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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

April 3, 1978

Mr. James Thomas
Demos, LTD.
Attorneys at Law
33 North Dearborn Street
Suite 826
Chicago, Illinois 60602

Dear Mr. Demos:

This is in response to your letter of March 8, 1978, concerning my recent interpretations of several construction Standards, and confirms a telephone conversation with a member of my staff on March 24, 1978.

As indicated in my letter of February 6, 1978, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Section 1926.302(d)(1) does require fire resistant fluid in power-operated hand tools such as hydraulic foot pump. However, Section 1926.950(1), for power transmission and distribution lines, required that all hydraulic fluids used for the insulated sections of derrick trucks, aerial lifts, and hydraulic tools, which are used on or around energized lines and equipment shall be of the insulating type. The requirement for fire resistant fluids of Section 1926.302(d)(1) does not apply to hydraulic tools covered by this paragraph.

As indicated above, section 1926.950 of the Construction Standards applies only when employees are engaged in the construction of electric transmission and distribution lines and equipment, and use such hydraulic tools on or around energized lines or equipment. Thus, employers engaged in such activity are required to provide hydraulic fluids in hydraulic tools which are of the insulating type. This requirement is the primary one in this situation and supersedes those requirements requiring the use of fire resistant hydraulic fluids in 1926.302(d)(i).

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


John K. Barto, Chief
Division of Occupational Safety Programming