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 18, 1982

Mr. Louis C. Feldman
Northeastern Building
Hazleton, Pennsylvania 18201

Dear Mr. Feldman:

Your letter of January 19, 1982, to Mr. Frank White was forwarded to this office for response. Please excuse the delay in response.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Public Law 91-596 (copy enclosed), pertains to workplace safety and health, and requires employers to provide employment free of recognized hazards and to comply with OSHA's regulations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration administers the Act. OSHA regulates employers and does not regulate the products of manufacturers. However, due to the needs and economics of the marketplace, manufacturers generally produce equipment which would provide for compliance with OSHA regulations.

In response to your specific questions the following is provided:

a. No portion of OSHA regulations are specifically directed to manufacturers. 29 CFR 1910 General Industry Standard, 29 CFR 1926 Construction Standard, 29 CFR 1915 thru 1918 Maritime Standards, and 29 CFR 1928 Agriculture Standard pertain to each industry respectively. Manufacturers of equipment to be used in the various industries usually market equipment which complies with the appropriate regulation.

Regarding the press brake, to which you refer, the 29 CFR 1910.212 (copy enclosed) would be the most significant requirement, regardless of the time of manufacture of the machine. See Irvington Moore, etc. v. OSHRC, 556 F.2d 431 (9th Cir. 1977); Long Mfg. Co., N.C. Inc. v. OSHRC, 554 F.2d 903 (8th Cir. 1977).

b. Many manufacturers have consistently offered retrofit safety equipments to users for installation on their respective machines. The responsibility, under the Act, however, is that of the user employer.

c. We are unaware of any litigation in this regard.

d. We are unaware of any opinions issued in this regard.

e. The manufacturer has no requirement to notify owners (employers) of OSHA requirements. Under the Act, employers are obligated to conform to the OSHA regulations. Manufacturers do however, as a good business practice, try to keep customers fully informed of pertinent OSHA regulations. It is apparent that most manufacturers expend considerable effort to remain informed on OSHA regulations and pass on the information to their customers.

The regulation 29 CFR 1910.212 pertains to a power press brake regardless of how it was being used. Furthermore, the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) of 1430 Broadway, New York, New York (phone number 212-354-3363) publishes an industry consensus standard, ANSI B11.3, pertaining to the power press brake. Manufacturers generally provided for compliance with the ANSI standard. Machines which are in compliance with the ANSI standard generally meet the OSHA requirements for safeguarding.

We sincerely hope that we have answered all of your concerns. If we may be of further assistance, please call or write.


John K. Barto
Division of Occupational Safety Programming