US Dept of Labor

Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationWe Can Help

Federal Registers - Table of Contents
• Publication Date: 03/07/2014
• Publication Type: Notices
• Fed Register #: 79: 13078-13079
• Standard Number: 1905; 1905.11; 1905.13(a)(2); 1910.217; 1910.217(c)(3)(iii)(b); 1910.217(c)(3)(iii)(c); 1910.217(d)(1); 1910.217(h)
• Title: Interlake Stamping Corp. [Also Doing Business as Interlake Industries, Inc.]; Revocation of an Experimental Variance and Interim Order

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 45 (Friday, March 7, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13078-13079]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-04982]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

[Docket No. OSHA-2013-0011]


Interlake Stamping Corp. (Also Doing Business as Interlake 
Industries, Inc.); Revocation of an Experimental Variance and Interim 
Order

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In this notice, the Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration ("OSHA" or the "Agency") revokes an experimental 
variance and interim order granted by OSHA in 1976 and 1978, 
respectively, to Interlake Stamping Corp., ("Interlake" or the 
"applicant") from several provisions of the OSHA standard that 
regulates mechanical power presses at 29 CFR 1910.217. In April 2011, 
Interlake submitted an application request for a permanent variance 
from these provisions, but later withdrew the application, stating that 
it would be too costly to comply with the conditions of the variance. 
Therefore, OSHA is revoking Interlake's experimental variance and the 
interim order.

DATES: The revocation becomes effective on March 7, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Information regarding this notice is 
available from the following sources:
    Press inquiries: Contact Frank Meilinger, Director, OSHA Office of 
Communications, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., 
Room N-3647, Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-1999; email: 
Meilinger.francis2@dol.gov.
    General and technical information: Contact David Johnson, Director, 
Office of Technical Programs and Coordination Activities, Directorate 
of Technical Support and Emergency Management, Occupational Safety and 
Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution 
Avenue NW., Room N-3655, Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-
2110; email: johnson.david.w@dol.gov. OSHA's Web page includes 
information about the Variance Program (see http://www.osha.gov/dts/otpca/variances/index.html).

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION:

I. Background

A. Previous Experimental Variance

    On August 31, 1976, OSHA granted Interlake Stamping Corp., 4732 
East 355th Street, Willoughby, OH 44094, an experimental variance from 
the provisions of OSHA standards that regulate mechanical power presses 
at 29 CFR 1910.217 (41 FR 36702). Below is a description of the history 
of this experimental variance:
    (1) On May 20, 1974, OSHA published a notice in the Federal 
Register announcing that Interlake submitted an application pursuant to 
Section 6(d) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the 
Act; 29 U.S.C. 655) and 29 CFR 1905.11 for a permanent variance from 
several provisions of OSHA's mechanical power-presses standard (39 FR 
17806); these provisions were 29 CFR 1910.217(c)(3)(iii)(c), which 
prohibited the use of presence-sensing-device-initiation (PSDI) 
systems, and 29 CFR 1910.217(d)(1), which regulated conduct of 
mechanical power-press operations. According to the May 20, 1974, 
Federal Register notice, Interlake proposed the following alternate 
means of compliance in its variance application:

    The applicant states that he has purchased a 22-ton Bliss OBI 
mechanical power press equipped with an air friction clutch and an 
Erwin Sick electronic light curtain. The press is equipped with 
special controls and a highly reliable brake monitoring system. The 
applicant further proposes to use the electronic light curtain as 
both a protective device and as a means of cycling the press. The 
applicant states that electronic light curtain devices are used as a 
tripping means in Europe and a large body of standards governing 
their design and use in this manner has been accumulated . . . .

    (2) On June 3, 1974, OSHA published a notice in the Federal 
Register extending for 30 days the comment period on Interlake's 
application for a permanent variance (39 FR 19543).
    (3) On February 3, 1976, OSHA published a Federal Register notice 
announcing that Interlake was abandoning its application for a 
permanent variance and, instead, was applying for an experimental 
variance pursuant to Section 6(b)(6)(c) of the Act (41 FR 4994). 
Interlake took this action because OSHA revised the requirements in 29 
CFR 1910.217(d)(1) on May 20, 1974 (39 FR 41841), which obviated the 
applicant's need for a variance from that provision. Concurrently, OSHA 
renumbered 29 CFR 1910.217(c)(3)(iii)(c) as 29 CFR 
1910.217(c)(3)(iii)(b). The new application, therefore, sought an 
experimental variance from 29 CFR 1910.217(c)(3)(iii)(b). According to 
the February 3, 1976, Federal Register notice, Interlake was seeking to 
conduct an experiment designed to demonstrate that it can use the 
presence-sensing-point-of-operation device on a mechanical power press 
as a tripping mechanism, in addition to its function as a safety 
device, while maintaining employee safety at or above the level 
provided by the standard. Interlake also claimed that the experiment 
would validate Swedish and German data showing that employers use this 
tripping mechanism virtually free of accidents.
    (4) On August 31, 1976, OSHA published a notice in the Federal 
Register granting Interlake an experimental variance for a one-year 
period, August 31, 1976, to August 30, 1977 (41 FR 36702).
    (5) On September 9, 1977, OSHA published a Federal Register notice 
extending the experimental variance for a six-month period, September 
1, 1977, to February 28, 1978, to allow Interlake to collect additional 
information on a number of factors, including the effects of the 
experimental conditions on worker safety and productivity (42 FR 
45389).
    (6) On March 17, 1978, OSHA published a notice in the Federal 
Register extending the experimental variance for a two-year period, 
March 1, 1977, to February 28, 1979 (43 FR 11275). This extension 
allowed Interlake to continue collecting information on the effects of 
the experimental conditions on worker safety and productivity, but also 
allowed the Agency to collect information for a possible new standard 
regulating PSDI systems, including information on the need for a 
certification program and the level of interest in the regulated 
community for using PSDI systems. In this notice,

