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.

December 18, 1984

Honorable Hal Daub
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Congressman Daub:

This is in response to your inquiry of November 21, concerning a product brought to your attention by your constituent, Mr. Lee Terry of Con-Serv, Inc., in Omaha, Nebraska.

It is the policy of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) not to approve or endorse products. The variable working conditions at jobsites and possible alteration or misapplication of an otherwise safe product could easily create a hazardous condition beyond the control of the product manufacturer. However, we have evaluated the information provided on the Electronic Back-up Mirror manufactured by Con-Serv, and it appears that the device does not provide the necessary employee protection required by our construction standard. On the other hand, your Electronic Back-up Mirror used with a reverse signal alarm would comply with our standard.

29 CFR 1926.602(a)(9) provides the following requirements for reverse audible alarms:

No employer shall permit earthmoving or compacting equipment which has an obstructed view to the rear to be used in reverse gear unless the equipment has in operation a reverse signal alarm distin- guishable from the surrounding noise level or an employee signals that it is safe to do so.

It is suggested that any employer desiring to use the Electronic Back-up Mirror may apply for a variance from the provisions of 29 CFR 1926.602(a)(9). Additional information concerning a variance application can be obtained by contacting the Director of the Office of Variance Determination:

James T. Concannon, Director
Office of Variance Determination
U.S. Department of Labor - OSHA
Room N3663
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210
Telephone: 202-523-7144

If we may be of further assistance, please feel free to contact us.


John B. Miles, Jr., Director
Directorate of Field Operations