Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
| Standard Number:||1910.178(m)(5); 1910.178(m)(5)(ii); 1910.178(m)(5)(iii); 1926.302; 1926.302(e); 1926.302(e)(6); 1926.600; 1926.600(a)(3); 1926.600(a)(3)(i); 1926.600(a)(3)(ii); 1926.701(b); 1926.702(a); 1926.702(b)|
|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.|
(i) Heavy machinery, equipment, or parts thereof, which are suspended or held aloft by use of slings, hoists, or jacks shall be substantially blocked or cribbed to prevent falling or shifting before employees are permitted to work under or between them. Bulldozer and scraper blades, end-loader buckets, dump bodies, and similar equipment, shall be either fully lowered or blocked when being repaired or when not in use. All controls shall be in a neutral position, with the motors stopped and brakes set, unless work being performed requires otherwise. [Emphasis added.]The underlined portion of §1926.600(a)(3)(i) above requires that construction equipment such as bulldozers and scraper blades, end-loader buckets, and dump bodies be either fully lowered or blocked when not in use, with all controls in a neutral position, the motor stopped, and the brakes set. This section of the standard explicitly provides that the equipment list in the provision is not exclusive and that construction equipment similar to that listed also must meet these requirements.
(ii) Whenever the equipment is parked, the parking brake shall be set. Equipment parked on inclines shall have the wheels chocked and the parking brake set.
(ii) A powered industrial truck is unattended when the operator is 25 ft. or more away from the vehicle which remains in his view, or whenever the operator leaves the vehicle and it is not in his view.Although these provisions do not apply to construction or earth-moving equipment, they address some of the same type of hazards. After considering the approach that was taken in §1910.178(m)(5) and the hazards associated with construction equipment, we have determined that, for construction equipment such as bobcats, backhoes, and trenchers, leaving the motor running with the operator away from the controls will be considered a de minimis violation2 of §1926.600(a)(3) where all of the following are met: the attachment is lowered, the controls are in the neutral position, the brakes are set, all manufacturer provided and recommended safety measures are utilized, and the operator is within 25 feet (and still in view) of the equipment.
(iii) When the operator of an industrial truck is dismounted and within 25 ft. of the truck still in his view, the load engaging means shall be fully lowered, controls neutralized, and the brakes set to prevent movement.
(e) Powder-actuated tools.There is no definition for "unattended." provided in 29 CFR Part 1926 Subpart I (Tools Hand and Power). Although the definition of unattended in 29 CFR 1910.178(m)(5)(ii) for Powered Industrial Trucks is not applicable,3 the underlying principle is relevant, since the term "unattended" is used in a similar context.
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Loaded tools shall not be left unattended.
(b) Reinforcing steel. All protruding reinforcing steel, onto and into which employees could fall, shall be guarded to eliminate the hazard of impalment. [Emphasis added.]As explained in the preamble to the final rule revising Subpart Q (June 16, 1988, 53 FR 22617 and 22618), this is a change from the previous rule, which required protection when an employee was "above" reinforcing steel. The language was changed to make it clear that the entire body of an employee does not have to be "above" protruding steel for the requirement to apply. Instead, the standard requires the guarding of protruding reinforcing steel whenever employees could fall into or onto it and thereby become impaled:
The final rule differs from the proposed provision which was located in §1926.702(a) and the existing provision which was located in §1926.702(b)(2) ... The existing rule required only that the employer guard vertically protruding reinforcing steel when employees are working above it.In your scenario, there is rebar adjacent to the scaffold planking and the top of the rebar is below the head height of those working next to it. Whether the rebar would present an impalement hazard would depend on factors such as how close the rebar is to the scaffold platform and its height. In general, in a scenario such as the one you describe, the rebar typically would present an impalement hazard to a falling worker.
... OSHA's intent is to eliminate the hazard of impalement completely. OSHA did not intend that the use of the word "above" would be construed to mean that the entire body of an employee would have to be "above" the protruding steel. OSHA realizes that employees could be, in fact, often are, in a position where only part of their body is above the protruding steel, such as walking alongside of protruding rebar where as TSA points out, the employee could trip and then fall into the steel. Likewise, there are situations where the steel is protruding from a horizontal direction and employees could fall or trip into the steel and become impaled. To properly protect employees from the hazard of impalement, OSHA has revised the provision to state clearly that all protruding reinforcing steel is to be guarded whenever employees could fall into or onto the steel and thereby become impaled .... [Emphasis added.]
|Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|