OSHRC Docket No. 79-5676


Before:  ROWLAND, Chairman; CLEARY and BUCKLEY, Commissioners.


This case is before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission under 29 U.S.C. 661(i), section 12(j) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 29 U.S.C. 651-678 ("the Act").  The Commission is an adjudicatory agency, independent of the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  It was established to resolve disputes arising out of enforcement actions brought by the Secretary of Labor under the Act and has no regulatory functions.  See section 10(c) of the Act, 29 U.S.C. 659(c).

The case involves the Secretary of Labor's ("Secretary") allegation that D.A. & L. Caruso, Inc. ("Caruso") committed a willful violation of the standard at 29 C.F.R. 1926.652(c)[[1]] by failing to shore or otherwise support the sides of a trench dug in hard or compact soil.  Administrative Law Judge Joseph Chalk, finding that the Secretary had failed to prove that the sides of the trench were located in hard or compact soil, vacated the citation.  The Commission reverses the judge, finds a willful violation, affirms the citation, and assesses a $3000 penalty.[[2]]

On August 16, 1979, Caruso was constructing a storm sewer pipeline in Prospect Park, Pennsylvania.  The work included excavating a trench for the 48-inch pipe, pouring stones onto the trench floor to make a level bed, placing the pipe onto the stones, and connecting the pipe to the adjoining pipe segment.  The pertinent portion of the trench ran down the middle of Darby Crescent Road and was about 8 feet wide at the top, 12 to 15 feet deep, and about 50 feet long.  One side of the trench was vertical and the other was slightly sloped near the top of the trench.  An existing 12-inch sewer pipe in a backfilled area ran along the unsloped wall of the trench and parallel to that wall about 3 feet below the road surface.

At about 11:00 a.m., three OSHA compliance officers arrived at the trench site in response to complaints that employees had been working in an unshored trench.  Compliance officer Buchanan testified that when he arrived there were no employees in the trench. He observed water in the bottom of the trench and that "portions of the side of the trench was [sic] falling over ["fluffing"] into the water,. . . . at the bottom of the trench."  Buchanan testified that he interviewed employees Cullen and Sterling, who told him that they had been working in the trench that morning prior to his arrival. Buchanan testified that he conferred with Caruso's on-site superintendent, Nenna, who told him that Nenna was aware of the OSHA trenching standards and admitted the trench should have been shored or protected.  Nenna told him that as a result of complaints by the union field representative he had ordered that a trench box be brought to the site prior to the inspection.  The compliance officer did not make any tests of the type of soil in the trench.

Cullen, a laborer, testified that he had been in the trench for about an hour on the morning of August 16.  He also testified that on August 15 the soil in the trench had given way and employee Sterling, who was in the trench at the time, had to jump inside the sewer pipe to avoid the falling soil.  The soil that fell covered part of the entrance to the pipe and Cullen had to descend into the trench to dig Sterling out.   Later that same day, Cullen was in the trench when the backhoe operator shouted at him to get out and the trench "caved in while I was down there."  Cullen escaped injury.  Cullen testified that on the morning of August 16 the trench was in the same condition that it had been on August 15 except that some backfilling had been done.

Union local field representative Freeman, who had worked intermittently on trenching projects for about four years, testified that he went to the jobsite on August 16 and was taken to the trench by Cullen.  Two employees were then at work in the trench pumping out water.  Freeman testified that he called the employees out of the trench, told project superintendent Nenna that the trench was unsafe, and that Nenna replied that he would take care of it.  Freeman testified that the trench was built beside an existing sewer line that ran alongside the trench, about three feet below the road surface.  Water was "seeping" in a "slow flow" downward from a joint in the existing sewer line.  Freeman did not conduct any soil tests but visually examined the soil and saw that the vertical side of the trench above the existing sewer pipe contained fill soil and that the soil beneath the sewer pipe was clay, some of which had fallen away from that side of the trench.

