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.

September 11, 1984

Mr. Anthony Ambrose, Jr.
67 N. Transithill Drive
Depew, New York 14043

Dear Mr. Ambrose:

This is in response to your letter of September 4, 1984, in which you request information about OSHA regulations for machine shop and press room safety.

The regulations applicable to machine shops and to general industrial plant are found in the OSHA Safety and Health Standards 29 CFR 1910 (copy enclosed). These standards require conditions, or the adoption or use of one or more practices, means, methods or processes reasonable necessary or appropriate to protect the employees on the job.

The OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910 contain regulations among other, for the following areas:

Walking and Working Surfaces (Platforms, Ladders, Stairs)

Means of Egress (Exits, Exit Markings)

Occupational Health and Environmental Controls (Ventilation, Noise, Radiation)

Hazardous Materials (Compressed Gases, Flammable and Combustible Liquids, etc.)

Personal Protective Equipment (Eye and Face Protection, Respiratory Protection, etc.)

General Environmental Protection (Sanitation) Medical and First Aid

Fire Protection (Fire Brigades, Portable Fire Extinguishers, etc.)

Material Handling and Storage (Powered Industrial Trucks, Cranes)

Machinery and Machine Guarding (Mechanical Power Presses, Abrasive Wheels, etc.)

Hand and Portable Powered Tools

Welding, Cutting, and Brazing


Toxic and Hazardous Substances

The section 1910.94, Ventilation, contains the requirements for grinding operations. There are many variables involved in the design of a ventilation system, therefore, it is not possible for us to provide you with specific design information.

The section 1910.217, Mechanical Power Presses, addresses the requirements for punch presses safeguarding. The mechanical power press is a machine that requires the undivided attention and good judgment of the operator. The punching, bending and shearing actions of this machine are particularly hazardous with respect to the severity of injury inflicted. The most hazardous zone is at the point of operation.

The paragraph 1910.217(c)(1) requires that the employer shall provide and ensure the usage of point of operation guards or properly applied and adjusted point of operation devices to prevent entry of hands or fingers into the point of operation by reaching through, over, under and around the guard.

We are enclosing, also, copy of literature about point of operation safeguarding for mechanical power presses. It contains information about fixed guards and devices, such as presence sensing, pullback, restraint, two-hand controls and two-hand trips.

For your information, we are sending also a pamphlet on concepts and techniques of machine guarding.

The OSHA Regional Office and the OSHA Area Offices maintain libraries which are open to the public. You may find it helpful to refer to the information on ventilation which is available in these libraries. The local OSHA Area Office is located at 220 Delaware Avenue, Jackson Building, Room 509, Buffalo, New York, Telephone (716) 846-4881.

If you have any further questions on this matter, please contact Mr. Natividad Sanchez of the Technical Support Staff. His telephone number is (212) 944-3430.

Thank you for your interest in safety and health.




Cathie M. Mannion
Assistant Regional Administrator
for Technical Support




September 4, 1984

OSHA - Dept. of Labor
Employment Standard Amin.
1515 Broadway
New York, New York 10036

Dear Sirs:

I would like some information concerning OSHA regulations of machine shop and press room safety.

I would appreciate any literature that deals with:

1) Proper ventilation of fumes, grinder dust, coolant mist, etc.

2) Guards, palm buttons etc. for punch presses.

3) General Industrial Plant Safety.

Sincerely yours,


Anthony Ambrose, Jr.
67 N. Transithill Drive
Depew, N.Y. 14043