OSHA also granted Interlake an interim order to preserve the continuity 
of the experimental conditions pending a final decision on the 
variance.
    (7) On March 6, 1979, OSHA published a notice in the Federal 
Register extending the experimental variance for an additional two-year 
period, March 6, 1979, to March 5, 1981, to continue collecting safety 
and productivity information, and to preserve the continuity of the 
experimental conditions (44 FR 12288).
    (8) On May 29, 1981, OSHA published a Federal Register notice 
extending the experimental variance for an additional one-year period 
from May 29, 1981, to May 28, 1982 (46 FR 29010). The main purpose of 
this extension was to allow the Purdue Research Foundation, under 
contract to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 
to: (1) Observe and evaluate the self-tripping experiment at Interlake; 
(2) research the design and application practices that could develop if 
OSHA expanded the experiment to other sites or modified 29 CFR 
1910.217(c)(3)(iii)(b); and (3) develop design and performance-criteria 
approval procedures, and continuing research strategies.
    (9) In 1988, OSHA added paragraph (h) to 29 CFR 1910.217 (53 FR 
8353). Paragraph (h) allows employers to install and use PSDI systems, 
but requires that OSHA-approved third parties validate the PSDI systems 
at the time of installation and annually thereafter. To date, no third 
party has requested OSHA's approval to validate PSDI systems. In the 
interim, Interlake continued operating mechanical power presses using 
PSDI systems under the interim order granted in 1978. However, on March 
24, 2011, OSHA informed Interlake that it must submit an application 
for a permanent variance if it wanted to continue this practice (Ex. 
OSHA-2013-0011-002).

B. Interlake's Application for a Permanent Variance

    On April 8, 2011, OSHA received Interlake's application seeking a 
permanent variance from Appendices A and C of 29 CFR 1910.217 (see Ex. 
OSHA-2013-0011-002). Appendix A sets forth requirements for 
certification/validation of PSDI systems, and Appendix C specifies 
requirements for OSHA recognition of third-party validation 
organizations for PSDI systems. Interlake proposed to use PSDI systems 
as tripping mechanisms under conditions similar to the conditions 
specified by the experimental variance granted to Interlake by OSHA in 
1976 (see previous discussion).
    In its variance application, and in its responses to OSHA's follow-
up questions (Ex. OSHA-2013-0011-004), Interlake provided a detailed 
description of its proposed alternate means of worker protection during 
operation of the PSDI system, including a description of the power 
presses and light curtains used; the equipment-guarding means and 
worker training provided; and inspection, testing, and maintenance 
procedures. Additionally, in its responses to OSHA's follow-up 
questions, Interlake stated that it never had a worker injured while 
using PSDI systems during the 36 years it operated the systems under 
the conditions specified by the experimental variance.
    On August 2, 2012, OSHA conducted a site-evaluation visit at 
Interlake's Willoughby, Ohio, plant. The purpose of the visit was to 
review and confirm the continued safe operation of the two mechanical 
power presses equipped with PSDI systems. Based on the results of the 
site-evaluation visit, OSHA, on March 13, 2013, proposed in a letter to 
Interlake several additional conditions that the Agency believed 
Interlake should include in its variance application (Ex. OSHA-2013-
0011-005). On April 30, 2013, Interlake responded to this proposal (Ex. 
OSHA-2013-0011-006). OSHA reviewed Interlake's responses and modified 
several of the proposed conditions. In a letter dated September 4, 
2013, OSHA notified Interlake of the Agency's revisions to the proposed 
conditions (Ex. OSHA-2013-0011-007). After reviewing these revisions, 
Interlake notified OSHA on September 17, 2013, that it is withdrawing 
its application for a permanent variance, stating:

    [T]he management team at Interlake Stamping has decided not to 
pursue the permanent variance for use of the Presence Sensing Device 
Initiation (PSDI). We feel it would be too costly for us to comply 
with all of the requirements mandated in the OSHA response going 
forward, and would be more economical for us to discontinue its use 
completely. We understand that the experimental variance that 
Interlake was granted will no longer be in effect and we have 
removed the connections completely disabling the PSDI system as of 
this date. (Emphasis in original; Ex. OSHA-2013-0011-008.)

II. Revocation of Interlake's Experimental Variance

    Based on its review of the record, and the applicant's request to 
withdraw its application for a permanent variance, OSHA finds that 
Interlake no longer needs the experimental variance. Therefore, under 
the authority specified by 29 CFR 1905.13(a)(2), OSHA is revoking the 
experimental variance granted to Interlake on August 31, 1976, and 
extended through April 30, 1982. With this notice, OSHA also is 
revoking the interim order granted to Interlake on March 17, 1978, 
under which Interlake continued to comply with the conditions of the 
experimental variance from May 1, 1982, to September 17, 2013.
    Accordingly, Interlake must comply fully with the requirements of 
29 CFR 1910.217(h) if it decides to use PSDI systems.

III. Authority and Signature

    David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for 
Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 
Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC, authorized the preparation of 
this notice. OSHA is issuing this notice under the authority specified 
by 29 U.S.C. 655, Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2012 (76 FR 3912; 
Jan. 25, 2012), and 29 CFR part 1905.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on March 4, 2014.
David Michaels,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2014-04982 Filed 3-6-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-26-P


Federal Registers - Table of Contents

Thank You for Visiting Our Website

You are exiting the Department of Labor's Web server.

The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.

Close