Nenna testified that he was at the jobsite every day and had the chance to observe the soil they were digging in.  He testified that the soil material they were encountering on the project consisted of sandy clays and rock.  When the job reached Darby Crescent road, the rock was about six feet down from the top of the trench.  As the work progressed, rock was encountered at increasingly lower levels.  Nenna acknowledged that by the time of the inspection the rock had disappeared or was at the lower part of the pipe being laid and the balance of the soil material was sandy clay.   At this same time Caruso was unable to continue to slope the trench wall as a result of the close proximity of the existing sewer line.  As a result, arrangements were being made on August 15 to bring in the trench box that had been used earlier in the project.  Nenna testified that he had been informed the night before the inspection that part of the trench wall had collapsed while Sterling was in the trench.  He had been told that the backhoe had knocked some dirt off the wall while it was being used to slope the wall.  On the basis of his examination of the soil in the trench, Nenna, who had experience with projects in which thousands of feet of pipes were laid, testified that it was stable.

Caruso called Kondner, a registered professional engineer, as an expert witness.  He testified that he visited Caruso's jobsite in early October, 1979, after the area had been backfilled.  He requested soil borings and the borings were put down in July, 1980.   Kondner testified that boring B-1 was taken about forty feet east of the original trench opening and boring B-2 was taken about thirty feet off the center line of the original trench opening.  The borings were taken at some distance from the site of the trench because he wanted the borings to be clear of underground utility lines and backfilled soil.

Boring B-1 revealed that the top portion of the earth at that site was composed of five feet of very stiff sandy clay.  The clay was underlain by weathered gneiss (rock) down to about 15-1/2 feet deep.  Boring B-2 revealed a top portion of about 3-1/2 feet of very stiff sandy clay with some silt and below that weathered gneiss rock down to about 15-1/2 feet.  Kondner testified that the sandy clay was very dense, very hard, and very stable, and was safe enough for a vertical trench wall.   He testified that, with reference to Table P-1 of section 1926.652, [[3]] the gneiss in the soil samples was very similar to shale and that the shear strength of the soil in the soil samples would be equivalent to Table P-1's "Solid Rock, Shale or Cemented Sand and Gravels" category.  "In fact," Kondner testified, "this [sample] material would be much better than cemented sand and gravel."  Kondner testified that although the borings did not duplicate the conditions in the trench with respect to water on the trench bottom, the water in the trench was a very minor circumstance and would not have weakened the trench.

Caruso's general manager, Crandall, testified that prior to the commencement of the project, of which this trench was just a small part, test borings were taken of the soil to be encountered.  The soil tested was a sandy gravel clay material and weathered gneiss. After those borings had been made Caruso used a backhoe to excavate in various areas of the project to check further on the type of soil.  The material excavated with the backhoe was very similar to the soil taken in the earlier borings.  The record does not indicate where the material excavated with the backhoe or the pre-commencement borings were taken in relation to the cited trench. Crandall testified that he had viewed the trench in this case and had observed the water in it.  He "felt we had a stable condition."

Judge Chalk vacated the section 1926.652(c) citation.  He stated that, under Table P-1, the sides of trenches composed of solid rock, shale or cemented sand or gravel, unlike hard or compact soil, require no protection and that the soil in this trench was equivalent to shale and cemented sands and gravel.  The judge credited Kondner's testimony that the test borings consisted of soil with a composition identical in stability to shale and cemented sand and gravel and that the trench walls consisted of material similar to that in the test borings, although Kondner never examined the material in the trench walls.  The judge also credited Kondner's opinion that the backfill material in the vertical trench side and the water in one side and the bottom of the trench would not affect the stability of the trench.  The judge concluded that the Secretary's evidence was not sufficient to establish that the sides of the trench consisted of hard or compact soil.  The judge acknowledged the fact that portions of the trench wall had collapsed into the trench on two occasions, but attributed this to the operation of a backhoe.  This conclusion was based on Nenna's account of what he was told about the incident, since Nenna was not present when the walls collapsed.

The Secretary petitioned for review of the judge's decision and review was granted on whether the judge erred in vacating the citation on the ground that the Secretary failed to establish that the sides of the trench were located in hard or compact soil.

The Secretary argues on review that section 1926.652(c) requires a trench to be shored, sloped, or otherwise protected regardless of soil stability, unless the trench falls within one of the limited exceptions in Table P-1 which accompanies the trenching standards. The Secretary contends that if a significant part of the material of a trench is soil the trench must be supported under section 1926.652(c) even if some portion of the trench wall is rock.  The Secretary argues that the soil in the trench was not safe, as evidenced by the testimony of employee Cullen, who witnessed the trench walls cave in.   The Secretary points out that the wall of the unsloped side of the trench contained backfill and suggests that this is a further indication that the trench was unsafe.  The Secretary next argues that the evidence demonstrates Caruso's violation of the standard was willful because Caruso acted with an intentional disregard of the requirements of section 1926.652(c).  The Secretary contends that Nenna knew that the trench was dug in clay, knew that the trench had vertical walls, and admitted to compliance officer Buchanan that the trench needed protective measures.

