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.

December 1, 1989

Mr. John A. Ducharme
Vice president, Administration
Reitter Stucco, Inc.
1100 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212-2287

Dear Mr. Ducharme:

Assistant Secretary Gerard F. Scannell has asked me to respond to your letter dated November 8 concerning your request for a variance from Section 1926.451(a)(4) and 1926.451(b)(11) - Scaffolding, of the Safety and Health Regulations for Construction.

Please be advised that a request for a temporary variance and an interim order must be requested prior to the effective date of the standard. However, it appears that you may be interested in obtaining a permanent variance. We have enclosed a copy of 29 CFR part 1905 for your guidance. Section 1905.11(b) provides the information necessary for an applicant to seek a permanent variance under Section 6(d) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Please note Section 1905.11(b)(4) which requires that an alternative method, system, procedure, etc. be as safe and healthful as the requirement of the standard from which the variance is sought.

Upon receipt of a valid application, we will continue processing your application. If I can be of any further assistance, please contact my office at (202) 523-7193.


James J. Concannon
Office of Variance Determination