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.

February 10, 1994

Mr. Jay P. Shapiro, P.E.
Howard I. Shapiro & Associates
6315 Mill Lane
Brooklyn, N.Y. 112234

Dear Mr. Shapiro:

This is in response to your October 20, 1993, letter to Mr. David Lashgari, Office of Construction and Engineering, requesting an interpretation of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards addressing the use of synthetic fiber slings. Your letter was forwarded to this office for response. I apologize for the delay in responding to your letter.

As you point out in your letter, synthetic fiber slings made of Spectra fiber are not addressed in OSHA's construction standards (Part 1926). To our knowledge, an industry consensus standard has not yet been developed that addresses the use of this material. OSHA's rigging standards do address other synthetic fiber slings and they require a safety factor ranging from 6 for polypropylene rope slings to 9 for nylon and polyester rope slings. If Spectra fiber slings are used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and a safety factor of at least 6 is maintained, OSHA would consider the sling to be in compliance with the strength requirement. The general provisions of 29 CFR 1926.251 would, of course, still apply to this product.

If we can be of any future assistance please contact me or Mr. Dale Cavanaugh of my staff at (202) 219-8136.


Roy F. Gurnham, P.E., J.D.
Office of Construction and Maritime
Compliance Assistance

October 26, 1993

Office of Construction and Engineering
OSHA-US Department of Labor
Room N3427
200 Constitution Avenue
Washington, DC 20210

Attn.: Mr. David Lashgari, PE

Re: Spectra Slings

Dear Mr. Lashgari:

Enclosed please find test data from the sling manufacturer as you requested. The data consists primarily of break test results but also includes some elongation information. There does not seem to be any data on creep that you had asked for. I will ask the manufacturer again if he has any.

I have also included additional brochures containing descriptive information since the copy that I sent you previously was not too legible. Lastly, there is a copy of the manufacturer's recommended specification for his slings that contains additional information on the construction and use of his product which may be of interest.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Very truly yours,

Jay P. Shapiro, P.E.