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.

October 21, 1997

Mr. Timothy G. Burns
Regulatory Affairs Specialist
3M Company, Corporate Safety Department
P.O. Box 33331, Building 42-2W-09
St. Paul, Minnesota 55133-3331

Dear Mr. Burns:

This is in response to your September 19 letter requesting an interpretation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) concerning inspection certification record requirements in 29 CFR 1910.179 overhead and gantry cranes.

You indicated that your company uses the electronic system to plan, schedule, and track equipment maintenance activities. You inquired whether an electronic system, which identifies the person who performed the inspection and includes all of the remaining information specified in the standard, with the exception of a signature, would be considered an acceptable method of complying with the record keeping requirements of 1910.179.

29 CFR 1910.179(j)(2)(iii) and 1910.179(j)(2)(iv) requires "monthly inspection with a certification record which includes the date of inspection, the signature of the person who performed the inspection and . . ." If the employer's use of the electronic system that identifies the person who performed the inspection, in lieu of the signature, is an acknowledgment that the person delegated responsibility for the inspection is certifying that it is true and complete to the. best of that person's knowledge, then it would meet the intent of the record keeping requirements in 1910.179. In addition, an electronic system monthly inspection record which does not include the person's signature as required in 1910.179, would be considered a de minimis violation. De minimis violations are violations of standards which have no direct or immediate relationship to safety and health and will not be included in citations.

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. If we can be of further assistance, please contact Ron Davies or Wil Epps of my staff at (202) 219-8041.


John B. Miles, Jr., Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs