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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.
January 29, 1996
MEMORANDUM FOR: R. DAVIS LANE Regional Administrator FROM: JOHN B. MILES, Jr. Director of Compliance Programs SUBJECT: Request for Compliance Assistance Regarding the Enforcement of 29 CFR 1910.266
This is a response to your letter of June 5, 1995 requesting an interpretation of 1910.266(f)(5)(ii) as it relates to a second means of egress from the operator cabs of logging machines. This paragraph states: "Each machine cab shall have a second means of egress." This requirement was included in OSHA's proposed logging standard as well as the 1978 ANSI standard for logging operations. The 1978 ANSI standard was withdrawn in 1984 because no final action was taken to revise or reaffirm it. Only two comments were received on this subject by OSHA during rulemaking. Both cementers stated that most machines currently in use meet this requirement. No adverse comments were received.
After the Agency published the final logging rule, the Equipment Manufacturer's Institute sued OSHA about a number of issues related to logging machines. They never raised this particular issue. Hence, OSHA is requiring that all machines have two means of egress from the cab.
Employers who own logging machines that do not have a second means of egress have several options other than making a costly investment to purchase a new machine. They can use or install a hinged window, push-out window, or zip-out window, as long as the material used provides protection from penetrating objects which is equivalent to mesh material. They can also retrofit the machine with a second door or exitway built into the machine cab. It is important that we stress to employers the need to assure that the retrofitting does not adversely affect the function or performance of the rollover protective structure. We recommend that the employer contact the manufacturer for advice and hopefully approval about the best way to accomplish the retrofit.
The current logging standard does not grandfather any machines for purposes of this particular requirement. If you have any further questions about this matter, please contact Russelle McCollough at 202-219-8031.