Caruso did not file a brief on review.

The Commission concludes that a violation has been established because the trench was dug in soil which is required by section 1926.652(c) to be "shored or otherwise supported when the trench is more than 5 feet in depth and 8 feet or more in length." Caruso essentially based its defense on testimony which attempted to show that the clay, weathered rock, and backfill in the trench were as stable as solid rock, shale, or cemented sand and gravels, the materials referred to in Table P-1 of section 1926.652 which do not require sloping or other protective measures.  See, e.g., Frank Irey Jr., Inc., 77 OSAHRC 192/F11, 5 BNA OSHC 2030, 1977-78 CCH OSHD 22,283 (No. 701, 1977).  However, the record does not support Caruso's argument that the soil in which the trench was dug was as stable as solid rock, shale, or cemented sand and gravel.  We find, as a matter of fact, that a preponderance of the evidence establishes that the soil was not stable.

Nenna, the person with the greatest degree of experience with soil characteristics who actually viewed the soil on the day of the inspection, testified that the soil was sandy clay with, perhaps, some weathered rock at the bottom of the trench.   A portion of the trench wall contained backfill.  This description is different from that of the conditions found at the test boring sites.  Moreover, Nenna admitted to the compliance officer that the trench needed to be supported and, in fact, made arrangements to bring in a trench box on the day prior to the inspection.  Cullen testified that the trench wall had caved in twice the day before the inspection while an employee was in the trench, and that Cullen had to dig the other employee out.  Freeman testified that water was seeping into the trench from a joint in the adjacent sewer line.  We find this evidence decisive, in view of the scarcely relevant and unpersuasive testimony of Caruso's expert witness, Kondner.  His soil samples were taken from areas at least 30 feet from where the trench was dug and do not reflect the unstable soil conditions in the walls of the trench as established by the testimony of Nenna, Cullen and Freeman.

The Commission further determines that Caruso committed a willful violation of the cited standard.  A violation is willful if it is committed with either an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the Act's requirements.  See, e.g., S. Zara and Sons Contracting Co., 82 OSAHRC 5/C9, 10 BNA OSHC 1334, 1982 CCH OSHD 25,892 (No. 78-2125, 1982), aff'd, No. 82-4050 (2d Cir. Sept. 17, 1982).

Caruso had been previously cited for violation of the same standard and was therefore familiar with the standard's requirements. Further, an OSHA compliance officer had explained the provisions of the trenching standards to Caruso's engineer, McCabe, about four months prior to the inspection in the course of inspecting another unprotected Caruso trench.  McCabe was the engineer on the project involved in this case.   Nenna, Caruso's superintendent on this project, had been superintendent of construction jobs in which many thousands of feet of pipe had been placed.  Nenna was at the jobsite every day.  He knew the OSHA trenching standards, and that the trench wall could no longer be sloped as before.  Further, Nenna had been told that the trench had collapsed on August 15 while Sterling was in the trench and recognized by that date that trench support was needed, yet Nenna permitted employees to go back into the trench on August 16 without any protection.  These facts amply demonstrate that Caruso either intentionally disregarded the terms of the cited standard or was plainly indifferent to them.

The Commission assesses a $3000 penalty.  The gravity of the violation was moderately high because the trench was 12-15 feet deep and could have seriously injured employees if it had collapsed.  Caruso's good faith and history are downgraded because this was a willful violation and Caruso had previously violated the same standard.  Caruso is a small employer; its stipulated average number of employees was 20.

Accordingly, the Commission finds a willful violation of the standard at section 1926.652(c), affirms the citation, and assesses a $3000 penalty.



