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.

September 11, 1981

Mr. Laszlo B. Tarr
P.O. Box 1500-0446-64P
El Reno, Oklahoma 73036

Dear Mr. Tarr:

Thank you for your letter of August 13, 1981, requesting information on the OSHA standards for handtools. The answers given below follow the sequence of your questions.

We have enclosed a copy of Subpart P of OSHA's General Industry Standards, which contain the requirements for proper (safe) use of hand tools.

The requirements for a safe electrical installation to which, for example, a handtool may be connected as a utilization equipment, are given in the recently amended Subpart S (copy enclosed) of the General Industry Standards, which establishes "Design Safety Standards for Electrical Systems."

OSHA has no specification standards regulating the size, shape, and dimensions of hand tools. However, there is the general requirement in 29 CFR 1910.242(a) of Subpart P, that the tools and equipment used by employees be in a safe condition. In addition, there are some specific requirements in Subpart P, relevant to "modified or mutilated" hand tools, such as contained in 29 CFR 1910.243(a)(4), 1910.243(d)(4)(ii), (xiii) and (xiv), and 1910.244(a)(2)(vii).

For your general information, under separate cover we have forwarded a copy of the General Industry Standards, as well as several other pamphlets which may be of interest.

Should you have any additional requests or questions, please do not hesitate to call or write.



John K. Barto
Chief, Division of Occupational
   Safety Programming