Construction Industry Standards Digest

Hospital Safety Center Website, June 25, 2007


This chapter provides a digest of construction safety and health standards under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. It is a handy guide, in alphabetical order, to some of the worker protection requirements that employers face. It identifies areas that are regulated under OSHA's construction industry standards. General industry standards (29 CFR 1910) applicable to construction are inserted in the digest as editor's notes where appropriate.

While the digest should not be considered a definitive guide to all of the requirements for construction safety, it provides a convenient starting point for determining what the specific requirements are. The digest, reproduced from OSHA documents, also includes references to the specific sections of standards that should be reviewed for compliance.

[Editor's note: American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards incorporated by reference into OSHA standards are updated occasionally. OSHA's enforcement policy, however, is to enforce the ANSI standards originally incorporated. Any citations for violation based on non-compliance with new versions of ANSI standards will be considered de minimis.]


[1] Abrasive Grinding

  • a. All abrasive wheel bnch and stand grinders must be provided with safety guards which cover the spindle ends, nut and flange projections, and are strong enough to withstand the effects of a bursting wheel (29 CFR 1926.303(b) & (c)(1)).
  • b. An adjustable work rest of rigid construction must be used on floor and bench-mounted grinders with the work rest kept adjusted to a clearance not to exceed 1/8 inch between rest and the surface of the wheel (29 CFR 1926.303(c)(2)).
  • c. All abrasive wheels must be closely inspected and ring-tested before mounting to ensure that they are free from defects (29 CFR 1926.303(c)(7)).

[Editor's note: Use of cutoff machines having more than 150 degrees but no more than 180 degrees angular exposure should be cited only as a de minimis violation. (OSHA Instruction STD 1-12.26A, Sept. 26, 1994).]

[2] Access to Medical and Exposure Records

  • a. Each employer must permit employees, their representatives, and OSHA direct access to employer-maintained exposure and medical records on exposure to toxic substances and harmful physical agents (29 CFR 1910.1020(a) & (b)(4)).
  • b. Each employer must preserve and maintain accurate medical and exposure records for each employee. Exposure records and data analyses based on them must be kept for 30 years. Medical records must be kept for the duration of employment plus 30 years. Background data for exposure records such as laboratory reports and work sheets must be kept for one year. Records for employees who have worked for less than one year need not be kept, provided the employer gives the records to the employee upon termination. First-aid records of one-time treatment also need not be retained (29 CFR 1910.1020(d)).

[3] Accident Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements

  • a. Each employer must maintain a log and summary (OSHA Form No. 200 or equivalent) of all recordable injuries and illnesses (resulting in a fatality, hospitalization, lost workdays, medical treatment, job transfer or termination, or loss of consciousness), and enter each recordable event no later than six working days after receiving the information. Where the complet log and summary records are maintained at a place other than the worksite, a copy of the current log must be available at the worksite which reflects the injury and illness experience of that worksite which is complete and current for the last 45 calendar days (29 CFR 1904.2(a) & (b)(2)).
  • b. In addition to the log of occupational injuries and illnesses, each employer must have available for inspection at each worksite, within six working days after notification of a recordable case, a supplementary record (OSHA Form No. 101 or equivalent) for each occupational injury or illness for that establishment (29 CFR 1904.4).
  • c. Each employer must post an annual summary of occupational injuries and illnesses for each establishment, compiled from the collected Form 200s. The summary must include the year's totals, calendar year covered, company name, establishment name and address, certification signature, title, and date. OSHA Form 200 must be used in presenting the summary. The summary must be posted in the workplace by February 1, and must remain in place until March 1 (29 CFR 1904.5).
  • d. The log and summary, the supplementary record, and the annual summary must be retained in each establishment for five years following the end of the year to which they relate. Records must be made available, as authorized, upon request (29 CFR 1904.6 & 1904.7(a) &(b)).