DATED:  JUL 20 1984

ROWLAND, Chairman, dissenting:

In this case the Secretary alleged a violation of 29 C.F.R. 1926.652(c), which requires that the walls of a trench dug in soil characterized as "hard or compact" be supported or alternatively sloped to a specified degree.  The administrative law judge concluded that the soil was not hard or compact within the meaning of the cited standard because the evidence demonstrated that the materials comprising the trench walls was equivalent in stability to solid rock, shale, or cemented sand and gravel, which, as a table accompanying the standard recognizes, can stand vertically without additional support or sloping.  Thus, the judge essentially determined that the cited standard does not apply to the conditions in question.  The majority reverses the judge based on its view that the evidence does not support the judge's finding regarding the stability of the trench walls.  I respectfully dissent.

There is no dispute on the record regarding the composition of the trench walls.  Freeman, the only witness for the Secretary who described the soil type, characterized it as clay.  Although he took no soil samples, his testimony is not inconsistent with that of Caruso's witnesses, all of whom indicated that the soil included sand and clay with a layer of rock at some but not all locations. However, neither Freeman nor compliance officer Buchanan were shown to have any particular expertise with regard to determining soil stability.  Thus, Freeman indicated only that he has had prior experience with trench excavation work; the record does not show the duration of this experience or the specific type of work Freeman had performed.  At the time in question here, Freeman was a field representative for the union; it does not appear he was present on the jobsite on a daily basis.  Similarly, Buchanan had been a compliance officer for less than a year and had previously been employed as an inspector for a housing authority and as a fire inspector.  Caruso, on the other hand, presented the testimony not only of Nenna, who had extensive experience with excavations for sewer lines, but of two highly qualified engineers--Kondner, admitted as an expert, and Crandall, a civil engineer with prior experience in soil inspection and testing.  Nenna's opinion that the clay was like rock was based upon his familiarity with the trench on a daily basis.  Nenna specifically testified that the trench was left open at night and on weekends without any indications of collapse.  Crandall's opinion similarly was based on observations as well as on actual tests.  Finally, while Kondner did not view the trench during the time it was open, he was shown the photographs taken by the compliance officers. Testifying from these photographs, he described in considerable detail how characteristics of the trench walls reflected in the photographs supported his conclusion that the soil had the shear strength of solid rock, shale or cemented gravel.  In Kondner's opinion the sandy clay was "very dense and very hard material, very stable material."  He opined that the soil was safe enough for a vertical trench wall.

Despite the weight of Caruso's evidence, the majority finds the Secretary's evidence "decisive" and the testimony of Kondner "unpersuasive" and "scarcely relevant."  In my view, in reaching these conclusions the majority misinterprets the record, and its reason for not crediting Kondner's testimony is unsupportable.  Thus, the majority erroneously states that Nenna did not consider the trench walls to be stable whereas all of Nenna's testimony indicates directly to the contrary.  The majority relies on Buchanan's testimony of a statement made to him by Nenna regarding a need for protecting employees and efforts made by Nenna to obtain a trench box on the day prior to the inspection.  The majority neglects to mention that Nenna specifically testified that he did not agree with the compliance officer that the trench was unsafe[[1]] and that the purpose of securing the trench box on August 15 was to protect the existing sewer line from being broken during the excavation.  Similarly, the majority finds the trench not to have the stability of solid rock or cemented material based on Freeman's testimony of a source of water in the trench without explaining why it chooses to discredit Kondner's opinion that moisture from this source would not appreciably weaken the trench walls.[[2]]  The majority also states no reasons for its implicit rejection of the judge's finding that the loss of soil from the trench walls described by Cullen was due to operation of the backhoe despite Nenna's testimony that the backhoe was in the process of excavating the trench during the incident involving employee Sterling[[3]] and despite Kondner's testimony of situations in which the operation of a backhoe can pull material out of the side of a trench dug in material of the type in question here.

Finally, the majority clearly errs in concluding that Kondner's soil samples did not accurately reflect the conditions of the trench because they were taken in an area away from the exact location where the trench had been dug and because they showed a different soil composition than that to which Nenna testified.  The latter conclusion presumably is based on the fact that the soil samples did not show any backfill, [[4]] since in all other respects the soil samples show the same materials to which Nenna testified.  The record, however, plainly demonstrates that backfill was not present in the soil samples simply because Kondner elected to take samples in undisturbed soil.  Furthermore, Kondner's samples otherwise were consistent with the description of the trench material given by the other witnesses in the case as well as with the samples described by Crandall, which were taken along the projected line of the trench.   Kondner also related his opinion regarding the stability of the trench to the physical characteristics of the trench as shown in the Secretary's photographs.  Considering Kondner's qualifications, the basis for his opinion and the reasoning with which his opinion is supported, and the overall consistency of the testimony, his opinion is clearly entitled to weight.  See Horvitz Co., 84 OSAHRC , 11 BNA OSHC 1881, 1883, 1984 CCH OSHD 26,847, p. 34,388 (No. 81-992, 1984) (dissenting opinion).  Accordingly, the judge properly determined that the trench walls were composed of materials equivalent in stability to those materials which are not required under the standards to have additional support or sloping.

