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.

June 1, 2006

Michael T. Gallagher
Corporate Safety Manager
North American Energy Services
1 Collins Dr.
Carneys Point, N.J. 08069

Re: Whether §1926.601 is applicable to personnel and burden carriers used in construction

Dear Mr. Gallagher,

This is in response to your letter dated October 7, 2005, to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in which you ask four questions regarding personnel and burden carriers. You will receive a response to your first three questions from OSHA's Directorate of Enforcement Programs. We are addressing your question regarding the applicability of §1926.601. We apologize for the delay in responding.

Your question has been paraphrased as follows:

Question: My question relates to personnel and burden carriers, by which I mean small, lightweight, motorized vehicles, usually three- or four-wheeled, rubber-tired, typically powered by electric motors or low-horsepower gasoline engines, and not designed for use on public roadways. Some have enclosed cabs while others do not. When used on an off-highway construction jobsite, does §1926.601 apply to personnel and burden carriers?

Answer: Section 1926.601(a) defines a motor vehicle as follows:

Motor vehicles as covered by this part are those vehicles that operate within an off-highway jobsite, not open to public traffic. The requirements of this section do not apply to equipment for which rules are prescribed in §1926.602.

In the era that this standard was promulgated, the term "motor vehicle" was a broad concept. Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1961) defined it as: "[A]n automotive vehicle not operated on rails...." It defined "automotive" as, "containing within itself the means of propulsion: self-propelling." Therefore, the provision applies to the type of vehicle you describe.

Note also that the standard indicates that "motor vehicles" includes both vehicles that have enclosed cabs as well as those without them. Section 1926.601(b)(5) states:

All vehicles with cabs shall be equipped with windshields and powered wipers. Cracked and broken glass shall be replaced. Vehicles operating in areas or under conditions that cause fogging or frosting of the windshields shall be equipped with operable defogging or defrosting devices. [Emphasis added.]

 

 

Section 1926.601(b)(8) indicates that "motor vehicles" includes both vehicles that are used to transport personnel and those that are used for other purposes, since it applies specifically to those that transport employees.

Vehicles used to transport employees shall have seats firmly secured and adequate for the number of employees to be carried.

In sum, §1926.601 applies to the vehicles you describe.

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 # 202-693-2020. 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