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 http://www.osha.gov.

December 3, 1991

MEMORANDUM FOR:     ALL REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS

THROUGH:            LEO CAREY, DIRECTOR 
                   OFFICE OF FIELD PROGRAMS

FROM:               PATRICIA K. CLARK, DIRECTOR 
                   DIRECTORATE OF COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS

Subject:            Building Maintenance

The attached letter of October 28 to Mr. Rod W. Simmons clarifies 29 CFR 1910.66 standards relative to anticipated applications involving new, and existing power platform installations permanently dedicated to building maintenance. Also, suspended scaffolds and temporary power platforms are addressed relative to the use of equipment regulated by 29 CFR 1910.66 standards. These clarifications will be incorporated in a directive currently being developed on powered platform installations.

Attachment



October 28, 1991

Mr. Rod W. Simmons
Associate
Harwood K. Smith and Partners
North H3 307
1111 Plaza of the Americas
Dallas, Texas 75201

Dear Mr. Simmons:

Thank you for your letter of February 18, requesting clarification of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards at 29 CFR 1910.66 applicable to building maintenance. Please accept our apology for the long delay in responding.

Your first three questions, as noted below, are directed at clarification of 29 CFR 1910.66 standards relative to anticipated applications involving new power platform installations permanently dedicated to building maintenance:

o Does 29 CFR 1910.66 apply to installations where all the equipment and all affected parts of a building (including roof cars, roof car rail systems, boom cranes, davits, etc.) are permanent except for the suspended platform, hoist and/or suspension ropes which are brought to the building on a temporary basis by the maintenance contractor?

o Is a perimeter roof-guard required for installations in which all equipment and all affected parts of a building are permanent except for the suspended platform, hoist and/or suspension ropes which are brought to the building on a temporary basis by the maintenance contractor?

o Does a need for special equipment to adapt a temporary suspended scaffold to specific building conditions dictate that the entire installation must comply with 29 CFR 1910.66, even though the suspended scaffold or powered platform is brought to the building on a temporary basis by the maintenance contractor?

In response to the preceding questions, employer furnished equipment, for example, work platforms, hoists, suspension cables and/or outriggers, and affected building parts, for example, tie- downs, which otherwise would be furnished by the building owner as part of new or existing installation dedicated permanently to building maintenance, are subject to compliance with the assurance provisions, in accordance with paragraph (c)(3) of 29 CFR 1910.66. The building owner may opt to contract the employer to provide installation equipment in addition to performing building maintenance. The intent of 29 CFR 1910.66 is to require assurance by the building owner to employers that installations including equipment provided by employers are safe to use. If the above conditions of compliance are not met, employer- furnished equipment shall not be supported by installation equipment and affected building parts, except anchoring devices, which are dedicated permanently to building maintenance. Please note that reference to paragraph (c)(3) was unintentionally omitted from 1910.66(b)(2)(i) which should read ".... comply with paragraphs (c)(3), (g), (h), (i), (j) and Appendix C of this section."

With respect to the third paragraph of your letter, the mandatory standards of Appendix D to 29 CFR 1910.66 are applicable only to existing power platform installations as specified in 29 CFR 1910.66(b)(2). Please note that the lead-in paragraph to Appendix D should read ".... exempt from the paragraphs (a), (b)(1), (b)(2)(i), (c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(4), (d), (e) and (f) of this standard. Appendix D includes ANSI A120.1 by reference. The OSHA Instruction STD 1-3.3, issued November 1, 1982 and revised November 12, 1985, still is applicable to existing power platform installations permanently dedicated to building maintenance.

The remaining five questions in your letter, as noted below, address suspended scaffolds and temporary power platforms relative to the use of equipment subject to 29 CFR 1910.66 standards on new power platform installations permanently dedicated to building maintenance:

o Are intermittent stabilization and the other methods of stabilizing suspended platforms (as currently defined by 29 CFR 1910.66(e)(2) acceptable for use with suspended scaffolds and powered platforms used to service buildings on a temporary basis?

o Is a variance or OSHA instruction again required to be able to use intermittent stabilization and the other methods of stabilizing suspended platforms (as defined by 29 CFR 1910.66(e)(2).) with suspended scaffolds and powered platforms used to service buildings on a temporary basis?

o Can a suspended scaffold or powered platform used to service buildings on a temporary basis utilize angulated roping and building face rollers where the suspended portion of the equipment in use exceeds 130 feet above a safe surface or ground level?

o Can a suspended scaffold or powered platform used to service buildings on a temporary basis utilize ground rigged davit systems where the point of suspension exceeds 300 feet above a safe surface?

o Can a suspended scaffold or powered platform used to service buildings on a temporary basis utilize roof rigged davit systems without limitation to the suspension point height above a safe surface? (This assumes that the temporary suspended platform and associated equipment can be safely transported to the roof by means of a service elevator, etc.)

