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.

February, 1 1996

Mr. Christopher Seniuk, MPA, CSP, CIH
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 in response to your letters of August 22 and November 1, 1995, to Deputy Assistant Secretary James Stanley of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). As you may know, Mr. Stanley is no longer with OSHA and your letters have been forwarded to this office for response.

The answers to your questions concerning OSHA's house foundation/basement excavation memo dated June 30, 1995, are as follows:

  1. Under the limited conditions listed in the memorandum, 29 CFR 1926.652 is suspended as it applies to house construction.
  2. There are no discussions or plans to extend the suspension to any other kinds of construction.
  3. The requirements for a competent person are unchanged by the memorandum.
  4. The memorandum applies to all soil types.
  5. Ancillary work such as waterproofing is covered by the memorandum.
  6. The memorandum applies to below grade concrete stairs and underground heating oil tank and conduit installations adjacent to foundations of new houses when the excavations for such are dug at the same time as the foundation excavation is dug for the house.

The answers to your questions concerning OSHA's fall protection memorandum dated July 12, 1995, are as follows:

  1. Verbal designation is not sufficient to establish the necessary identification of "safety monitor" and "designated erector."
  2. There are many locations in a building under construction where precast work is not taking place and fall protection meeting the requirements of Subpart M must be provided at these locations.
  3. Ladders must always be used in compliance with Subpart X.
  4. The provisions of Subpart L apply to all scaffolds.
  5. The sheathing connects the trusses to each other and acts like a brace, thus increasing the stability of the system.
  6. Sneakers are allowed under most roofing conditions.
  7. Yes; the contractor installing roof sheathing must establish a CAZ and require a competent person to act as safety monitor.
  8. Residential roofers are now covered by the STD 3.1 for residential fall protection (copy enclosed). OSHA has rescinded STD 3.1. Residential roofers are now covered by Subpart M -- Fall Protection.

    [This document was edited on 12/4/12 to strike information that no longer reflects current OSHA policy.]
  9. The CAZ may be marked with barricade ribbon or chalk provided the line is maintained at all times to assure its ability to provide proper warning.
  10. All such complaints will be reviewed by OSHA's 405/11(c) office.

If you require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact [the Directorate of Construction (202) 693-2345].


Russell B. Swanson, Director
Directorate of Construction

[Corrected 6/2/2005]