Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

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

March 19, 1991

S. Melville McCarthy, P.E.
Registered Professional Engineer
417 Audubon Drive
Tallahassee, Florida 32312-1623

Dear Mr. McCarthy:

Thank you for the information in your letter of February 1, in response to Assistant Secretary Gerard F. Scannell's request and your inquiry concerning the action we feel is warranted.

As we related to you in the January 23 letter form Gerard F. Scannell, Assistant Secretary, the point of operation and rotating part hazards related to vertical food mixers in bakeries and restaurants are covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards at 29 CFR 1910.212(a)(1) and 212(a)(3)(ii). This information is being disseminated to all the OSHA regional offices and has also been entered into the OSHA Computerized Information System (OCIS) to assist field staff in enforcing the guarding of vertical food mixers.

The information in your February 1 letter will be given to OSHA's Directorate of Safety Standards Programs for consideration in any future rule making activities involving vertical food mixers.

Machine guards or equivalent employee protection for vertical food mixer hazards have been required for many years. However, OSHA makes few inspections in establishments where vertical food mixers are used. Industries with high injury rates are targeted for inspection first, and due to OSHA's limited resources, industries such as restaurants with lower injury rates are seldom inspected.

OSHA does inspect employers that allow safety hazards to exist if OSHA is notified of the hazards. A complaint submitted to OSHA from an employee initiates an OSHA inspection, and anybody that knows about specific hazards (name of employer, address, type of hazard, number of employees exposed, etc.) may submit a complaint, and OSHA will contact the employer to obtain abatement of the hazard.

We appreciate your interest in employee safety and health. If we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs