- Standard Number:
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.
March 10, 1992
|MEMORANDUM FOR:||FRANK STRASHEIM
|FROM:||PATRICIA K. CLARK,
Director Directorate of Compliance Programs
|SUBJECT:||Accreditation of Agencies in California|
This correspondence is in response to your subject memorandum dated November 27, 1991, advised us that both Region IX and Cal/OSHA are concerned that too many agents in California are requesting initial or renewed accreditation to certificate cargo gear under Fed/OSHA maritime rules, in order to qualify as agents under the Cal/OSHA crane certification program. One of the provisions that enables an agent to obtain Cal/OSHA accreditation is to be accredited by Fed/OSHA under 29 CFR 1919 rules. Therefore, Region IX and Cal/OSHA are concerned by this "loophole" which allows for the accreditation of agents not meeting the more stringent Cal/OSHA requirements. You noted that this "loophole" not only compromises the state's program, it also wastes Fed/OSHA resources through the accreditation of agents who do not perform maritime certification functions under 29 CFR 1919 rules.
With respect to the subject concern of Cal/OSHA, the State can propose a supplemental change to their plan which would eliminate the "loophole" which they take exception to in their regulations. The State is not restricted from strengthing standards, including qualifications for agents accredited to certificate cranes, so that a greater degree of protection is provided workers.
You commented that there are more Fed/OSHA accredited agents than are necessary to certificate maritime industry cargo handling devices, and that Fed/OSHA should establish a minimum level of performance for each agency or individual surveyor as determined by OSHA-71's and OSHA-72's received. With respect to the number of accredited agents, please be advised that Fed/OSHA cannot restrict or prohibit any person or agency from obtaining accreditation if the requirements of 29 CFR 1919 are met.
On the issue of maritime certification performance, we do take into consideration the activity level of maritime certifications performed by an agencies/individual as part of our evaluation to determine technical competency for both initial applicants and those seeking accreditation renewal. The Division of Maritime Compliance maintains a database of OSHA-71/72 activity for each agent during the last five year period. The most recent database printout for OSHA-71/72 activity is dated October 1, 1991, and Region IX's database information is forwarded as an attachment to this memorandum.