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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.
April 7, 1995
The Honorable Jon Kyl
United States Senate
4250 East Camelback Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85018
Dear Senator Kyl:
Thank you for your letter dated January 31 concerning your constituent, Mr. James Lyle McCloy II, President of Compressed Air Parts Company. Mr. McCloy is concerned about the lack of enforcement by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of its rules requiring safety check valves on compressed air equipment. I apologize for the delay of this response.
As Mr. Roy Gurnham of my staff discussed with Mr. Mark Staudohar of your office in mid-February when he called to explain we could not meet with Mr. McCloy at the time, OSHA continues to recognize the need for safety check valves and is concerned that accidents have occurred because such valves were not provided as required. We will remind our compliance officers of the importance of this provision and that their inspections should include a review of such equipment as appropriate.
As you may be aware, the State of Arizona is responsible for occupational safety and health enforcement within the State under a plan approved and monitored by Federal OSHA. Under its plan, Arizona adopts standards identical to those promulgated by Federal OSHA and utilizes equivalent enforcement procedures. If your constituent wishes to discuss safety and health enforcement in Arizona, we suggest that he contact the Arizona industrial Commission at the following address:
Larry Etchechury, Director
Industrial Commission of Arizona
800 W. Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Telephone: (602) 542-5795
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this matter.
Joseph A. Dear
January 31, 1995
Mr. Tadd Linsenmayer
Director, Congressional Affairs
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210
Dear Mr. Linsenmayer:
The enclosed information is sent for your consideration. Please investigate this matter and forward to me the information for response to my constituent, Mr. James Lyle McCloy II, President of Compressed Air Parts Company.
You may reply to the attention of Mr. Staudohar in my Phoenix office. The address in 4250 East Camelback Road, Suite 140-K Phoenix, Arizona 85018.
Thank you for your assistance in this matter.
January 30, 1995
Senator Jon Kyl
4250 E. Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018
Dear Senator Kyl,
When The Occupational Safety and Health Act was enacted we designed a safety check valve to meets the needs of the above portion of the Act.
Introducing our product in mid 1972, with several other manufacturers, sales were quite brisk and the Department of Labor was very active insuring compliance. Since early 1976 enforcement has been very `spotty'. As of this time only ourselves and one other manufacturer are still providing valves to meet Federal Regulations. Fortunately we have been the primary source.
Although we have been the leader currently our sales have been considerably less than sales in the 70's. This situation is due to the lack of enforcement.
Recently we were dismissed from a One Million Dollar ($1,000,000) product liability suit in which it was determined that the air compressor in use was not equipped with a safety check valve as required. This incident took place on a Federally funded Interstate bridge repair contract. Also, there is currently a multi-million suit concerning the lack of a safety check valve (actually there was a valve on the compressor but was removed for unknown reasons). In that case a worker has a severe head injury and has been in a nursing home for two years and cannot recognize his family.
There is very critical need for enforcement of this specific requirement and I would like to meet with the compliance section of the Department of Labor concerning this matter. We have received calls from various Federal Inspectors requesting that we make an effort to contact the Department of Labor. We have made several attempts through the San Francisco office and the Washington, DC office, to discuss this matter, our phone calls have not been returned.
I will be available, in the Washington Area, from February 22nd until March 1st or at any time convenient to discuss this matter responsible representatives of the Department of Labor Compliance Section.
Thank you for your interest in this matter.
Compressed Air Parts Company
James Lyle McCloy II