Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

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

March 18, 1993



Regional Administrator
Directorate of Compliance Programs

ROY F. GURNHAM, Director
Office of Construction and Maritime
Compliance Assistance
Division of Maritime Compliance Assistance
SUBJECT: McDermott, Inc./Gates Construction Co., Inc. OSHRC #s 91-3421, 92-0216 Insp. #s 100993179, 100993153


This interpretation is in response to the memorandum of David L. Baskin to Mark Lerner, OSH Division, NSOL dated March 10, 1993, regarding the subject consolidated case.

After discussing the jurisdictional matters involved in this case with NSOL (M. Lerner) and U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters (LCDR C. Barker, G-M19) we are of the opinion that the workers in question on McDermott Lay Barge 29 (an "inspected" pipe laying barge) are considered seamen for the following reasons:




The employees had a more or less permanent connection with the vessel which was established by their berthing and messing onboard the vessel and, therefore, they are not considered to be land-based maritime workers.

The employees contributed to the function of the vessel and to the accomplishment of its mission which was to lay pipe.

Therefore, the 1983 Memorandum of Understanding between OSHA and the U.S. Coast Guard concerning the authority to prescribe and enforce standards or regulations affecting the occupational safety and health of seamen aboard vessels inspected and certificated by the U.S. Coast Guard is applicable to the subject barge workers.