[Editor's note: Certain establishments classified as retail trades, finance, insurance, real estate, and services may be exempt from the requirement for maintaining records relating to occupational illness and injuries. (See 29 CFR 1904.16, Establishments, Classified in Standard Industrial Classification Codes 52-89, except 52-54, 70, 75, 76, 79, and 80.]
e. Within eight hours after its occurrence, an employment accident that is fatal to one or more employees or which results in the hospitalization of three or more employees must be reported by the employer, either by telephone or in person, to the nearest OSHA Area Director (29 CFR 1904.8).

[4] Air Tools

  • a. Pneumatic power tools must be secured to the hose or whip to prevent accidental disconnection(29 CFR 1926.302(b)(1)).
  • b. Safety clips or retainers must be securely installed and maintained on p eumatic impact tools to prevent attachments from being accidentally expelled (29 CFR 1926.302(b)(2)).
  • c. The manufacturer's safe operating pressure for all fittings must be maintained (29 CFR 1926.302(b)(5)).
  • d. All hoses exceeding 1/2 inch inside diameter must have a safety device at the source of supply or branch line to reduce pressure in case of hose failure (29 CFR 1926.302(b)(7)).

[5] Asbestos

  • a. The employer must ensure that no employee is exposed (1) to an airborne concentration of asbestos in excess of 0.1 fiber per cubic centimeter of air as an eight hour time-weighted average or (2) to the excursion limit of 1.0 fiber per cubic centimeter of air averaged over a 30-minute sampling period (29 CFR 1926.1101(c)(1)).
  • b. The employer must use vacuum cleaners equipped with HEPA filters, wet methods, and prompt clean-up when working with asbestos. Other work practices are required according to the class of work being performed (29 CFR 1926.1101(g)).
  • c. Every employer must make sure that a "competent person"conducts an exposure assessment before the operation to determine expected exposures (29 CFR 1926.1101(f)(2)).
  • d. Respirators must be used:
    • While feasible engineering and work practice controls are being installed or implemented.
    • During maintenance and repair activities or other activities where engineering and work practice controls are not feasible.
    • If feasible engineering and work practice controls are insufficient to reduce employee exposure. In emergencies (29 CFR 1926.1101(h)(1)).
    • In emergencies(29 CFR 1926.1101(h)(1)).
  • e. The employer must provide and require the use of protective clothing such as coveralls or similar whole body clothing, head coverings, gloves, and foot coverings for any employee exposure to asbestos that exceeds the time-weighted averaged and/or excursion limit (29 CFR 1926.1101(i)).
  • f. The employer must institute a medical surveillance program for all employees engaged in work involving asbestos, at or above the action level and/or excursion limit who for a combined total of 30 or more days per year are engaged in Class I, II, and III work or who are exposed at or above the permissible exposure limit or excursion limit, and for employees who are required to wear negative pressure respirators (29 CFR 1926.1101(m)(1)(i)).

[6] Belt Sanding Machines

  • a. Belt sanding machines must be provided with guards at each nip point where the sanding belt runs onto a pulley (29 CFR 1926.304(f)).
  • b. The unused run of the sanding belt must be guarded against accidental contact (29 CFR 1926.304(f)).

[Editor's note: Violations of the standard will be considered de minimis where the following precautions have been taken:

  • Guarding is provided on one side of the sander at the nip point where the sanding belt runs into the pulley.
  • Handles are placed so that a barrier interrupts any straight line path between the gripping surface of a handle and the nip point of a pulley.
  • The unused run of the sanding belt is guarded on one side and at the rear.

This modified form of guarding permits flush sanding at corners and provides for operator safety (OSHA Instruction STD 1-13.4, August 1981).]

[7] Chains

 (See Wire Ropes, Chains, Hooks, etc. No. 71)

[8] Compressed Air, Use of

  • a. Compressed air used for cleaning purposes must not exceed 30 pounds per square inch and then only with effective chip guarding and personal protective equipment (29 CFR 1926.302(b)(4)).
  • b. This requirement does not apply to concrete form, mill scale, and similar cleaning operations (29 CFR 1926.302(b)(4)).

