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.

August 26, 2005

Mr. Thomas C. Tremblay
President
Guardair Corporation
54 Second Street
Chicopee, MA 01020

Re: What OSHA construction standards govern the use of pneumatic hand tools used in construction for cleaning concrete forms, bridge decks and roads? ยง1926.302(b)

Dear Mr. Tremblay:

This is in response to your faxed letter dated February 4, 2005 and follow-up letters dated April 12, 2005 and August 16, 2005, to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). You request further clarification of our January 19, 2005, letter of interpretation to you about the application of OSHA standards to a pneumatic power tool that your corporation intends to market for use in the construction industry.

We have paraphrased your questions as follows:

Question (1): In OSHA's January 19, 2005, response, OSHA stated:

"You indicate your prototype, designed for use as a compressed air cleaner of concrete forms, decks, and roads, is equipped with a dead-man trigger. Section 1926.302(b) Pneumatic power tools does not include an applicable provision relating to dead-man triggers for the tool you describe."

I do not understand what this paragraph means; do OSHA construction standards require my tool to have a dead-man trigger?

Answer: There is no OSHA standard that requires a dead-man trigger on pneumatic tools for the construction applications you describe.

Question (2): I have designed our trigger latch to allow the tool to be operated without constant pressure on the trigger. To deactivate the tool, one would need to disengage the latch first and then release the trigger. Is it permissible for construction activities to be performed using a pneumatic tool with the trigger and latch as described?

Answer: There are no OSHA construction standards that require the use of a dead-man trigger with a pneumatic tool for the application you describe or that specify criteria that such a trigger must meet, if used. So, there is no prohibition in any existing construction standard against a trigger that can be latched (thus allowing the tool to run even after the latched trigger is released).

Question (3): In OSHA's January 19, 2005, response, OSHA stated:

"Your questions regarding requirements under the Maritime (Part 1917) and Shipyard (Part 1915) Industry standards will be addressed by OSHA's Office of Maritime Enforcement."

 

 

Do I have to take an active role in getting a response from the referenced OSHA office?

Answer: No, you do not have to take any further action to receive a response from the Office of Maritime Enforcement. Our office has forwarded your questions to the Office of Maritime Enforcement and they will contact you with a response.

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