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.


May 22, 1998

Mr. David Huggins
GES Exposition Services
1624 Mojave Rd.
Las Vegas, Nevada 89104

Dear Mr. Huggins:

This is in response to your letter of April 8 to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in which you requested compliance assistance concerning the use of seat belts on powered industrial trucks and the use of fall protection on scissors lifts.

As you have indicated in your letter, national consensus standard ASME B56.1-1993, Safety Standard for Low Lift and High Lift Trucks, requires manufacturers to provide, and operators to wear operator restraint systems. OSHA does not currently have a specific standard requiring the use of an operator restraint system. However, the use of operator restraint systems is enforced through Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which requires that each employer furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees. In addition, the proposed revision to the powered industrial truck operator training standard requires employers to train all operators in operating instructions, warnings, or precautions listed in the operator's manual, such as the use of operator restraint systems. Please be advised that OSHA has not made any exclusions regarding the use of operator restraint systems.

With regard to whether fall protection is required for scissor lifts, please be advised that a guardrail system is required for employee fall protection on scissor lifts. When the use of a guardrail system is infeasible, the employer must provide an appropriate alternative fall protection such as personal fall protection systems. As you are aware, OSHA does not have specific standards addressing scissor lifts. For additional information regarding scissor lift safety, please refer to national consensus standards' ANSI/SIA A92.3, Manually Propelled Elevating Aerial Platforms, and ANSI/SIA A92.6, Self Propelled Elevating Work Platforms.

Thank you for your interest in employee safety and health. If we can be of further assistance, please contact [the Office of General Industry Enforcement at (202) 693-1850].


John B. Miles, Jr.,
Directorate of Compliance Programs
[Corrected 08/16/2007]

GES Exposition Services
David Huggins-Safety Coordinator
1624 Mojave Rd.
Las Vegas, NV 89104

April 8, 1998

U.S. Department of Labor
Attn: Director of Compliance
200 Constitution Ave, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210

Dear Sir:

I have been reading your interpretation letters and have found them to be of great help. I have two questions that I would like to get your views on.

Question #1. I know that seatbelts are required to be worn by forklift operators according to AMSE. I have union labor in my operation and their job entails them getting off and on the forklifts to align loads for each load. They are saying that our industry is a unique industry and that they should be excluded from the seatbelt law. I disagree. I would like to have your interpretation of the law, in writing so that I can present them with it. I have the letter from 1996 but they feel that the trade show industry was not considered when this letter of interpretation was written.

Question #2. Is fall protection required for scissor lifts? I have read the standards from ANSI concerning both the boom supported aerial manlifts and the scissor lifts. There are sections of the boom lifts that specifically address the use of fall protection. In the scissor standard there is no mention of fall protection. I realize that in prior letters of interpretation, OSHA has said that it is required. My concern is that on a boom lift there are specific tie off points for lanyards. On a scissor there is no tie off point what so ever. I have attended two instructors classes for aerial manlifts and in both, the instructors do not encourage the use of fall protection for scissor lifts, only boom lifts. I do not want to force an employee to tie off on a scissor and have an accident occur where a bad place was used to tie off and the fall caused the lift to tip. Please let me know if fall protection is required on scissor lifts according to a written law.

I have used several letters to help enforce safety policies I have written and find them very useful in creating additional safety policies and rules.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.