[Editor's note: Safety valves and new air receivers should conform to requirements of the A.S.M.E. Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII Edition 1968. Air receivers should be installed so that all drains, handholes, and manholes are easily accessible. Air receivers should be supported and have sufficient clearance to permit inspection and avoid corrosion. The receiver should be located as close as possible to the compressor or aftercooler. A drain pipeand valve should be installed at the lowest point of every air receiver which should be drained frequently. Under no circumstances must an air receiver be buried underground or located in an inaccessible place. Every air receiver should be equipped with an indicating pressure gage and with one or more spring-loaded safety valves. No valve should be placed between the air receiver and its safety valve. Safety valves should be tested regularly (29 CFR 1910.169, Air receivers).]

[9] Compressed Gas Cylinders

  • a. Valve protection caps must be in place when compressed gas cylinders are transported, moved, or stored (29 CFR 1926.350(a)(1)).
  • b. Cylinder valves must be closed when work is finished and when cylinders are empty or are moved (29 CFR 1926.350(a)(8)).
  • c. Compressed gas cylinders must be secured in an upright position at all times, except if necessary for short periods of time when cylinders are actually being hoisted or carried (29 CFR 1926.350(a)(9)).
  • d. Cylinders must be kept at safe distance or shielded from welding or cutting operations. Cylinders must be placed where they cannot become part of an electrical circuit (29 CFR 1926.350(b)(1) & (2)).
  • e. Oxygen and fuel gas regulators must be in proper working order while in use (29 CFR 1926.350(h)).
  • f. For additional details not covered in this subpart, applicable technical portions of American National Standards Institute, Z-49.1-1967, Safety in Welding and Cutting, must apply (29 CFR 1926.350(j)).

[10] Concrete and Masonry Construction

  • a. Construction loads must not be placed on a concrete structure unless a person qualified in structural design certifies that the concrete structure can support construction loads (29 CFR 1926.701(a)).
  • b. All exposed reinforcing steel must be bent or covered to prevent impalement or injury to workers (29 CFR 1926.701(b)).
  • c. Only essential employees should be permitted to be behind the jack during tensioning operations. Also, signs and barriers must be erected to limit employee access to the area (29 CFR 1926.701(c)).
  • d. Employees must be prohibited from riding concrete buckets or working under the buckets while the buckets are being elevated or lowered into position. Whenever practical, elevated buckets must be routed so that the fewest possible employees are exposed to the danger of falling buckets (29 CFR 1926.701(e)(1) &(2)).
  • e. Formwork must be designed, fabricated, erected, supported, braced, and maintained so that it will support all vertical and leral loads that may reasonably be anticipated to be applied to the formwork (29 CFR 1926.703(a)(1)).
  • f. Forms and shores (except those used for slabs on grade and slip forms) must not be removed until the employer determines that the concrete has gained sufficient strength to support its weight and superimposed loads. Such determination must be based on compliance with one of the following (29 CFR 1926.703(e)(1)):
    • The plans and specifications stipulate conditions for removal of forms and shores, and such conditions have been followed.
    • The concrete has been properly tested with an appropriate American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) standard test method designed to indicate the concrete compressive strength, and the test results indicate that the concrete has gained sufficient strength to support its weight and superimposed loads.
  • g. A limited access zone must be established whenever a masonry wall is being constructed. The limited access zone must (29 CFR 1926.706(a)(1) through (5):
    • Be established prior to the start of construction of the wall.
    • Be equal in height to the height of the wall to be constructed plus 4 feet, and must run the entire wall.
    • Be established on the side of the wall which will be unscaffolded.
    • Be restricted to entry by employees actively engaged in constructing the wall. No other employees must be permitted to enter the zone.
    • Remain in place until the wall is adequately supported to prevent overturning and to prevent collapse unless the height of a wall is more than 8 feet, in which case the limited access zone must remain in place until the wall is adequately braced.
  • h. All masonry walls 8 feet or higher, must be adequately braced to prevent overturning and to prevent collapse unless the wall is adequately supported so that it will not overturn or collapse. The bracing must remain in place until permanent supporting elements of the structure are in place (29 CFR 1926.706(b)).

[11] Cranes and Derricks

  • a. The employer must comply with the manufacturer's specifications and limitations where available (29 CFR 1926.550(a)(1)).
  • b. Rated load capacities, recommended operating speeds, and special hazard warnings or instructions must be conspicuously posted on all equipment. Instructions or warnings must be visible from the operator's station (29 CFR 1926.550(a)(2)).
  • c. Equipment must be inspected by a competent person before each use and during use, and all deficiencies corrected before further use (29 CFR 1926.550(a)(5)).
  • d. Accessible areas within the swing radius of the rear of the rotating superstructure must be properly barricaded to prevent employees from being struck or crushed by the crane (29 CFR 1926.550(a)(9)).
  • [Editor's note: Accessible areas within the swing of the rear of the rotating superstructure of the crane are meant to be those areas within the 360 degrees of travel (OSHA Instruction STD 3-12.2, October 1978).]
    e. Except where electrical distribution and transmission lines have been de-energized and visibly grounded at point of work, or where insulating barriers not a part of or an attachment to the equipment or machinery have been erected to prevent physical contact with the lines, no part of a crane or its load must be operated within 10 feet of a line rated 50 kilovolts or below; 10 feet + 0.4 inches for each 1 kilovolts over 50 kilovolts for lines rated over 50 kilovolts; or twice the length of the line insulator, but never less than 10 feet (29 CFR 1926.550(a)(15)).

    [Editor's note: For lines rated 50 kilovolts or below, minimum clearance between the lines and any part of the crane or load should be 10 feet. The minimum clearance of 10 feet applies in any direction from any applicable line. This interpretation of the standard excludes extending the minimum clearance due to the height of the lines or the height of any part of the crane or load (OSHA Instruction STD 3-12.1A, May 1980).]
    f. An annual inspection of the hoisting machinery must be made by a competent person or by a government or private agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor. Records must be kept of the dates and results of each inspection (29 CFR 1926.550(a)(6)).

  • g. All crawler, truck, or locomotive cranes in use must meet the requirements as prescribed in the ANSI B30.5-1968, Safety Code for Crawler, Locomotive, and Truck Cranes (29 CFR 1926.550(b)(2)).
  • h. The use of a crane or derrick to hoist employees on a personnel platform is prohibited, except when the erection, use, and dismantling of conventional means of reaching the worksite, such as a personnel hoist, ladder, stairway, aerial lift, elevation work platform, or scaffold would be more hazardous, or is not possible because of structural design or worksite conditions. (29 CFR 1926.550(g)(2)).

[12] Demolition

  • a. A qualified person must conduct an engineering survey before demolition operations can begin. The person conducting the survey must determine the condition of the walls, framing, and floors and determine the possibility of an unplanned collapse of any part of the structure. Adjacent structures where employees might be affected must also be checked for structural integrity. The employer must have written evidence that this survey has been completed. (29 CFR 1926.850(a)).
  • b. When employees are required to work in a building that has been damaged by causes such as fire, flood, or explosion, the walls or floor must be braced or shored. (29 CFR 1926.850(b)).
  • c. If power, water, or other utilities are necessary during demolition, the lines must be temporarily relocated and protected. (29 CFR1926.850(b)).
  • d. Demolition of exterior walls must begin at the top of the structure and proceed downward, except for the cutting of holes in floors for chutes and materials drops, preparation of storage space, and similar preparatory work. Each story of exterior wall and floor construction must be removed and dropped into the storage space before removing exterior wall and floors in the story below. (29 CFR 1926.850(j)).
  • e. Masonry walls or other sections of masonry must not fall on the building floors in masses that exceed the floors' safe carrying capacities. ( 29 CFR 1926.854(a)).
  • f. When floor arches are being removed, employees must not be allowed in the area directly underneath. Such an area must be barricaded so that access is prevented. (29 CFR 1926.855(f)).
  • g. When balling or clamming is being performed, no workers may go in any area that can be adversely affected by the demolition operations. Only those workers necessary for the performance of the operations may be permitted in this area at any other time. (29 CFR 1926.859(a)).

