Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.272; 1910.272(g)(1)(ii)

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 16, 2012

The Honorable Kristi Noem
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Noem:

Thank you for your November 7, 2011, letter from you and your colleagues regarding the operation of sweep augers inside grain storage structures. Your letter raised concerns about a letter of interpretation that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sent to Mr. Rick Smithpeter on December 24, 2009. Specifically, you assert that although the letter to Mr. Smithpeter states that an employee cannot work inside a bin while an unguarded sweep auger is operating, OSHA did not offer alternatives for removing grain while an unguarded sweep auger is operating, and the Agency failed to define the term "unguarded sweep auger." Your letter asks for an update on actions the Agency has taken since the December 24, 2009, letter to clarify its position on sweep augers, and requests that