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 9, 2012

MEMORANDUM FOR: REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS
 
THROUGH: RICHARD E. FAIRFAX
Deputy Assistant Secretary
 
FROM: THOMAS GALASSI, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs
 
SUBJECT: Enforcement Policy for Citing General Duty Clause instead of 29 CFR 1910.68 for Grandfathered Manlifts

The purpose of this memorandum is to clarify OSHA's current policy concerning the inapplicability of 29 CFR 1910.68, Manlifts, to manlift installations and equipment installed on or before August 27, 1971, and the applicability of the general duty clause to such manlifts. The standard provides at §1910.68(b)(3):

(3) Design requirements. All new manlift installations and equipment installed after the effective date of these regulations shall meet the design requirements of the "American National Safety Standard for Manlifts ANSI A90.1-1969," which is incorporated by reference as specified in §1910.6, and the requirements of this section.

An administrative law judge of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission interpreted this provision to mean that manlifts installed on or before August 27, 1971, the effective date of the standard, are exempt from the entire standard. ADM Milling Company, 23 BNA OSHC 1728 (No. 10-1362, 2011) (ALJ). Since the standard was issued, there have been OSHA interpretations regarding whether manlifts installed on or before August 27, 1971, are exempt from only the design criteria or the entire standard.

OSHA Instruction STD 1-3.1, October 30, 1978, is the agency's current enforcement policy concerning manlift installations and equipment installed on or before the effective date of the standard. The directive states that instead of issuing citations alleging a violation of 1910.68, a citation for a general duty clause violation is appropriate where the hazardous condition is a recognized imminent danger or a serious hazard. The directive also states that citations will be issued only where the hazardous condition is easily identifiable.

Further, in a letter of interpretation dated December 5, 1991, to Mr. William P. Mitchell, OSHA stated that the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.68 do not apply to manlifts installed on or before the effective date of the standard. In addition, the letter states that employers are "...required to provide a work environment and working conditions that are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees."

Manlift installations and equipment installed on or before August 27, 1971, are exempt from all of the requirements of the OSHA standard at 29 CFR 1910.68. Area Offices shall consult with their Regional Solicitors when considering the issuance of a general duty clause citation for all manlift hazards in general industry. In addition, CSHOs may not refer to the American National Safety Standard for Manlifts ANSI A90.1 - 1969 for enforcement guidance for these manlifts.

If you need more information, please contact Art Buchanan in the Office of General Industry and Agricultural Enforcement at 202-693-1850.