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.
October 22, 1993
Mr. Robert H. Luffy
Three Gateway Center Suite 1800
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1004
Dear Mr. Luffy:
Thank you for your letter of September 28 in which you state your position with regard to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) development of an interim fall protection policy. As you know, the agency is currently reviewing the recommendations submitted by the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health, as well as comments received from members of the public such as yours. We will be developing our response to the various ideas during the next several weeks and will announce our conclusions at the end of that time.
Thank you for your interest in these matters.
David C. Zeigler
Acting Assistant Secretary
September 28, 1993
The Honorable David Ziegler
Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20210
RE: OSHA Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health September 30, 1993 Meeting Proposed Interim Fall Protection Policy
American Bridge is a major national steel erector which has been in the business since 1900. We have erected many of the world's largest and best-known structures, including bridges, skyscrapers, convention centers, hotels, stadiums and industrial facilities.
We urge that OSHA proceed with negotiated rulemaking for fall protection in the steel erection industry without further delay.
Regional and Area Directors of OSHA have become increasingly inconsistent in their application of existing OSHA regulations, sometimes acting in direct contradiction to well-established Review Commission and Federal Court precedent and national consensus standards concerning fall protection in the steel erection industry. This is creating major problems for our company and resulting in unwarranted citations.
We urge continued, strict enforcement of Subpart R of the OSHA Construction Regulations, along with 1926.105(a), with respect to fall protection for the steel erection industry, until new rules under negotiated rulemaking are developed. In the meantime, we believe Regional and Area Directors need guidance from the National OSHA office. Particularly troublesome is the threat by some OSHA Regions to enforce 100% continuous fall protection above 10 feet, which has no basis in existing industry practice, consensus standards or OSHA regulations.
We will appreciate your concern and attention to our opinion in these matters as the OSHA Advisory Committee completes its deliberations and as OSHA develops its interim field guidelines.
Robert H. Luffy