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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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 21, 1991

                Regional Administrator 
                Region X

                Office of Field Programs

                PATRICIA K. CLARK, DIRECTOR 
                Directorate of Compliance Programs

                Office of Construction and
                Maritime Compliance Assistance

SUBJECT:         Issuing OSHA Form 72's  for Defective Gear Found Aboard

This is in response to your December 4, 1990 memorandum recommending a policy change requiring that OSHA 72 Forms be issued, when necessary on vessels, as a means of prompt notification to the OSHA area offices.

The OSH Forms 71 and 72 were never intended for the certification of vessels' cargo gear. The 29 CFR 1919 Regulations are clear in addressing certification of vessels' cargo gear. The ship's register with any attached certificates or entries has long been recognized as the main source of checking the condition of a vessels' cargo gear.

In reference to notification of the OSHA area offices, 29 CFR 1919.11(e) requires the accredited person to inform the nearest local office whenever a register has been issued. 29 CFR 1919.11(f) requires the accredited person to send a copy of each certificate relating to unit test or thorough examinations to the local office of the administration within 10 days. 29 CFR 1919.10(c) requires the accredited person to notify the nearest District Office of the circumstances in the event deficiencies remain uncorrected and no certification may therefore be issued.

At the present time, there are only eleven OSHA accredited agencies that have authority to make entry's in the ships register and to certificate Ship's Cargo Handling Gear.

The eleven OSHA accredited agencies are:

1. ABS & ABS Worldwide Technical Services Inc.
2. Aamica Services
3. Billstein, Herbert and Associates, Ltd.
4. Bureau Veritas (French)
5. Grant, Arther A. and Son, Inc.
6. International Cargo Bureau, Inc.
7. Lloyds Register and Lloyds Technical Services
8. National Cargo Bureau, Inc.
9. Newport News Industrial Corporation
1O. Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NKK)
11. Phillyship

If any of these agencies are not following the notification requirements in the regulations, please notify this office. No other OSHA accredited agencies have any certification authority on ships.

As an additional safeguard against the use of defective ships gear, 29 CFR Part 1918.12, Gear Certification, clearly defines the employer's responsibilities in reference to vessel's cargo gear.

1918.12 Gear Certification.

The employer shall not use the vessel's cargo handling gear until he has ascertained that the vessel has a current and valid cargo gear register and certificates which in form and content are in substantial accordance with the recommendations of the International Labor Office, as set forth in Appendix I of this part, and as provided by International Labor Organization Convention No. 32, and which indicates that the cargo gear has been tested, examined and heat treated by or under the supervision of persons or organizations defined as competent to make register entries and issue certificates pursuant to paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section.

Please Note, there is specific reference to the cargo gear register and related certificates in accordance with the International Labor Office Recommendations. This standard makes no reference to OSHA Forms 71 and 72.

29 CFR, Part 1918.51 places two additional responsibilities on the Longshore employer:

(a) Not to exceed the safe working load as specified in the cargo gear certification papers.

(b) Not to use any cargo handling gear which is visibly unsafe until made safe.

We believe OSHA notification is adequately addressed in the 1919 Regulations and that requiring that OSHA 72 Forms be issued for vessels cargo handling gear would only result in confusion.

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.