Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
| Standard Number:||1926.501|
|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.|
Question: I am a supplier of roofing materials. I deliver roofing materials to the job and place the material on the roof. What are my obligations?Some confusion was created by the last paragraph, entitled "Basis for Decision," which states:
Answer: Because your product will be used during construction activity, you are required under Subpart M to protect your employees from falls of 6 feet or more to lower levels when possible. Therefore, employees must be provided with personal fall arrest equipment to attach to an anchor point if available. In the case of vendors delivering roofing materials, OSHA will require the following:Gaining Access to the Roof: A handhold (rope, chain, or other railing) must be attached to the conveyer belt so that the employee has something to steady himself with as he gains access to the roof or a ladder must be used to gain access to the roof.
Distributing the Roofing Materials: Once on the roof the vendor's employee will receive the roofing products from a conveyor belt (lift truck or similar equipment) and then distribute the products onto the roof at various locations. During this distribution process, OSHA will not require the vendor's employees to install an anchorage point for fall protection equipment regardless of the slope off the roof or the fall distance.
Basis for Decision: Delivering the materials directly to the roof eliminates hazards for other employees on the job who otherwise would have to move the materials from ground level to the roof. In recognition of this and in recognition that the roofing supplier will only be on the roof for a short period of time and focused on one task, OSHA is issuing this compliance interpretation. However, if the contractor has a suitable anchorage point available for use by the vendor's employee, it should be used.The "Answer" paragraph states that employers are "required" to protect employees from falls when possible, and that the employees "must" be provided with personal fall protection equipment. However, the word "should" in the last sentence of the "Basis for Decision" paragraph has created uncertainty about whether the use of fall protection where anchors are available is required or recommended.
"will not require the vendor's employees to install an anchorage point for fall protection [when distributing roofing materials] regardless of the slope of the roof or the fall distance. However, if an anchorage point is already available on the roof, the employees must use fall protection equipment."We apologize for the confusion created by these documents. Our policy is that stated in the Question and Answer portion of Interpretation M-2. The discussion in the Basis for Decision paragraph is revoked because it creates confusion regarding OSHA policy. We will be striking out that paragraph in the copy of Interpretation M-2 that is posted on our website. In addition, this letter to you supercedes our previous letter to you dated May 30, 1996. The May 30 letter will be removed from our website.
|Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|