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.


May 18, 1992

The Honorable John Miller
U.S. House of Representatives
145 Third Avenue South
Edmonds, Washington 98020

Dear Congressman Miller:

Thank you for your letter of April 15, on behalf of your constituent, Mr. Jeff Todd, requesting copies of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations that address construction.

I have enclosed copies of Federal OSHA's General Industry (29 CFR 1910) and Construction (29 CFR 1926) Safety and Health standards for Mr. Todd. However, the State of Washington operates its own occupational safety and health program under a plan approved and closely monitored by Federal OSHA. The State of Washington is required to adopt occupational safety and health standards which are at least as effective as the Federal standards. Therefore, Mr. Todd may wish to contact Washington OSHA at [360-902-5495] for additional information on state requirements.

In regard to the specific requirements he inquired about, please inform Mr. Todd that (1) Federal OSHA has no specific standards addressing activities in areas where blind people are working; (2) noise level requirements can be found in 1926.52; and (3) overhead protection requirements vary with the type of work being performed, and compliance can vary from the use of hardhats to barricading the area below the work.

You may also wish to inform Mr. Todd that OSHA's regulations apply only to the employer-employee relationship and not to employer activities that can affect the general public. He may need to contact the State, County, or City public safety and health authority for local requirements.

If we can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us again.


Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs


cc: Washington, D.C. Office

[Corrected January 22, 2008]