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.

June 1, 1994

Mr. George M. Tomer, Manager
Occupational Safety and Health
Lockheed Missiles & Space Company, Inc.
1111 Lockheed Way
Sunnyvale, California 94089-3504

Dear Mr. Tomer:

The purpose of this letter is to respond to your correspondence of March 23, concerning ballast can operations on submarines. We have reviewed your proposed method of hoisting and lowering employees in a boatswain chair by means of a davit arm dedicated to personnel hoisting. In addition to providing a means to rescue disabled employees, the davit arm system appears to be a safe, feasible means of hoisting employees. Consequently, use of the davit arm system as described in your letter would be considered as an acceptable means of complying with the intent of 29 CFR 1915.116(i) which prohibits employees from riding the load. Naturally, the proposed system must comply with all other OSHA regulations regarding the hoisting of personnel.

We appreciate your continued interest in safety and health matters.


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