation
Post Office Box 1413
Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17604

Dear Mr. Brennan:

This is in response to your letter of February 8, 1978, requesting clarification of the applicable construction standards covering the safety aspects of personnel and material hoists.

The Construction standard 29 CFR 1926.552 - Material Hoists, Personnel Hoists, and Elevators, provides safety standard requirements for the above mentioned equipment used at all construction sites. Section 1926.800(m)(6), Tunnels and Shafts, is not applicable with regard to the design requirements of personnel or material hoists as indicated in your letter.

On March 18, 1974, OSHA published a notice of proposed rulemaking and public hearing for Section 1926.800 Tunnels, Shafts, and related work areas. Section 1926.800(m)(1)(i), under general requirements, proposes all hoists used for shafts and tunnels shall be designed by a qualified engineer competent in this field and shall be constructed and rated in accordance with such design. In addition, paragraph (m)(5)(iii) of the same section proposed that cages, skips, or buckets, operating on guide rails or guide cables, shall be equipped with bridles and broken-rope safety latches, dogs, or equivalent, that will stop and hold 150 percent of capacity load. Your design information as submitted meets the 1974 proposed tunnel hoist criteria (1926.800). In meeting the proposed requirements, you have also satisfied the intent of 1926.552. However, it is not technically in compliance with 1926.552(b)(6) and would be subject to a de minimis violation. No penalties are proposed for de minimis violations, and no corrective action is required by the employer.

OSHA Program directive #200-67, Subject: De Minimis Violations (copy enclosed), established official guidelines for de minimis violations in situations involving standards which are being modified as are the aforementioned tunnel construction standards. Pending final approval of the proposed changes in the standard, the violation of that specific requirement of the standard shall be de minimis, provided that the deviation form the standard which is in the amending process has no direct or immediate relationship to safety and health.

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


John K. Barto, Chief
Division of Occupational Safety Programming