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 2, 2000

Mr. Harold I. White
Harold I. White & Associates
Safety & Health Consultants
634 South Riverside Drive
Villa Park, Illinois 60181

Re: 1926.700; 1926.300(b)(2); cement mixers

Dear Mr. White:

This is in response to your April 12, 2000 letter in which you asked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) if there are any OSHA regulations that specify how a concrete mixer must be guarded and if the dimensions of the guard's openings are specified.

As you correctly stated in your letter, concrete mixers with loading skips one cubic yard or larger are covered under 29 CFR §1926.702, Requirements for equipment and tools, in OSHA's concrete and masonry standard. You describe a concrete mixer that has a skip of less than one cubic yard. Therefore, §1926.702 does not address hazards associated with this mixer. However, §§1926.300(b)(3) and 1926.300(b)(4), Point of operations guarding, do apply. They address the hazard of an operator falling into or sticking a part of the body into machinery, which includes a concrete mixer of the size you describe. These provisions require:

"One or more methods of machine guarding shall be provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards such as those created by point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks.... The guarding device shall be in conformity with any appropriate standards therefore, or, in the absence of applicable specific standards, shall be so designed and constructed as to prevent the operator from having any part of his body in the danger zone during the operating cycle."

 

 

While the standard does not specify any particular types of guards, the employer is required to use a guard that is effective.

We are not aware of any consensus standards that have such specifications. There may be some State-operated OSHA programs that have regulations of this type that exceed Federal requirements. Employers are required to comply with such State regulations while doing concrete and masonry construction work in that State.

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.

Sincerely,


Russell B. Swanson, Director
Directorate of Construction

[Corrected 6/2/2005]