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.

March 24, 1993

Mr. Brian Byrne
Garlock Equipment Company
2601 Niagara Lane
Minneapolis, MN 55447

Dear Mr. Byrne:

This is in response to your March 2 letter requesting Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) approval for your guardrail system composed of ten-foot sections.

As you know, OSHA does not approve nor endorse products. The variable working conditions at jobsites and possible alterations or misapplication of an otherwise safe product could easily create a hazardous condition beyond the control of the manufacturer. However, we have reviewed the product data enclosed with your letter and it appears that if the ten-foot sections of guardrails are installed properly, the intent of OSHA's guardrail requirements at 29 CFR 1926.500(f)(1)(vi) would be met. Therefore, any violation of the requirements of 29 CFR 1926.500(f)(1)(ii) which requires posts to be spaced no greater than 8 feet apart, would be considered to be "de minimis." A "de minimis" violation of a standard is one which has no direct or immediate relationship to employee safety or health.

If we can be of any further assistance, please 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

March 2, 1993

Mr. Roy Gurnham
200 Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20210

Dear Mr. Gurnham:

Garlock Equipment is a leading manufacturer of construction products and railguard systems.

Enclosed is product literature and testing from an independent testing company. We manufacture this railguard system in 5', 7 1/2', and 10' sections. We seek clarification that using 10' sections complies with regulations interpretations set forth under OSHA 1926.500.

This is a patented heavy duty product with many industrial and construction uses.

We would appreciate your approval of this product.

Thank you.

Best regards.

Brian Byrne

(For Report, see printed copy)