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.

November 2, 1987

Mr. J. C. Faucher
Lumar Ideal (1981) Inc.
1280 est, rue
Ontario Montreal,
H2L 1R6

Dear Mr. Faucher:

This is in response to your letter of September 21, 1987, concerning the boneless meat tenderizers manufactured by your company.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not provide approvals of manufactured products. Product approvals are not granted because the manufacturer can not assure the manner in which the product will be used. Therefore, under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (the Act) only the employer is responsible for compliance with the Act and for safe use by their employees.

Under 29 CFR 1910.212(a)(1) and (a)(e)(ii), (copy enclosed) all machines used by employees, such as your meat tenderizer, must be safeguarded to prevent hazardous employee exposures. The brochure and video tape provided by you have been reviewed with great interest by our technical staff. As a result of our review, the following observations are provided for your consideration.

1. The boneless meat tenderizer as depicted by the brochure and video tape does not provide for compliance with the OSHA regulations at 29 CFR 1910.212(a)(1) and (a)(3)(ii), and is subject to citation if used as presently configured. Employees are capable of inserting their hands into the point of operation while the machine is cycling. Furthermore, the pinch points between the revolving work table/tray and the machine main frame are also accessible to an employee's hands.

2. Generally, machines which run continuously and present a serious hazard to employees at the point of operation are required to be fully safeguarded in a manner which prevents the entry of any part of an employees body into the hazard zone during machine cycling. This may be accomplished by any effective and reasonably reliable means since no specific industry standard is known to exist.

3. An interlocked barrier guard which closes the opening between the table and the fixed wire cage guard would provide for employee safety while the machine cycles. Such a guard would need to be interlocked to the operating circuitry in such a manner that the machine could not cycle unless the guard is closed, and would stop machine operation if the guard were opened. In order that the operator could manipulate the product, the guard could be positioned in the closed position, so as to provide no more than an inch of space between the table surface and the bottom of the guard if the guard is located at least 7 1/2 inches away from the points of operation. (A sketch is provided for clarity.) Modification and extension of the fixed guard is also necessary for compliance.

Should you elect to provide an interlocked barrier guard and full enclosure of the points of operation it would provide for compliance with OSHA regulations. Any guard meeting these provisions would be acceptable, e.g., our suggestion is no doubt one of many which could be considered.

Should you wish to discuss this issue further, please feel free to call Mr. Joseph Bode, of my staff, at 202-523-8031.


Thomas J. Shepich, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs


September 21st, 1987

Mr. Tom Shepich
Directorate of compliance program
200 Constitution Ave.
Washington 20210
Room N 3310

Dear Sir:

Our company has been manufacturing boneless meat tenderizers in Montreal, Canada for the last fifteen years.

We serve the North American market and many overseas countries. Our equipment is used by butchers to tenderize meat.

For your information, we joined to the present letter, a 12 minute video-cassette showing our equipment in action.

In Canada our equipment is CSA approved and in United States it is already USDA approved. As of today, we are not aware of any injuries resulting from tenderizing meat with our equipment by butchers. As you can see in our colored brochure, we manufacture an electric and a manual model.

A while ago, we were told that one of your inspectors mentioned to a user that our equipment did not comply with OSHA regulations.

At this point, we would like to know precisely OSHA regulations with respect to this type of equipment in order to comply with them and to receive an approval number.

We will gladly accept your recommendations and suggestions with respect to added safety features if it can be applied to our present equipment.

Thanking you very much for your collaboration. We remain,

Yours Sincerely

J.-C. Faucher President J.-C. P/J.I.