- Standard Number:
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.
November 1, 1995
H.B. "Bud" Hayden, Jr.
2340 Fernbrook Lane
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55447-3493
Dear Mr. Hayden:
This letter is in response to your May 8 and May 12 letters requesting information on the applicability of Subpart M to equipment covered by ANSI A92, and an interpretation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) position with regard to suspended cages and work platforms on forklift trucks.
Subpart M would not apply to those pieces of equipment covered by ANSI A92. When used in the construction industry, this type of equipment would be covered by Subpart N, Cranes, Derricks, Hoists, Elevators, and Conveyors or Subpart L, Scaffolding.
With regard to your questions on suspended lifts, OSHA does not limit the method which an employer chooses to perform its work, provided it is in compliance with all applicable standards. It is the employer's responsibility to assure that its employees have a safe and healthy work environment.
You also asked about OSHA's responsibility to ensure that state agencies have regulations equal or more protective than ours. If a state should choose to implement its own OSHA plan, it can only do so with the approval of our agency. Prior to approval of a state plan, the plan is reviewed to ensure that the state's standards are at least as effective as ours. Our Regional Offices also monitor the activities of their respective states on an ongoing basis. With respect to state laws other than those under an approved OSHA plan, we have no jurisdiction.
In your last question you ask about our position with respect to "improvised" work platforms or forklifts. We are in agreement with you on this issue. We routinely encounter these home-made platforms on construction sites throughout the country. If they are found to be in violation of our standards, or of the general duty clause, these contractors are issued citations for these violations.
If you have any further questions on this matter, please contact me or Mr. Dale Cavanaugh of my staff at (202) 219-8136.
Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health.
Roy F. Gurnham, P.E., J.D.
Office of Construction and Maritime