Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1926.652; 1926 Subpart M

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

February, 1 1996

Mr. Christopher Seniuk, MPA, CSP, CIH
Assistant vice President
Director of Safety and Health Services
Lovell Safety Management Co., Inc.
161 William Street
New York, N.Y. 10038-2675

Dear Mr. Seniuk:

This is in response to your letters of August 22 and November 1, 1995, to Deputy Assistant Secretary James Stanley of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). As you may know, Mr. Stanley is no longer with OSHA and your letters have been forwarded to this office for response.

The answers to your questions concerning OSHA's house foundation/basement excavation memo dated June 30, 1995, are as follows:

  1. Under the limited conditions listed in the memorandum, 29 CFR 1926.652 is suspended as it applies to house construction.
  2. There are no discussions or plans to extend the suspension to any other kinds of construction.
  3. The requirements for a competent person are unchanged by the memorandum.
  4. The memorandum applies to all soil types.
  5. Anc