Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

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

May 20, 1994

Mr. Cliff Dickinson
Associate Director
Crane Institute of America, Inc.
1063 Maitland Center Commons, Suite 100
Maitland, Florida 32751

Dear Mr. Dickinson:

This is in response to your March 24 letter requesting interpretation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) structural steel assembly standard 29 CFR 1926.751(d). I apologize for the delay in responding to your inquiry.

Please be advised that the standard does not mandate that tag lines must be used every time a load is being moved. The intent of the standard is to assure that all loads that pose a hazard to employees are under control at all times. For example, if wind or other adverse conditions can cause the load to swing, rotate, or become unbalanced, then tag lines must be used to control the load. Conversely, if the weather and other conditions are such that the load can be controlled without tag lines, then such lines would not be required.

If we can be of any further assistance, please contact [the Directorate of Construction at 202 693-2020].


Roy F. Gurnham, P.E., J.D., Director
[Directorate of Construction]

[Correction 6/20/2005. See OSHA Directive CPL 02-01-034 "
Inspection policy and procedures for OSHA's steel erection standards for construction" published on 3/22/2002 for the current policy on OSHA's steel erection standards (1926 Subpart R) for construction.]