October 1, 2012
Mr. David DeChristofaro
David DeChristofaro Associates, LLC
1128 Shadowridge Drive
Niles, Ohio 44446
Dear Mr. DeChristofaro:
Thank you for your June 8 and June 15, 2012, letters to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Directorate of Construction. We apologize for the delay in our reply. You have a specific question regarding whether your product meets OSHA's specifications. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of only the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any question not delineated in your original correspondence.
Your letters indicate that you are planning to manufacture a product to address the safety of steel pan stairs and landings during building construction. You also provided drawings and photos to clarify the product's design. Your product aims to provide temporary treads and landings to allow foot traffic on the stairs, pursuant to 29 CFR 1926.1052(b).
Question: Can OSHA certify that these plans meet the requirements of 29 CFR 1926.1052(b)?
Response: OSHA does not have the legal authority or the resources to evaluate and certify manufacturer's products with regard to their safety. Also, OSHA is precluded from approving or endorsing specific products. The variable working conditions at construction job sites and possible alteration or misapplication of an otherwise safe piece of equipment could easily create a hazardous condition beyond the control of the equipment manufacturer.
The requirements for coverings for pan stairs are found in 29 CFR 1926.1052(b):
(b)Temporary service. The following requirements apply to all stairways as indicated:
(1) Except during stairway construction, foot traffic is prohibited on stairways with pan stairs where the treads and/or landings are to be filled in with concrete or other material at a later date, unless the stairs are temporarily fitted with wood or other solid material at least to the top edge of each pan. Such temporary treads and landings shall be replaced when worn below the level of the top edge of the pan.
(3) Treads for temporary service shall be made of wood or other solid material, and shall be installed the full width and depth of the stair. (emphasis added)
Based on the photos you provided, we observed that your product may not meet the requirement that the temporary treads fit the full width and depth of the stair. This may prevent your product from meeting the conditions specified in the standard.
Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. 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 www.osha.gov. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Directorate of Construction at (202) 693-2020.
James G. Maddux, Director
Directorate of Construction