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 http://www.osha.gov.

November 9, 1999

Mr. Stuart Flatow
American Trucking Associations
2200 Mill Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22314-4677

Dear Mr. Flatow:

Thank you for your October 21, 1999 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Directorate of Compliance Programs (DCP). Your letter has been referred to the Office of General Industry Compliance Assistance (GICA) for an answer to your questions regarding OSHA's Compliance Directive, CPL 2-1.30, Chocking of Tractor Trailers under the Powered Industrial Truck Standard. Your specific questions have been restated below for clarity.

Question 1:    Why has the reference, 49 CFR 393.106, Front-end Structure, been included in CPL 2-1.30?

Response:    This reference has been included as Appendix A in the compliance directive because the definition of a "heavy hauler trailer" includes the term Front-end Structure as defined at 49 CFR 393.106. As indicated in the compliance directive, the Department of Transportation has rules that continue to deal with the chocking of heavy hauler trailers as well as agricultural commodity trailers and pulpwood trailers. Therefore, the Front-end Structure appendix was included to provide Compliance Officers with additional guidance for determining whether a trailer displays the characteristics necessary to be deemed a heavy hauler trailer.

Question 2:    Is it OSHA's intention to regulate motor carrier responsibilities as they pertain to the protection against shifting or falling cargo?

Response:    No, OSHA has no intention of regulating commercial motor vehicle responsibilities as they pertain to the protection against shifting or falling cargo. OSHA is preempted under Section 4(b)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 from enforcing its regulations with respect to working conditions over which other Federal agencies, such as the Department of Transportation, have exercised their statutory authority.

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. Please be aware that OSHA's enforcement guidance is subject to periodic review and clarification, amplification, or correction. Such guidance could also be affected by subsequent rulemaking. In the future, should you wish to verify that the guidance provided herein remains current, you may consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of General Industry Compliance Assistance at (202) 693-1850.

Sincerely,

Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs