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.
February 2, 1994
Mr. Mike Morey, Sr.
Bandit Industries, Inc.
6750 Millbrook Road
Remus, MI 49340
Dear Mr. Morey:
This is in response to your letter of December 28, 1993, requesting any information the agency may have in regard to accidents involving wood or brush chippers. Enclosed is a copy of a computer printout of Occupational Safety and Health Administration accident reports from April, 1984, to November, 1993, containing the keyword "chipper." Some of the accidents involve chipper machines in sawmills and although these are outside the area of your request, they have been included in the enclosed materials as we believe these cases may be of interest to you. For your further information, we have also included accidents involving chipper crews that were not the result of the chipper function (e.g., an employee was hit by a car while feeding the chipper at the edge of the roadway, and an employee was electrocuted by the energized frame of a chipper after an aerial personnel lift truck, from which the chipper got its power, contacted electric power lines).
To further assist you in your search for accident information, Mr. William Tschappat of my staff checked with Mr. Timothy J. Pizatella, the Chief of the Surveillance and Field Investigations Branch of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, but they have no additional accident information involving this type of equipment.
If we can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or Mr. Dale Cavanaugh at (202) 219-8136.
Roy F. Gurnham, P.E., J.D.
Office of Construction and Maritime
December 28, 1993
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Office Of Construction and Maritime
Frances Perkins Building
200 Constitution Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210
ATTN: Mr. Gurnham
Dear Mr. Gurnham:
I am writing to you to ask for any information you may have regarding accidents involved with wood or brush chippers. A major portion of our business is selling brush chippers to the tree service industry. Also, part of our business goes to customers in the construction and land clearing industry.
Our problems, as with all equipment manufacturers, are product liability. We are making a study to determine the amount of accidents and the type of accidents related to brush chippers as a whole.
I appreciate any information you may be able to give in this regard.
BANDIT INDUSTRIES, INC.
Mike Morey, Sr.