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.

March 6, 1991

Mr. Fred Pinkerton
Safety Superintendent
Morrison Knudsen Corporation
P.O. Box 597
Springville, Utah 84663

Dear Mr. Pinkerton:

This is in response to your letter of March 5, concerning the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements for a rescue team specified at 29 CFR 1926.800(g)(5)(ii), (iv) and (v).

The OSHA standard at 29 CFR 1926.800(g)(5) require the availability of a rescue team during all phases of underground construction operations in a tunnel. The completion of the primary structural phase of construction does not preclude the need for the availability of a rescue team during subsequent phases of construction. Rescue team member qualifications shall be reviewed not less than annually.

If we may be of further assistance, please contact me.


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