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.
July 13, 1993
Mr. James D. Miller
J.E. Dunn Construction Company
Kansas City, MO 64106-2682
Dear Mr. Miller:
This is in response to your May 13 letter in which you request the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to comment on the design and use of positioning hook on concrete I apologize for the delay in responding to your inquiry.
OSHA currently has no construction standards that apply to positioning devices. As you know, to address this type of equipment, OSHA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Subpart M -- Fall Protection on November 25, 1986 (51 FR 42718). In the notice (copy of relevant pages are enclosed) it was proposed to require positioning device connecting assemblies to have a minimum tensile strength of 5000 pounds. That rule was intended to ensure that if a positioning device component is used in a body belt/harness system, it would have the proper capacity to handle the larger impact forces. That rule has not been finalized and comments to the record indicate that lower capacity hardware (down to at least twice the potential impact load) should be allowed if the hardware is clearly marked or attached to the positioning device system in such a way that it cannot be used in a body belt/harness system where greater forces are likely to occur. If your equipment meets this concern, then it would meet the intent of the proposed rule.
If you need further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me or Mr. Dale Cavanaugh of my staff at (202) 219-8136.
Roy F. Gurnham, P.E., Esq. Director
Office of Construction and Maritime
May 13, 1993
Mr. Roy Gurnaham
Director of Construction
200 Constitution Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20210
Dear Mr. Gurnaham:
I am writing to you for your help in determining if a positioning hook used on concrete formwork meets current OSHA standards.
The construction industry has a unique problem with modular forming systems. The slots in these form panels preclude the use of a standard hook because the openings are too small to allow the hook to pass through. Consequently, as a matter of need, some workers attempt to "manufacture" job-made hooks to use as a positioning device. This practice is strictly prohibited but has continued to be a serious problem.
To counteract this problem, a hook has been developed that would be used specifically as a positioning device on modular form panels. The hook has been tested to approximately 4000 pounds without failure. Under normal circumstances, the worker would be limited to a fall of 18-24 inches while using the hook with a chain assembly.
As a contractor, we strive to provide the safest working environment for our workers. We feel that we have found a safer device than what is currently available on the market.
If this hook was to be manufactured, would it meet or exceed OSHA strength requirements for positioning devices? Your consideration in this mater would be greatly appreciated.
If you have any questions regarding this hook, feel free to call me at (816) 391-2546.
J. E. DUNN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
James D. Miller