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.

January 28, 1982

Mr. James H. Tourtelotte
Robinson, Donovan, Madden & Berry, P.C.
Attorneys at Law
1500 Main Street - Suite 1400
Springfield, Massachusetts 01115

Dear Mr. Tourtelotte:

Thank you for your letter of November 30, 1981, regarding meat grinder standards. Please accept our apology for the delay in response.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforces a performance safety standard pertinent to all machines used by employees. The General Industry Standard 29 CFR 1910.212, general requirements for all machines, is applicable to meat grinders (copy enclosed). Paragraph .212(a)(1) requires that one or more methods of machine guarding be provided to protect the operator and other employees from the hazards created by the point of operation, such as ingoing nip points. Paragraph .212(a)(3)(ii) further requires that the point of operation of machines whose operation exposes an employee to injury shall be guarded.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the employer is responsible for the proper safeguarding of equipment used by employees, whether or not the manufacturer of the equipment provides adequate safeguards.

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


John K. Barto Chief,
Division of Occupational Safety Programming