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.

December 17, 1996

Mr. Cliff Theve
Griphoist, Inc.
P.O. Box 68
Westwood, MA 02090

Dear Mr. Theve:

This is in response to your letter of October 15 concerning the recently revised occupational Safety and Health in Administration (OSHA) standard addressing scaffolds used the construction industry (61 FR 46026). In particular, you expressed concern over several provisions of §1926.451(a) that address scaffold hoist stall loads.

We understand your concerns but the language of these provisions cannot be changed at this time as it is based on comments submitted to the record and cannot be altered without additional rulemaking. However, in regard to our enforcement policy, we have instructed our field staff as follows: If the stall load (not to exceed 3 times the rated load) is not listed or labeled for the scaffold in use, the compliance officer shall determine whether the qualified person has determined the stall load of the scaffold hoist prior to the lift 2K whether the scaffold is counter-balanced by at least 4 times the rated load of the hoist.

Thank you for your interest in this matter.


Roy F. Gurnham
Office of Construction Standards
and Compliance Assistance