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.
December 11, 1996
Mr. Stuart Flatow
American Trucking Associations
2200 Mill Road
Alexandria, VA 22314-4677
Dear Mr. Flatow:
This is in response to your November 5 letter requesting clarification of the October 9, 1996, memorandum to Regional Administrators regarding the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforcement policy for the use of seat belts on powered industrial trucks in general industry. I regret the delay in responding to your inquiry.
Your specific inquiry concerned when and under what conditions OSHA would cite an employer for not taking advantage of the powered industrial truck manufacturer's operator restraint system or seat belt retrofit program. Generally, OSHA will cite an employer for the lack of seat belt use on powered industrial trucks, when the Agency can document that an employer has been specifically notified and offered a retrofit program by the manufacturer and has not retrofitted an applicable powered industrial truck. OSHA will determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether to cite an employer for not taking advantage of a manufacturer's seat belt retrofitting program, after consultation with the Regional Solicitor.
Should you have further questions on this response, please contact [the Office of General Industry Enforcement at 202 693-1850].
John B. Miles, Jr., Director
[Directorate of Enforcement Programs]