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.

February 13, 1992

Mr. Ward C. Hitchings
Senior District Manager
National Forest Products Association
1250 Connecticut Ave., N.W.,
Suite 200
Washington, D.C. 20036

Dear Mr. Hitchings:

This is in response to your December 12 letter requesting a response to the request from Southern Forest Products Association for an interpretation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirement addressing timber shoring for trenches. I apologize for the delay in responding to your inquiry.

We have reviewed the product data contained in Mr. Lishewski's letter and we agree that properly selected Southern Pine is equivalent to douglas fir for the purposes of Tables C-2.1 thru C-2.3 of Appendix C to Subpart P-Timber Shoring for Trenches, 29 CFR Part 1926. Southern Pine with a 1500 psi (Fb) or greater bending strength may be used for specific timber shoring sizes and spacing as set forth in the above referenced tables.

If we can be of any further assistance, please contact Messrs. Roy Gurnham or Dale Cavanaugh of my staff in the Office of Construction and Maritime Compliance Assistance at (202) 523-8136.


Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs