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.

February 6, 1990

 

 

Memorandum For: Sandra J. Taylor,
Acting Regional Administrators
 
Through: Leo Carey, Director
Office of Field Programs
 
From: Patricia K. Clark Director Designate
Directorate of Compliance Programs
 
Subject: Jurisdiction over Tank Car Drivers and Helpers

 


The Office of Motor Carrier Safety (OMCS) exercises statutory authority over the operation of motor vehicles in intestate or foreign commerce. Some of the statutory definitions are as follows:

 

 

1. Commercial motor vehicle -
a. Any self-propelled or towed vehicle weighing in excess of 10,000 pounds used on highways in interstate commerce that transports passengers or property.

b. Commercial motor buses having the capacity to transport more than IS passengers including the driver.

c. Special commercial motor vehicle used to transport hazardous material in such quantity as would require placards under the DOT regulation 49 U.S.C. Sec. 2503.
2. Employee - any person (other than a Federal, State, or local government worker) whose actions directly affect the safety of commercial motor vehicles, such as driver and loader.

3. Employer - any person (other than a Federal, State, or local government worker) engaged in business affecting commerce who owns or leases and assigns employees to operate load and maintain commercial motor vehicles.

The review of significant 4(b)(1) case law reveals the following main principles:

1. OSHA has no jurisdiction where another Federal agency has exercised its authority with respect to safety and health conditions even if the other agency's standards are not as stringent.

2. When another Federal agency fails to exercise its authority with respect to safe working conditions by not developing standards, OSHA has authority to inspect or investigate for safety and health hazards.

OMCS has standards dealing with the protection of drivers and loaders from potential hazards of operating commercial motor vehicles. Thus, as a general rule, section 4(b)(1) bars OSHA from regulating these hazards.

DOT has fall protection standards for motor carriers employees working on trucks and truck-tractors having a high-profile cab-over-engine (COE) configuration for entrance, egress, and back of cab access, manufactured on and after September 1, 1982, (49 CFR 399.201 et sec). If these trucks fall within this category, OSHA does not deal with the falling hazards on the trucks and/or truck-tractors. OSHA does have jurisdiction for falling hazards while working on the trailers pulled by the trucks and/or truck-tractors in this category. OSHA also has jurisdiction for falling hazards while working on trucks, truck-tractors, and trailers that do not fall within this category.

With respect to the question from the Iowa State designee, this analysis is only applicable if the Iowa's statute has a provision the same as or analogous to section 4(b)(1).