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.

March 2, 1982

Mr. Jack Moore
Jack Moore Associates, Inc.
429 Boston Turnpike
Shrewsbury, Massachusetts 01545

Dear Mr. Moore,

This is in response to your letter of December 11, 1981, requesting clarification of OSHA's position regarding certain provisions of OSHA 29 CFR 1926.302. Please accept our apology for the delay in response.

29 CFR 1926.302(e) regulates the use of powder-actuated tools and 29 CFR 1926.302(e)(12) requires employers to also comply with all other applicable requirements of the American National Standards Institute. A10.3-1970, Safety Requirements for Explosive-Actuated Fastening Tools. The ANSI A10.3-1977 requirements have not been adopted and are not enforced by this Agency. OSHA enforces the ANSI A10.3-1970 requirement that fasteners used in tools shall be only those specifically manufactured for use in such tools. OSHA does not interpret this provision to require use of fasteners/cartridges made by the manufacturer of the tool, as long as the fastener/cartridge is intended to be used in the particular tool and can be used safely.

OSHA Instruction CPL 2-11A (copy enclosed) implements guidelines on de minimis violations which have no direct or immediate relationship to safety and health. It acknowledges "state of the art" technical advances which are beyond the requirements of the applicable standard. An example would be where OSHA standards derived from such consensus groups as NEC, NFPA, ANSI, etc. have been updated in later consensus publications in accord with new technology or equipment and the updated standard provides equal or greater safety and health protection.

In regards to your question on color identification, a power level (1) with brass case must have a load color grey and a nominal velocity of 91 m/c or 300 f/s regardless of whether it is .22/.25/.27 caliber.

It is OSHA's position that cartridges falling below the minimum velocity tolerant may also present a hazard to an employee using the tool. The fasteners could crack, shatter, or spell the material, thereby causing employee injury or an improperly set fastener could also cause injury to an employee because of the failure.

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


Patrick R. Tyson Director,
Federal Compliance and State Programs