In Wright & Lopez, Inc., 81 OSAHRC 92/D10, 10 BNA OSHC 1108, 1981 CCH OSHD 25,728 (No. 76-256, 1981), the Commission affirmed a judge's decision that the list of materials not requiring sloping in Table P-1 was exclusive and that an employer would be required to slope the walls of a trench dug in another material not specified in the table regardless whether that material was shown to have the same stability characteristics as those expressly excluded.  The Commission reasoned that to conclude otherwise would be to question "the wisdom of the standard."  I did not participate in this decision.

In my view, Wright & Lopez was wrongly decided.  "Hard compact" soil is defined at section 1926.653(h) as "all earth materials not classified as running or unstable."  Section 1926.653(q) defines "unstable soil" as "earth material, other than running, that because of its nature or the influence of related conditions, cannot be depended upon to remain in place without extra support . . ." "Running" as used in these definitions is not itself defined.  Read literally, these definitions would indicate that all trench materials would have to come within one of three categories, "hard compact," "unstable," or "running."  Since substantive provisions of the trench standards require a degree of sloping or other means of support for both hard or compact soil and unstable soil, and since presumably "running" soil also would require support, [[5]] applying these definitions to the provisions for trench protection would lead to the conclusion that all trenches would have to be sloped or otherwise supported regardless of the nature of the material comprising the trench walls.  Such a conclusion, however, would be directly contrary to Table P-1, as well as to the definition of "angle of repose," [[6]] both of which indicate that some trenches, depending upon the nature of the material in which they are excavated, may not require any sloping whatever. [[7]]  Since the definitions are not totally consistent with the overall scheme of the standards, I conclude that it would be improper to apply the definition of "hard compact soil" strictly in determining what is meant by the phrase "hard or compact soil" appearing in section 1926.652(c).  There are no other provisions which may be used to give guidance as to what is meant by "hard or compact" except the language of section 1926.652(c) allowing trenches to be "sloped to preclude collapse" and the table and definition previously discussed regarding the concept of an "angle of repose."  Since section 1926.652(c) specifies a maximum slope of 1/2 to 1, or 63 degrees, I would conclude that to the extent the term "hard or compact" can be defined, it is limited to those materials which cannot stand at a steeper angle without support.  Accordingly, I agree with the judge's decision that section 1926.652(c) cannot be considered applicable to trenches dug in materials having an angle of repose, or maximum slope, greater than 63 degrees.  Since the evidence in this case established that the trench in question was dug in such material, the judge's decision should be affirmed.

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[[1]] The standard at section 1926.652(c) provides:

1926.652 Specific trenching requirements.

* * *

(c) Sides of trenches in hard or compact soil, including embankments, shall be shored or otherwise supported when the trench is more than 5 feet in depth and 8 feet or more in length.  In lieu of shoring, the sides of the trench above the 5-foot level may be sloped to preclude collapse, but shall not be steeper than a 1-foot rise to each 1/2-foot horizontal.  When the outside diameter of a pipe is greater than 6 feet, a bench of 4-foot minimum shall be provided at the toe of the sloped portion.

[[2]] The citation for a willful violation of section 1926.652(c) read:

The side(s) of the trench(es) in hard or compact soil, including embankment(s), were not shored or otherwise supported when the trench was more than 5 feet in depth and more than 8 feet in length:

a) Darby Crescent Road, Prospect Park, Pennsylvania 19076 -- trench used for sanitary storm sewer measuring approximately thirteen feet deep and fifty feet long (observed 8/16/79).

An $8000 penalty was proposed.

