OSHA Hazard Information Bulletins
Ridgid Pipe Threading Machines

August 17, 1992




  • Director
  • Office of Field Programs


  • Director
  • Directorate of Technical Support


  • Hazard Information Bulletin - Ridgid Pipe Threading Machines

The Directorate of Technical Support issues Hazard Information Bulletins (HIBs) in accordance with OSHA Instruction CPl 2.65 to provide relevant information regarding potentially unrecognized safety and health hazards; and inadequacies of materials, devices, techniques, or engineering controls. HIBs are initiated based on information provided by the field staff, studies, reports and concerns expressed by safety and health professionals, employers and the public. Information is compiled based on a comprehensive evaluation of available facts and latest literature. HIBs are normally prepared in coordination with affected parties.

The North Aurora Area Office investigated a fatality involving a Ridgid Model 400A pipe threading machine. It was determined that the Ridgid pipe threading machine was not equipped with a deadman foot switch, which could have prevented the fatality.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard for pipe tools, B208.1-1982 "Cord-Connected Portable Pipe Threading Machines and Portable Power Drives-Safety Requirements," Paragraph 4.4, requires that a momentary contact device be used to control the power input to the cord-connected portable pipe threading machine or power drive. A guarded foot switch is an example of such momentary contact device.

The manufacturer, Ridge Tool Company, did not include foot switches on machines manufactured prior to January 1, 1975. However, in a letter to all Ridgid distributors dated 10/26/87, Ridge Tool Company provided a list of models which can be retrofitted with foot switches. Ridge Tool Company also distributed a supplement to its equipment operator's manuals which addresses the use of foot switches on pipe threading machines.

Compliance and Consultation personnel should be aware of the applicable ANSI standards for pipe threading machines and that failure to install and use an appropriate momentary contact device may result in a fatal accident.

Please distribute this bulletin to all Area Offices, State Plan States and Consultation Projects.