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.

May 23, 1989

Mr. Charles L. Lambert, CSP
Safety Coordinator
The Charles Machine Works, Inc.
Post Office Box 66
Perry, Oklahoma 73077-0066

Dear Mr. Lambert:

This is in response to your request and subsequent phone conversation with Mr. Anthony Brown of my staff requesting a review and reversal of a previous Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) response contained in a letter which was sent to you on December 30, 1987. This letter stated that under OSHA's current standard pertaining to rollover protective structures [29 CFR 1926.1000], a rollover protective structure (ROPS) would be required for the backhoe operator's seat when the tractor you described is moving backward or forward in the manner that you described.

The additional information that you have submitted to support your request for a reversal of OSHA's previous interpretation contains the Society of Automotive Engineers' (SAE) proposed standard J1040. This is primarily an engineering document which addresses criteria and procedures to be used for testing and determining the adequacy of ROPS. This proposed SAE standard does not address the issue of whether or not ROPS would be required on a particular vehicle and it does not address the issue of what types of operations would require ROPS. As you know, 29 CFR 1926.1000 does contain sections which identify the types of vehicles and describe some of the practices which would require the use of ROPS.

A review of the additional information you have sent us and OSHA's applicable construction standards pertaining to ROPS provides us with no reasonable justification to reconsider or revise the decision contained in OSHA's December 30, 1987 letter to you. Therefore, the December 30, 1987 letter OSHA sent to you is still applicable.

We have enclosed another copy of OSHA's December 30, 1987 letter to you for your information. We hope this response clarifies any confusion or misunderstanding you may have had concerning this matter and we appreciate your continued interest in safety and health.


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