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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

November 29, 1979

Mr. Ernest Demetriades
Vice President
Oaks Corners Galvanizing
Division of Elderlee, Inc.
Cross Road
Oaks Corners, New York 14518

Dear Mr. Demetriades:

Assistant Secretary Eula Bingham has asked me to respond to your letter dated November 3, 1978, requesting a variance from Section 1910.23(c)(3) Protection of Open-Sided Floors, Platforms and Runways, of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards.

Your application for variance has been reviewed and discussed with our appropriate technical staffs. The 50" sides on the pickling tank exceed the height requirement for a standard guardrail, and, therefore, are in compliance with the standard. The 31" height from the working platform to the top of the galvanizing tank is less than that required for a standard guardrail. However, the 30" ledge width combined with the 31" height creates a situation where employees are effectively protected from the hazard covered by the standard. Therefore, this situation would be considered de minimis and no abatement would be required.

For these reasons, no variance from Section 1910.23(c)(3) is necessary for either your pickling tanks or your galvanizing kettle, and no further action will be taken on your variance application.

Any further questions on this should be directed to the Rochester Area Office, Joseph Rufolo, Area Director, U.S. Department of Labor - OSHA, Federal Office Building, Room 600, 100 State Street, Rochester, New York 14614, telephone: (716) 263-6755.



James J. Concannon
Office of Variance Determination