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.

May 14, 1979

Mr. Stephen Z. Weiss Attorney
Signode Corporation
3600 West Lake Avenue
Glenview, Illinois 60025v

Dear Mr. Weiss:

Your recent letter to Mr. Concannon was referred to this office for response. It concerned the Paslode Pinto II Stapler and the question of the applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.

Pneumatically operated staplers are required to comply with the specific provisions of 29 CFR 1920.243(b)(1) and (2) under Guarding of Portable Powered Tools. However, where a point of operation hazard exists, Section 29 CFR 1910.212 covering point of operation guards would apply to safety devices for pneumatically operated tools at less than 100 p.s.i. in general industry.

Any other hazards not specifically covered in the standards which are associated with pneumatically driven staplers or similar equipment provided with automatic fastener feed, used in general industry may be cited under Section 5(a)(1) of the Act. An example would be not having a safety device on the muzzle to prevent the tool from ejecting fasteners, unless the muzzle is in contact with the work surface. Each case must be evaluated on an individual basis. Alteration or misapplication of an otherwise safe piece of equipment could easily create a hazardous condition beyond the control of the manufacturer.

The Construction Standards, specifically 29 CFR 1926.302(b) must be observed by employers using pneumatic staplers at construction job sites.

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


Grover C. Wrenn Director,
Federal Compliance
and State Programs