Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1926.106(a); 1926.106(d)

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

August 23, 2004

Lynn Raper
Safety Director
Cape Romain Contractors, Inc.
660 Cape Romain Road
Wando, South Carolina 29492

Re: §1926.106(a) and 1926.106(d)

Dear Ms. Raper:

This is in response to your fax of July 1, 2004. We have paraphrased your questions below:

Question (1): Under §1926.106(a) would a life jacket or buoyant work vest be required where employees are working over water that is less than 2 feet deep where they could easily stand up?

29 CFR 1926.106(a) states:
Employees working over or near water, where the danger of drowning exists, shall be provided with U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket of buoyant work vests. [Emphasis added.]
Section 1926.106(a) does not specify a minimum depth of water where a danger of drowning would exist. However, several factors are relevant to determining whether a danger of drowning exists. These inclu