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 http://www.osha.gov.

June 5, 1985

Mr. Bob Novascone
Holloway & Thomas, P.C.
1144 East Jefferson Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85034

Dear Mr. Novascone:

This is in response to your letter of April 29, 1985, in which you request an interpretation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards applicable to a Bell Industries "Carb-Cutter".

Compliance with OSHA standards, as required under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (the Act), is specifically an employer's responsibility relative to employees and is not intended to pertain to safeguarding of the general public consumer. A copy of the Act is enclosed for your reference.

In circumstances where employees are exposed to the potential hazards of a portable powered tool, various OSHA standards are applicable. However, for portable powered tools such as the Bell Industries "Carb-Cutter", the minimum acceptable safeguarding will vary dependent upon the cutting blade, application and use. The General Industry or Construction Industry Standards, 29 CFR 1910, and 29 CFR 1926, respectively, stipulate various employee safeguarding requirements. Portions of each are enclosed.

OSHA General Industry standards pertaining to the safe use of a Bell Industries "Carb-Cutter" include:

1. 29 CFR 1910.132 and 1910.133, require personal protective equipment be provided, used, and maintained wherever it is necessary by reason of hazards of processes. In this instance eye and face protection, gloves, and additional protective clothing are indicated as necessary and are an industry practice as stipulated by the applicable ANSI standards. (Reference ANSI B7.1 and ANSI 01.1.)

2. 29 CFR 1910.219, requires that the chain, vee-belt, and sprockets or pulleys be fully guarded to prevent employee exposure to the nip point hazards of the power transmission apparatus.

3. 29 CFR 1910.242(a), states that employers are responsible for the safe condition of tools and equipment used by employees.

4. 29 CFR 1910.243(a)(1), (2) and (4). These standards require that when the device is equipped with a circular carbide tipped saw, such as Bell part numbers E914N and E918N, it must be provided with various safeguards including a lower saw blade retractable guard.

5. 29 CFR 1910.243(c)(1), (3), (4) and (5). These standards pertain to the device when it is equipped with an abrasive disc and specify that a 180 degree guard be provided.

It should be noted that due to the various functions possible with this device the degree of required safeguarding is related to the specific function being accomplished. Therefore, only applicable portions of 1910.243 are required for any specific operational use.

OSHA Construction Industry Standards pertaining to the safe use of a Bell Industries "Carb-Cutter" include:

1. 29 CFR 1926.28 and.102(a) require the use of appropriate personal protective equipment as in 1910.132 and 1910.133.

2. 29 CFR 1926.300(a), (b), and (d). These requirements are similar to 1910.219, 1910.242 and .243. Personal protective equipment use and guarding per ANSI B15.1-1953 (or current) is specified.

3. 29 CFR 1926.302(c). This requirement pertains to fuel powered tools such as the chain saw power unit.

4. 29 CFR 1926.303(a), (b), (c) and (d). These requirements are similar to 1910.243(c) above. It includes by reference the stipulations of ANSI B7.1-1970; however, OSHA accepts the provisions of ANSI B7.1-1978 as an alternative under our de minimis violation procedure, enclosed.

5. 29 CFR 1926.304(d), (e) and (f). These requirements are similar to 1910.243(a) and include by reference the requirements of ANSI 01.1-1961. OSHA accepts the provisions of ANSI 01.1-1975 and ANSI 01.1(a)-1979 as an alternative.

The ANSI standards referenced in the OSHA standards may be obtained from:

American National Standards Institute, Inc. 1430 Broadway New York, New York 10018 Telephone: 212-354-3364

The committee members contributing to each document are identified in the forward of each ANSI publication.

At present, we are unaware of any other cases involving the use of a Bell Industries "Carb-Cutter". If we may be of further assistance, please contact us.


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