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.

July 10, 1991

Mr. Luis Puig, Jr.
Vice President
A.L.L. Masonry Construction Company, Inc.
1881 N. Winnebago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60647

Dear Mr. Puig,

This is in reference to our letter dated June 12, 1991 concerning your request for a permanent variance from Sections 1926.706(a)(2), (3), (4) and (5) and (b) regarding Concrete and Masonry Construction, of the Safety and Health Regulations for Construction.

Section 1910.706 is a performance standard which provides guidance on how to meet the requirements and intent of the regulation. As an example, Sections 1926.706(a)(1) through (4) provides guidance on how to establish a limited access if the wall is not adequately supported. However, as Section 1926.706(a)(5) states the limited access is required only until the wall is adequately supported to prevent overturning or collapse.

Section 1926.706(b) provides similar guidance when it states that masonry walls over eight feet shall be adequately braced to prevent overturning and to prevent collapse unless the wall is adequately supported so that it will not overturn or collapse.

Each case or job must be evaluated by the employer to determine that the wall(s) is adequately supported to meet the requirements of Section 1926.706. An engineering evaluation of your method of securing a wall might be appropriate and available on the job.

A variance from a performance standard is not appropriate or necessary. No further action will be taken on your request for a variance.

If I can be of any assistance, please contact my office at (202) 523-7193.


James J. Concannon
Office of Variance Determination