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.

October 27, 1992

Mr. Joseph Puccinelli, P.E.
Safway Steel Products
6228 West State Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201

Dear Mr. Puccinelli:

This is in response to your March 24 letter requesting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to clarify the intent and application of 29 CFR 1926.552. I apologize for the delay of this response.

With respect to the ground-supported tower type hoists, please be advised that the provisions of 1926.552, which are virtually identical to provisions in ANSI A10.5-1969, do apply to all such material hoists. However, under OSHA's de minimis violation policy, non-compliance with a provision is considered to be de minimis when the situation has no direct or immediate relationship to employee safety and health or when it is apparent that the employer is complying with the clear intent of the standard but deviates in a minor, technical or trivial way. The de minimis policy may be applied to the requirements for cage and hoistway enclosures (1926.552(b)(3) and (5)) when the materials on the hoist are stacked no higher than the top of the cage and employees other than the operator are barricaded from getting near the bottom of the hoist. With respect to gates, paragraphs 1926.552(b)(2) and (b)(5)(ii) do not require gates on the hoist platform. They require the landing areas on floors, roofs, and similar platforms to be guarded with gates to prevent fall hazards. However, a gate would not be required in a situation such as that pictured on page 2 of the STEINWEG SUPERLIFT brochure, where materials are loaded/unloaded over a permanent guardrail system.

With respect to the other types of hoists you inquired about, please be advised that neither 1926.552 nor ANSI A10.5 would apply as the hoists are covered by 1926.554.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me or Mr. Dale Cavanaugh of my staff at (202) 219-8136.


Roy F. Gurnham, Esq., P.E.
Office of Construction and Maritime
Compliance Assistance