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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.
September 25, 2000
Mr. Timothy H. Leek
R.B. Hawkins & Associates
Cambridge Science Park
Cambridge CB4 OFE
Re: ROPS; Dumper; 1926.602(a); 1926.1000-1926.1003
Dear Mr. Leek:
This is in response to your March 21 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). You ask OSHA to evaluate a diagram of a piece of equipment you call a "dumper," and to determine whether this rubber-tired vehicle is required to have rollover protection structures (ROPS). In subsequent telephone conversations with a member of my staff, Ms. Jule Jones, you stated that the equipment is primarily used to haul loose construction material, such as concrete, sand, and gravel. The operator sits behind a steering wheel, similar to a tractor. The following is an illustration (not to scale) of the equipment in question:
You state that the skipper on the dumper has a capacity of 33 cubic feet and a maximum load of 4,415 pounds. Its dimensions are: overall length — approximately 10 feet; width — approximately 6 feet; height (to top of steering wheel) — approximately 6 feet.
Material handling equipment
Under the OSHA construction standard pertaining to material handling equipment, equipment covered by 29 CFR 1926.602(a) ("earthmoving equipment"), must have ROPS. Section 1926.602(a)(6) requires such equipment to have ROPS in accordance with the requirements in 1926 subpart W (§§1926.1000-1926.1003), because the uneven surfaces that are typical of construction sites pose a danger of roll-over.
Section 1926.602(a) applies to "scrapers, loaders, crawler or wheel tractors, bulldozers, off-highway trucks, graders, agricultural and industrial tractors, and similar equipment" (§1926.602(a)(1)). The dumper is "similar equipment" because, like an agricultural or industrial tractor, the driver sits high up on the equipment, unprotected by body cladding or structure, and is suitable for moving earthen material. Although it differs from a conventional tractor in that it has an on-board carrying capability, tractors also carry earthen loads, by hooking up to a wagon.
Thus, the dumper would be governed by §1926.602(a), and is required to have a ROPS to reduce the often fatal hazard of being crushed during a rollover accident.
If you need additional information, please contact us by fax at: U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA, Directorate of Construction, Office of Construction Standards and Guidance, fax # 202-693-1689. You can also contact us by mail at the above office, Room N3468, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210, although there will be a delay in our receiving correspondence by mail.
Russell B. Swanson, Director
Directorate of Construction