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.

February 1, 1996

Mr. Philip Pedley, P.E.
Pedley Nets
P.O. Box #1
13131 Arnold Drive
Glen Ellen, CA 95442

Dear Mr. Pedley:

This is in response to your October 24, 1995, letter requesting a revision to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) publication Fall Protection in Construction OSHA 3146, dated 1995.

The language that you referenced in your letter from OSHA publication 3146 is a quote of the OSHA standards for personnel nets at 29 CFR 1926.502(c)(9). Your suggestion [is] to change the language to read "Connections between safety net panels shall be as strong as integral net components and be spaced to insure that no opening exceeds 36 sq inches." Changes in the language to this standard can only be made through formal rulemaking procedures.

The agency plans to undertake additional rulemaking on the fall protection standards for construction and is moving expeditiously toward the publication of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. We will submit your letter to the rulemaking record and will consider your suggestion when revising the regulation. In the interim, net connections made in accordance with your suggestion would be considered to be de minimis condition violations. De minimis violations are violations of standards which have no direct or immediate relationship to safety or health and will not be cited.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. If you have any further questions, please contact the Directorate of Construction at (202) 219-7207.


Roy F. Gurnham, P.E., J.D.
Office of Construction Services
Directorate of Construction