[[3]] Table P-1 is entitled "Approximate Angle of Repose for Sloping of Sides of Excavations."  Section 1926.653(b) defines "Angle of repose" as "The greatest angle above the horizontal plane at which a material will lie without sliding."  Table P-1 shows a 90 degree angle of repose for "Solid Rock, Shale or Cemented Sand and Gravels."

[[1]] This testimony refers to a conversation Nenna had with another compliance officer regarding a different portion of the trench which is not in issue in the case now before us.  The judge's decision, however, indicates that he did not consider Buchanan's testimony that Nenna admitted the trench was unsafe to be credible.  Since Nenna's overall testimony clearly demonstrates that he considered the trench in issue to be safe, the evidence supports the judge's credibility finding.

[[2]] The majority fails to note that Freeman's testimony regarding the source of the moisture may itself be inadequate.  As previously indicated, Freeman was not present at the jobsite on a daily basis.  Nenna, who was, stated that the water in the trench was caused by a break in an existing storm sewer pipe located beneath the base of the trench as well as by the high water table in the area.  Kondner, when asked to testify regarding the effect of water entering the trench, explained that water coming through the loose gravel bedding of the trench would not weaken the trench and did not indicate any general ground water condition.  In his words, this water "would have [a] very insignificant effect upon the cohesion."

[[3]] While as the majority indicates Nenna based his description of what had occurred on information given him by the job foreman, it is clear that he considered the foreman's statements reliable because he knew that the backhoe would have been in the process of removing material from the trench at this time.  Cullen also described another incident, which Nenna
did not specifically address, when soil fell while he was present in the trench.  However, it appears the backhoe was in operation during this occasion as well.

[[4]] It is not clear from the majority's opinion whether it regards the presence of backfill as diminishing the stability of the trench walls.  The record indicates that the utility lines alongside the trench had been installed about 20 years earlier.  According to Kondner, backfill for excavations of that age were subject to very stringent compaction criteria and specifications.  Considering the degree of original compaction, the length of time the backfill had been in place and the weight of traffic passing by on the roadway, Kondner stated that there was "absolutely no question" that the backfill material itself "would have reached total stability and shear strength."

In this regard, I note that the Secretary contends that the Commission presumes that backfilled areas are inherently less stable than virgin soil, citing Wright & Lopez, Inc., 81 OSAHRC 92/D10, 10 BNA OSHC 1108, 1981 CCH OSHD 25,728 (No. 76-256, 1981) and Boh Bros. Constr. Co., 76 OSAHRC 142/A2, 4 BNA OSHC 1879, 1976-77 CCH OSHD 21,336 (No. 7184, 1976).
Wright & Lopez is distinguishable because there was no evidence in that case demonstrating the stability of the fill and thus the Commission had no occasion to consider whether backfill should be regarded as a less stable material in all situations.   Boh Bros. consisted of three separate opinions; only Commissioner Cleary relied on the presence of backfill in deciding the case.  In contrast, Commission precedent clearly recognizes that backfill will not be presumed to present a hazard when there is specific evidence in a particular case demonstrating the rigidity and strength of the backfill.  See Seaward Constr. Co., 77 OSAHRC 75/C5, 5 BNA OSHC 1422, 1977-78 CCH OSHD 21,803 (No. 8684, 1977); Shane, Inc., 77 OSAHRC 37/E11, 5 BNA OSHC 1217, 1977-78 CCH OSHD 21,694 (No. 13136, 1977).

[[5]] The standard at issue in this case dealing with hard or compact soil is quoted in note 1 of the lead opinion.  Section 1926.652(b) requires that trenches in "unstable or soft material" be sloped or otherwise supported and refers to Table P-1.  That table, as note 3 of the lead opinion indicates, is concerned with the maximum angle at which a particular type of trench material will remain in place without moving.  Using normal definitions of the term "running" one would have to conclude that "running" soil, that is, soil in motion, is not properly sloped and therefore requires some other means of support.

[[6]] See note 3 of the lead opinion.

[[7]] The Commission has said, and I agree, that Table P-1 is only illustrative.  Seaward Constr. Co., supra, note 4.  See Pipe-Rite Utilities Ltd., 82 OSAHRC 3/B1, 10 BNA OSHC 1289, 1982 CCH OSHD 25,877 (No. 79-234, 1982).  This is not to suggest, however, that the table cannot be used as a guide in determining the meaning of the substantive standards.