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.

June 30, 1981

Rennes Bowman
Equipment Manager
John Driggs Company, Inc.
8622 Ashwood Drive
Capitol Heights, Maryland 20027

Dear Mr. Bowman:

This is in response to your letter of June 22, 1981, concerning a grandfather clause for horns on construction equipment.

29 CFR 1926.601(a)(3) requires all motor vehicles to be equipped with an adequate audible warning device at the operator's station and in an operable condition. 29 CFR 1926.602(a)(9)(i) covers material handling equipment and requires all bidirectional machines, such as rollers, compactors, front-end loaders, bulldozers, and similar equipment, to be equipped with a horn, distinguishable from the surrounding noise level, which shall be operated as needed when the machine is moving in either direction. The horn is required to be maintained in an operative condition.

The construction standards do not contain a grandfather clause for the use of horns.

If we may be of further assistance, please call or write.


John K. Barto Chief,
Division of Occupational Safety Programming