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.
April 15, 1993
MEMORANDUM TO: REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS THROUGH: LEO CAREY Director of Field Programs FROM: ROGER A. CLARK Director of Compliance Programs SUBJECT: Applicability of Permit-Required Confined Space Standard to Electrical Utility Underground Workplaces
The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) has asked Acting Assistant Secretary Zeigler to stay the confined space standard as applied to electric and steam utility underground workplaces such as manholes and vaults and to clarify OSHA's enforcement policy concerning the application of the confined space standard to these facilities. We have informed EEI that enforcement of the confined space standard in these facilities will be restricted, and a letter clarifying the agency's position is being prepared for issuance over the Assistant Secretary's signature. In the interim, please contact H. Berrien Zettler, the Deputy Director for Compliance Programs, prior to issuing any citations for confined space violations in these facilities. I will forward copies of Acting Assistant Secretary Zeigler's letter when it is issued.
Please distribute this memo to the appropriate state plan officials. If you have any questions, please contact Ray Donnelly or Art Buchanan of my staff at (202) 219-8041.