In response to the preceding questions, installations in which suspended scaffolds, whether powered or not, are used to service buildings on a temporary basis are covered by Subpart D of 29 CFR 1910. Also, suspended scaffolds used for construction work are covered by Subpart L of 29 CFR 1926. Suspended scaffolds, which are subject to 29 CFR 1910.28 standards, may be used as components in temporary installations which are comparable to permanent installations subject to the 29 CFR 1910.66 standard. For such an application, variance from the 29 CFR 1910.28 scaffolding standards is required. Criterion for a variance is scaffolding installations which equal or exceed employee safety protection provided by 29 CFR 1910.28 standards. Applications for variance should be forwarded to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Office of Variance Determination, Room N-3651, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210.

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

Sincerely,



Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs




February 18, 1991

Ms. Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs
U.S. Department of Labor - OSHA
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Room N3469
Washington, DC 20210

RE: OSHA Rules for Exterior Building Maintenance

Dear Ms. Clark:

In reviewing the OSHA regulations applicable to exterior building maintenance, some questions have arisen which may require clarification by OSHA to provide a safe working environment for the employee.

According to 29 CFR 1910.66 effective 24 JAN 90, the definition of a permanently dedicated powered platform installation apparently includes only those installations in which all the equipment and all affected parts of a building are considered permanent.

o Does 29 CFR 1910.66 apply to installations where all the equipment and all affected parts of a building (including roof cars, roof car rail systems, boom cranes, davits, etc.) are permanent except for the suspended platform, hoist and/or suspension ropes which are brought to the building on a temporary basis by the maintenance contractor?

o Is a perimeter roof-guard required for installations in which all equipment and all affected parts of a building are permanent except for the suspended platform, hoist and/or suspension ropes which are brought to the building on a temporary basis by a maintenance contractor?

o Does a need for special equipment to adapt a temporary suspended scaffold to specific building conditions dictate that the entire installation must comply with 29 CFR 1910.66 even though the suspended scaffold or powered platform is brought to the building on a temporary basis by the maintenance contractor?

Effective 24 JAN 90, 29 CFR 1910.66 includes requirements for tie-in guides and defines several acceptable methods for maintaining contact between the suspended permanent platform and the building face. Prior to 24 JAN 90, the acceptable methods of maintaining contact between the suspended platform and the building face were defined by ANSI A120.1 (previously but no longer included in 29 CFR 1910.66 by reference) and by OSHA Standard STD 1-3.3, an instruction defining intermittent stabilization (issued 01 NOV 82 and revised 12 NOV 85). OSHA Standard STD 1-3.3 applied only to 29 CFR 1910.66 - Powered Platforms for Exterior Building Maintenance, and covered "permanent" and "temporary" installations.

Suspended scaffolds and powered platforms used to service buildings on a temporary basis are now covered by 29 CFR 1910.28 which does not define acceptable methods of stabilizing the platform. It simply states that the suspension scaffolds shall be securely lashed to the building to prevent swaying"; however, it does state that "window cleaners, anchors shall not be used for this purpose." It was apparently necessary to previously approve intermittent stabilization (by issuing STD 1-3.3) for powered platforms whether they were part of a permanent installation or brought to the building on a temporary basis.

o Are intermittent stabilization and the other methods of stabilizing suspended platforms (as currently defined by 29 CFR 1910.66 (2).) acceptable for use with suspended scaffolds and powered platforms used to service buildings on a temporary basis?

o Is a variance or OSHA instruction again required to be able to use intermittent stabilization and the other methods of stabilizing suspended platforms (as defined by 29 CFR 1910.66 (2).) with suspended scaffolds and powered platforms used to service buildings on a temporary basis?

There are rules contained in 29 CFR 1910.66 which address limitations to certain systems used to perform maintenance with permanently dedicated powered platform installations; however, these issues are not addressed by OSHA rules for suspended scaffolds or powered platforms used to service buildings on a temporary basis.

o Can a suspended scaffold or powered platform used to service buildings on a temporary basis utilize angulated roping and building face rollers where the suspended portion of the equipment in use exceeds 130 feet above a safe surface or ground level?

o Can a suspended scaffold or powered platform used to service buildings on a temporary basis utilize ground rigged davit systems where the point of suspension exceeds 300 feet above a safe surface?

o Can a suspended scaffold or powered platform used to service buildings on a temporary basis utilize roof rigged davit systems without limitation to the suspension point height above a safe surface? (This assumes that the temporary suspended platform and associated equipment can be safely transported to the roof by means of a service elevator, etc.)

Please respond to the above questions as soon as possible.

Sincerely,



Rod Simmons