Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

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

August 7, 1987

OSHA STANDARDS NOTICE 1918.51(a) and (b)

To:            Field and National Offices

Subject:       Safe Working Load (SWL) of Ship's Gear Used in Union Purchase

1. Purpose. To provide information and guidance and to avoid the improper application of 1918.51(a) and (b) in this respect.

2. Background. The National office has been advised that CSHO's are instances caused to make determinations concerning the SWL of in some gear used in Union Purchase.

3. Action. CSHO's are to refrain from giving advice of this nature. It is not the function of OSHA, either at the field or national office level, to calculate stresses on a vessel's cargo gear and to assign SWL to that gear, nor is OSHA in a position to accept liability should any unauthorized "calculated ratings" prove to be the cause of accident.

4. Effective Date. This notice is effective immediately and will remain in effect until superseded or canceled.

Office of Standards


(For Distribution, see printed copy)

(Originator: OSM)