OSHA Releases Final Rule on Roll-Over Protective Structure Testing

OSHA has issued out a direct final rule regulating the testing of roll-over protective structures (ROPS) used to protect employees who operate wheel-type tractors.

The rule, which was announced in the Federal Register on Feb. 28, reinstates the agency's original construction and agriculture standards that had been replaced a decade earlier with references to national consensus standards for testing of ROPS.

The direct final rule will comply with the following functions:

  • Restore impact testing for protective frames on wheel-type tractors and an additional cold-temperature testing option under the construction standard;
  • Reinstate the exemption from field-upset testing option and an additional cold-temperature testing option in the agriculture standard; and
  • Contain minor plain language revisions that will improve comprehension and compliance with the standards.

OSHA stated in a Dec. 29, 2005, Federal Register that if no significant adverse comments were received, the final rule would become effective on Feb. 27. OSHA received only one public comment on the direct final rule, which was determined not to be significantly adverse.

The agency said it has since conducted a thorough evaluation of the original ROPS standards and those implemented under the 1996 technical amendment. OSHA reinstated the original ROPS standards for construction and agriculture after identifying several substantive differences between the national consensus standards and the original standards.

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