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.
September 24, 1987
Roger K. Bailey, Project Manager
Milwaukee Crosstown Intercepter Project
Post Office Box 0388
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 08388
Dear Mr. Bailey:
This is in response to your letter of August 24, requesting a variance from the requirements of STD 1-11.2B(F)(2)(d)(1). Your letter was forwarded to this office from the Office of Variance Determination for our evaluation.
As you indicated in your letter, cranes may be used to hoist and suspend employees on a work platform or to provide access and egress in unique work situations when such action results in the least hazardous exposure to employees. However, paragraph (F)(2)(d)(1) as you noted in your letter limits the number of employees to be hoisted to four.
The fact that your mancages are designed with a safety factor of four, and tested at twice the maximum load at which they will be utilized, and are of a physical size adequate to handle the number of employees on your crew, it does not ensure that there is a safety level equal to what would exist if the standard is met. It is our intent to limit the number of employees exposed in this type of unique situation to a minimum and in no case shall the number exceed four. We do not agree with your position that the safety of your employees will be guaranteed because the design size and strength of your cages will be bases on carrying that many people.
If we may be of further assistance, please contact us.
Thomas J. Shepich, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs