• Standard Number:

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.

February 26, 1982


THRU:               JOHN MILES
                   FIELD COORDINATOR

FROM:               PATRICK R. TYSON

SUBJECT:            The "Power Shift" Model Caterpillar Track
                   Tractors Operating on Inclines in Excess of
                   30 Degrees Above the Horizontal Plane may
                   Become Hazardous

During a recent fatality investigation it was determined during the course of the inspection that the "power shift" model caterpillar track tractors when operating on inclines in excess of 30 degrees above the horizontal plane may become hazardous. Caterpillar Tractor Company representatives were contacted by the Directorate of Federal Compliance and State Programs and the possible hazardous condition was substantiated.

Thereafter, Caterpillar issued a bulletin to all dealers (see attachment), reminding them of and reemphasizing caterpillars recommendations regarding steep slope operation. In addition, their operators guides and maintenance guides will be revised to include more detailed technical descriptions that will emphasize the need for increased oil level and the amount to be added.

Compliance officers should be aware of this situation during inspections. If caterpillar equipment is observed during an inspection at a job site, employers and employees should be alerted to caterpillar's recommendations for "power shift" track tractors used for steep slope operations.