OSHA Instruction STD 1-12.26A September 26, 1994 Office of General Industry
Subject: Abrasive Operations Using Cutoff Wheels and Masonry Saws
A. Purpose. This instruction provides guidelines for violations
related to guards for cutoff wheels and masonry saws.
B. Scope. This instruction applies OSHA-wide.
C. Reference. 29 CFR 1910.215, 29 CFR 1926.303, 29 CFR
1. When the guard for a cutoff wheel (not masonry) fails to comply
with the 150-degree maximum angular exposure required at 29 CFR 1910.215(b)
(5) or 29 CFR 1926.303(d), but does not allow greater than 180-degree maximum
angular exposure, the violation shall be treated as de minimis.
2. When the guard for a masonry saw used in construction (i.e.,
used to cut tile, brick, concrete block, but not steel) or a tungsten or
diamond blade (water cooled) is semicircular, it is in compliance as set
forth in 1926.702(i).
(1) OSHA Instruction STD 1-12.26 (1-12-26), June 30, 1981, is
(2) OSHA Instruction STD 1-12.13, October 30, 1978, is
(1) Cutoff machines utilize abrasive wheels and should be cited
under 29 CFR 1910.215, abrasive wheel machinery. The source standard, ANSI
B7.1-1970, addresses cutoff wheels. The American National Standards
Institute has issued revised ANSI B7.1 standards dated 1978 and
Both the ANSI B7.1-1978 and the current standard, ANSI
B7.1-1988, permit a maximum angular exposure of 180 degrees.
(2) The existing OSHA regulation was adopted from the ANSI
B.7.1-1970, and therefore allows 150-degree maximum angular exposure on
cutoff machines. However, OSHA has no information to support a choice
between 150o and 180o maximum angular exposure, or to substantiate any direct
and immediate relationship of such a choice to safety and health. Therefore,
cutoff machines that are not used in construction (i.e. masonry saws) with
more than 150 degrees of angular exposure, and not exceeding 180 degrees,
shall be treated as de minimis violations.
(3) For construction, the existing OSHA regulations, 29 CFR
1926.303 and .702(i), allow an 180-degree angle of exposure for masonry saws
such as diamond or tungsten carbide type (water cooled), and the 180-degree
angle of exposure shall not be treated as a violation when a masonry saw that
is used in construction has 180 degrees of the blade (wheel)
G. Federal Program Change. This instruction describes a Federal
Program change which affects State programs. Each Regional Administrator
1. Ensure that this change is promptly forwarded to each State
designee, using a format consistent with the Plan Change-Two-way Memorandum
in Appendix P, OSHA Instruction STP 2.22A, CH-2.
2. Explain the technical content of the change to the State
designee as requested.
3. Ensure that State designees are asked to acknowledge receipt of
the Federal program change in writing to the Regional Administrator as soon
as the States intention is known, but no later than 70 calendar days after
the date of issuance (10 days for mailing and 60 days for
4. This acknowledgement should include a description either of the
State's plan to follow the guidelines in this Instruction or of the reasons
why the change should not apply to that State.
5. Advise the State designees that a plan supplement is not
required for implementation of this change. However, if the State's
interpretation of its standard is different from OSHA's, the State shall
submit a copy of its interpretation to the Regional Administrator.
John B. Miles, Jr. Director Directorate of Compliance Programs
DISTRIBUTION: National, Regional and Area Offices All Compliance Officers
State Designees 7(c)(1) Project Managers NIOSH Regional Program Directors