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.

July 24, 1995

Ronald W. Bennett
Chief Engineer
Carbis Sales, Inc.
P.O. Box 6229
Florence, South Carolina 29502-6229

Dear Mr. Bennett:

This is in response to your January 25 letter requesting a compliance determination from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for your extendable gangway. I apologize for the delay in responding to your inquiry.

We have reviewed the product information enclosed with your letter for your extendable gangway. Your product appears to be in violation of section 29 CFR 1910.23(c), which covers protection of open-sided floors, platforms, and runways, because the extendable gangway lacks a required midrail employee fall protection. However, the lack of midrail at the extension area would be considered a de minimis violation when employees using the extendable gangway are provided With alternative fall protection such as a safety belt and lanyard. De minimis violations are violations of standards which have no direct or immediate relationship to safety and health and shall not be included in citations.

In addition, it appears that employees using the extendable gangway may be exposed to a potential projection hazard from the telescoping handrail.

If we can be of any further assistance, please contact Mr. Wil Epps. of my staff at (202) 219-8041.

Sincerely,

Raymond E. Donnelly
Director
Office of General Industry
Compliance Assistance