OSHA Releases Letter of Interpretation to Clarify Applicability of OSHA Standards to “Designated Waterfront Facilities”

OSHA released a letter dated May 31, 2017 that was written in response to a letter it received in which a company asked whether 29 C.F.R. 1917.112 (guarding of edges in marine terminals) or another OSHA standard applies to the guarding of the edges of docks at a “designated waterfront facility.” A designated waterfront facility is defined as “a facility used for the bulk storage, handling and transfer of flammable, non-flammable, or combustible liquids and gases”. OSHA wrote that OSHA standards do not apply to the situation.

OSHA states that, while 29 C.F.R. 1917.1(a)(1)(i) specifically excludes “[facilities used solely for the bulk storage, handling and transfer of flammable, non-flammable and combustible liquids and gases” from the requirements of Part 1917 (marine terminals), Part 1917 also states that the general industry standards of Part 1910 do not apply to “marine terminals,” with exceptions OSHA notes are not relevant. OSHA concludes that, because a “designated waterfront facility” is indeed a “marine terminal,” as defined in 29 C.F.R. 1917.2, OSHA standards therefore do not apply with regards to the guarding of the edges of docks at such facilities.

Source: OSHA Letter of Interpretation, Guarding of edges in marine terminals [1917.112] (dated May 31, 2017).