Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

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

March 27, 1997

Mr. Kenneth W. Glennon
S.T. Michael and Associates
365 N. Wilson Street
Hobart, IN 46342

Dear Mr. Glennon:

This is in response to your letter of December 6, 1996 to Ms. Sandy Taylor, concerning your barrier device for attachment to mobile equipment.

Paragraph 1926.550(a)(9) requires that "Accessible areas within the swing radius of the rear of the rotating superstructure of the crane, either permanently or temporarily mounted, shall be barricaded in such a manner as to prevent an employee from being struck or crushed by the crane.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not feel that the device that you describe would meet the intent of section 1926.550(a)(9) in that it does not completely block the entire swing radius of the equipment. In addition, you point out that the device is "rigid yet passive", and that if employees were struck the barrier would flex or bend physically, warning the individual without injury to the individual. However, OSHA is not convinced that the employee would not be injured or knocked down if struck by the device mounted on the equipment. The device, according to your drawing, also appears to leave areas in the front of the equipment which could result in pinch points. OSHA believes that these pinch points must be guarded.

In summary, OSHA believes that the preferred way to protect employees in these situations is to completely barricade the entire swing radius of the equipment and prevent employee access to the area.

If you have any further questions, please contact: The Office of Construction Standards and Compliance Assistance, U.S. Department of Labor - OSHA, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room N3621, Washington, D.C. 20210.



Roy F. Gurnham, Manager
Office of Construction Standards
and Compliance Assistance