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.

August 28, 1995

Christopher Seniuk M.P.A., C.S.P., C.I.H.
Assistant Vice President
Director of Safety and Health Services
Lovell Safety Management Co., Inc.
161 William Street
New York, N.Y. 10038-2675

Dear Mr. Seniuk:

This is response to the questions in your letter of May 10, 1995. The questions and responses are as follows:

Q 1.

Are attendants always required anytime employees enter a permit-required confined space (PRCS)?


The PRCS Standard allows entry into a PRCS without an attendant being present in two situations. They are:

1. when as per paragraph (c)(7) of 29 CFR 1910.146 all the hazards in the permit required confined space (PRCS) are eliminated, or

2. when as per paragraph (c)(5) of 29 CFR 1910.146 the only hazard in the PRCS is an actual or potential atmospheric hazard that can be controlled by continuous ventilation.

It is important that there be a understanding of what is meant by control of a hazard and elimination of a hazard. For purposes of the PRCS Standard, a hazard is considered to be controlled when the conditions which caused the hazard still exist in the PRCS but they are being continuously managed so that the hazard cannot reoccur. Elimination means the conditions which caused the hazard to be created no longer exist in the PRCS. The most common example of control of a hazard is use of continuous ventilation to prevent a hazardous atmosphere from being created. An example of elimination of a hazard is use of one of the techniques described in the definition of the term "isolation", which is defined in paragraph (b) of 29 CFR 1910.146. Generally speaking hazards are controlled or eliminated only for the duration of the entry into the PRCS.

Q 2.

May a radio be used as a substitute for an attendant when a PRCS is entered?



Q 3.

Are body belt and lanyards required on scissor lifts even if full perimeter protection, in the form of standard guardrails, is provided and used?



Q 4.

If body belts and lanyards are required to be used on scissor lifts does OSHA expect employers to modify the equipment so that it can accommodate 5000 pound shock loads either through manufacturer's approval or certification by a professional engineer?


As per the response to the previous question body belts and lanyards are not required to be used on scissor lifts equipped and used with standard guardrails. However, if an employer wishes to use a scissor lift as an anchorage for a personal fall arrest system, such as a safety belt and a lanyard or a body harness and a lanyard, they should not do so unless the manufacturer indicates that it can be used as an anchorage or such a usage is approved by a registered engineer.

[This document was edited on 02/15/99 to strike information that no longer reflects current OSHA policy.]

If you require any further information regarding the preceding, please telephone Don Kallstrom at (202) 219-8031.


John B. Miles, Jr., Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs