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.

June 25, 1982

Mr. Michel Lepointe
DAP Electronique
Canada Limitee 1165,
Rue Gouin Quebec, P.Q., GIN IT3

Dear Mr. Lapointe:

This is in response to your letter of June 8, 1982, requesting requirements for back up alarms.

The Occupational Safety end Health Administration's (OSHA's) standard for back up alarms are contained in [29 CFR 1926.601(b)(4)] and in 29 CFR 1926.602(a)(9)(ii) (copy enclosed). Back up alarms complying with the above mentioned requirements are acceptable to this agency.

OSHA does not approve or endorse products for the following reasons:



  1. Alteration or misapplication of an otherwise safe piece of equipment could easily create a hazardous condition beyond the control of the manufacturer.
  2. The variable working conditions at job sites.

The compliance of "back up alarms" with our standards must therefore, be determined with the alarm actually in use under specific working conditions. However, upon submission of your design and specification criteria, we could supply you with a determination as to whether or not the equipment will meet the intent of the standard(s) when properly installed, used and maintained.

If I may be of further assistance, please feel free to contact me.


John K. Barto, Chief
Division of Occupational Safety Programming

[Corrected 05/28/2004]