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.

June 13, 1978

MEMORANDUM FOR:     BARRY J. WHITE
                    REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR, CHICAGO

THRU:               DONALD E. MACKENZIE Field Coordinator

FROM:               BRUCE HILLENBRAND Acting Director, Federal Compliance
                    and State Programs

SUBJECT:            Platen Presses

REFERENCE:          Memo from Ronald McCann, Area Director to Dr. Eula
                    Bingham, dated 7/1/77 same subject.

Upon receipt of referenced memo, this office requested that photographs of the presses, referred to in the memo, be submitted for review. This office and the Office of Safety Standards reviewed the photographs submitted. It has been concluded that the machines in the photographs are neither platen presses nor mechanical power presses. The machines are paper die cutters used in envelope manufacturing. Enclosed is a clarification of an interpretation that was given to the Envelope Manufactures Association concerning the applicable OSHA standards for the machinery used in their industry.

For your information the following definition of a platen press is supplied. A platen press is a mechanical powered machine that cuts, creases, punches, forms, prints, embosses, or transfers leaf on material such as fiberboard, cardboard and the like, by means of dies attached to the press frame. Platen presses are commonly referred to as cutting or creasing presses. A platen press consists of a stationary frame and a platen having a controlled oscillating rocking motion toward and away from the frame surface, the platen being guided in a definite path by a platen cam.

Enclosure