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.

September 7, 1990

Mr. William S. Dodson
Maynard, Cooper, Frierson & Gale,
P.C. Attorneys at Law
1901 Sixth Avenue North
2400 AmSouth/Harbert Plaza
Birmingham, Alabama 35203-2602

Dear Mr. Dodson:

This is in response to a letter from Mr. Carranza M. Pryor of August 3, addressed to Mr. Raymond Donnelly, Director of the Office of General Industry Compliance Assistance, in which he sought from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) any information about the existence of standards regarding overhead protection (ROPS, canopies, etc.) for operators of log skidders that may have existed between 1969-1971, the time during which the skidder in question was assembled. Mr. Pryor asked, during an August 14, telephone conversation with a member of my staff, that our response be addressed to you.

In particular, Mr. Pryor wanted to know if Roll-Over Protective Structures (ROPS) were required on log skidders during the time mentioned above and what protection was required, what standards now exist and if any of the current standards arc retroactive. Your questions will be answered in the order of their presentation.

During the time period listed above, with the exception of the American National Standards Institute's (ANSI) 03.1-1971 Pulpwood Logging standard entitled "Safety Requirements for Pulpwood Logging", approved and effective on March 1, 1971, there were no ROPS nor protective canopy requirements for log skidders. The U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Standards' American Logging and Sawmill Safety Code of October 12, 1923, was the standard used by the logging industry until it's withdrawal on October 5, 1965. However, a review of that standard revealed that ROPS and protective canopy were not required. On the basis of the above, ROPS and protective canopy protection were not required on log skidders prior to the 1971 ANSI standard.

Section 3.2 of ANSI 03.1-1971 (copy enclosed) required either a protective canopy or roll-over structure. OSHA adopted the protective canopy requirement, and not ROPS, of ANSI's 03.1-1971 under 29 CFR 1910.266, with an effective date of August 27, 1971. The requirements for protective canopies did not become effective until February 15, 1972. OSHA's .266 standard is the only pulpwood logging standard currently in existence.

ANSI withdrew 03.1-1971 on August 16, 1984, at the request of the American Pulpwood Association. OSHA is in the process of revising it's current .266 standard. For additional information on this revision, please feel free to contact Mr. Frank Smith at the following address:

U.S. Department of Labor-OSHA Directorate of Safety Standards Programs 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Room N3605 Washington, D.C. 20210 (202) 523-7202

With respect to your last question concerning whether any of the current standards are retroactive, please be advised that OSHA's .266 is not, nor was ANSI's prior to its withdrawal in 1984.

If we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,



Patricia K. Clark
Director Designate
Directorate of Compliance Programs

Enclosures