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. C. Wm. Carbeau
District Sales Representative
American Pecco Corporation
Millwood, New York 10546

Dear Mr. Carbeau:

This is in response to your November 8, 1991 letter applying for a permanent variance to the tie-in requirements for personnel/material hoists. I apologize for the delay of this response.

Please be advised that a permanent variance is not required in order to address the situation you describe. As set forth in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Field Operations Manual, a violation which has no direct or immediate relationship to safety shall be considered to be de minimis (i.e. of no consequence). A de minimis situation can be established by a showing that an employer is complying with a consensus standard rather than with the OSHA standard in effect at the time of inspection when such employer's action provides equal or greater employee protection. Such deviations may involve distance specifications.

After reviewing the current requirements in ANSI A10.4 paragraph 5.4.2 and 29 CFR 1926.552(c)(3), it is hereby determined that an employer complying with the 1990 ANSI standard would be in a de minimis situation and no citation would be issued, provided the hoist being used complies with all design, strength, installation, maintenance, inspection, and use requirements set forth in the 1990 ANSI document. It would not be appropriate to install a hoist designed to meet the existing OSHA 25 foot (7.6 m) requirement, and anchor it to the structure at 30 foot (9.1 m) intervals without addressing all strength, loading, and related factors.

If we may be of further assistance, please contact Mr. Dale Cavanaugh or Mr. Roy Gurnham of my staff in OCMCA at (202) 523-8136.


Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs