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 https://www.osha.gov.

February 11, 2013

Mr. Mike DeVivo
231 Park Road
Waterbury, CT 06708-2344

Dear Mr. DeVivo:

Thank you for your May 7, 2012 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Directorate of Enforcement Programs (DEP). Your letter has been referred to DEP's Office of General Industry and Agricultural Enforcement (OGIAE) for an answer to your question regarding part revolution presses that are operated in continuous mode. This constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any question not delineated within your original correspondence.

Scenario: A removable key switch is used to place a part revolution press in either an Inch, Single Stroke, or Continuous configuration. Additionally, a pre-activation button is used before the press can be placed in the Continuous mode. Although employees are trained not to place the key switch in Inch mode, you have been informed by the Connecticut OSHA Consultation Service that the key must be removed when the press is turned over to an operator. Your concern regarding the removal of the key is that it can be lost or inadvertently taken home by the setup person.

Question: In accordance with 29 CFR 1910.217(b)(7)(iii), "[a] means of selecting Off "Inch," Single Stroke, and Continuous (when the continuous function is furnished) shall be supplied with the clutch/brake control to select type of operation of the press. Fixing of selection shall be by means capable of supervision by the employer." Specifically, you would like to know if this paragraph requires the employer to remove the key or does it mean the key must have the capability of being removed while the press is being operated?

Answer: To clarify the last sentence of paragraph 1910.217(b)(7)(iii), OSHA's intent is to ensure the employer has a capable means of supervising the selection ("Inch," Single Stroke, or Continuous) of the part revolution press. As long as the employer has the ability to control the selected mode of operation, OSHA would deem this to be compliant with the referenced standard. An example of the employer having the ability to control the selected mode of operation would be to have the control key removed from the press after the setup process is completed. Removing the key would preclude the employee from inadvertently resetting the press to a different mode of operation.


Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. OSHA's requirements are set by statute, standards, and regulations. Our letters of interpretation such as this do not create new or additional requirements but rather explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. From time to time, the Agency may update some standards or a legal decision may impact a standard, to assure that one is using the correct information and guidance one can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact the Directorate of Enforcement Programs at (202) 693-1850.




Thomas Galassi, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs