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.

January 7, 1992

MEMORANDUM FOR:          LINDA ANKU
                        REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR

THROUGH:                 LEO CAREY, DIRECTOR 
                        OFFICE OF FIELD PROGRAMS

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

SUBJECT:                 Guarding of Unused Portion of Metal Cutting Bandsaws

This is in further response to your memorandum of October 3, 1991 requesting reevaluation of an October 7, 1987 interpretation of OSHA standards on the subject guarding.

Your request was based on a February 26, 1982, Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission decision (George C. Christopher & Sons, Inc. 10 OSHC 1436). The decision stated that "appropriate standards therefor", as found in 29 CFR 1910.212(a)(3)(ii), refers to "applicable specific standards" published or incorporated by reference as OSHA standards, rather than the "appropriate industry consensus standard" such as those found in ANSI B11.10-1983.

We have reviewed your request and determined that the guarding of the unused portion of metal cutting bandsaws shall be in compliance with 29 CFR 1910.212(a)(1). This interpretation corrects the standard reference provided for in the October 7, 1987 memorandum (attached) and conforms with the above-mentioned Review Commission decision. The summary page of that decision is provided for your information. The intent of the October 7, 1987 memorandum had been to require the unused portion of metal cutting bandsaws to be guarded, which is also the intent of this correction memorandum.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact James C. Dillard, of my staff, at FTS 523-8041.