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.

April 11, 1989

Steve D. Cooper
General Organizer
Suite 400
1750 New York Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006

Dear Mr. Cooper:

This is in response to your correspondence concerning the use of No. 9 wire as a guide wire or support for reinforcing steel walls, piers, and columns.

The standard, CFR 1926.703(d) requires that vertical structures be adequately supported. Since there are no tensile strength factors identified for No. 9 wire use, it cannot be considered as adequate and therefore, does not meet the requirements of this standard.

Presently, a field directive is not considered necessary because compliance officers do recognize that No. 9 wire is not adequate to support large walls, columns or piers.

I appreciate your concern regarding the possible misapplication in the use of No. 9 wire and your continued support for employee safety and health standards.

If I can be of further assistance, please feel free to call me at 532-8136.


Gerald P. Reidy, Director
Office of Construction and
Maritime Compliance Assistance