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.

October 15, 1990

Mr. Robert Young
Industrial Safety
Group Leader
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Associated Universities, Inc.
Long Island, New York 11973

Dear Mr. Young:

This is response to your letter of August 29, regarding point-of-operation guards for drill presses and lathes.

29 CFR 1910.212(a)(1) requires that one or more methods of machine guarding shall be provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards such as those created by point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks. This standard does apply to drill presses and lathes, and it is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) policy to require protection for employees by guarding methods such as barrier guards.

OSHA encourages individuals and/or companies to participate in the development of safety devices that will eliminate hazard exposure to employees. However, OSHA does not endorse and/or approve any safety devices, such as the drill shield described in the attachment to your letter. Two of the methods used for acquiring endorsement or approval data and/or stamp are:

a. Have your product tested by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). A List of recognized NRTL's is enclosed.

b. Have your own laboratory test your product, if it is equipped to perform such tests.

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health.


Patricia K. Clark
Director Designate
Directorate of Compliance Programs