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.

September 23, 1999


Memorandum For: Regional Administrators
State Designees
Through: R. Davis Layne,
Deputy Assistant Secretary
From: Richard Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs
Subject: Powered Industrial Truck Standard (1910.178)
and Agricultural Operations


Some confusion about the above mentioned standard's application may have been created by a section of the preamble to the final rule of 29 CFR §1910.178, Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training, as published in the Federal Register on December 1, 1998. A paragraph on page 66263 of the preamble, under the heading Affected Industries, regarding the applicability of the standard to agricultural operations, says in part:

Using powered industrial truck sales data provided by the Industrial Truck Association (ITA), OSHA estimates that there are 998,671 industrial trucks in use in industries covered by the final standard. These industries include the agricultural services segment (SIC 07) of the agricultural industry, ...

OSHA's agricultural standards are found in Part 1928. According to §1928.1, the standards in Part 1928 apply to "agricultural operations." Section 1928.21(a) expressly designates seven general industry standards (Part 1910) as applicable to "agricultural operations." It was not OSHA's intention to have §1910.178 apply to agricultural operations, and therefore, the final rule of §1910.178 did not amend §1928.21(a) to add §1910.178 to this list of applicable general industry standards. Thus, for those employments, which are "agricultural operations" under Part 1928, §1910.178 does not apply.

We hope you find this clarification helpful. If you have any questions, contact Helen Rogers at (202) 693-1867.