[13] Disposal Chutes

  • a. Whenever materials are dropped more than 20 feet to any exterior point of a building, an enclosed chute must be used (29 CFR 1926.252(a)).
  • b. When debris is dropped through holes in the floor without the use of chutes, the area where the material is dropped must be enclosed with barricades not less than 42 inches high and not less than 6 feet back from the projected edges of the opening above. Warning signs of the hazard of falling material must be posted at each level (29 CFR 1926.252(b)).

[14] Drinking Water

  • a. An adequate supply of potable water must be provided in all places of employment (29 CFR 1926.51(a)(1)).
  • b. Portable drinking water containers must be capable of being tightly clos d and be equipped with a tap (29 CFR 1926.51(a)(2)).
  • c. The common drinking cup is prohibited (29 CFR 1926.51(a)(4)).
  • d. Unused disposable cups must be kept in sanitary containers, and a receptacle must be provided for used cups (29 CFR 1926.51(a)(5)).

[Editor's note: "Potable water" means water which meets the standards prescribed in the U.S. Public Health Service Drinking Water Standards, or water which is approved by the state or local authority having jurisdiction.

Every workplace must provide for vermin control. An extermination program must be instituted if necessary.

No employee should be allowed to consume food or beverages in a toilet room or in any area exposed to a toxic material.

Where food service is provided, the food should be wholesome, free from spoilage, and protected against contamination (29 CFR 1910.141, Sanitation).]

[15] Electrical -Installations/Grounding

  • a. Electrical installations made in accordance with the 1984 National Electrical Code are considered to be in compliance with OSHA's electrical standards for construction, except that employers must provide either ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) or an assured equipment grounding conductor program to protect employees from ground-fault hazards at construction sites (29 CFR 1926.402(a), .404(b)(1)).
  • b. All electrical equipment must be approved and examined to ensure that it is free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees (29 CFR 1926.403(a)& (b)(1)).
  • c. For 15- and 20-ampere receptacle outlets on single-phase, 120-volt circuits for construction sites which are not a part of the permanent wiring of the building or structure, the employer must use either ground-fault circuit interrupters or an assured equipment grounding conductor program for protection (29 CFR 1926.404(b)(1)(i) & (ii)).
  • d. An assured equipment grounding conductor program must include the following ( 29 CFR 1926.404(b)(1)(iii)):
    • An assured equipment grounding conductor program must cover all cord sets, receptacles which are not a part of the permanent wiring of the building or structure, and equipment connected by cord and plug. A written description of the program, including the specific procedures for the required equipment inspections, tests, and test schedules, must be available at the jobsite. The employer must designate one or more competent persons to implement the program.
    • Each cord set, attachment cap, plug and receptacle of cord sets, and any equipment connected by cord and plug, except cord sets and receptacles which are fixed and not exposed to damage, must be inspected before each day's use for external defects and possible internal damage.
    • Tests must be performed on all cord sets, receptacles which are not a part of the permanent wiring of the building or structure, and cord- and plug- connected equipment required to be grounded. Grounding conductors must be tested for continuity. Each receptacle and attachment cap or plug must be tested for correct attachment of the equipment grounding conductor.
    • The tests are required before first use, after any repairs, after damage is suspected to have occurred, and at three-month intervals. Cord sets and receptacles which are fixed and not exposed to damage must be tested at six-month intervals. Any equipment that fails the required tests must not be made available for use by employees.
    • Tests must be recorded and the records must be maintained until replaced by a current record. The test records must identify each receptacle, cord set, and cord- and plug-connected equipment that passed the test, and must indicate the last date it was tested or the interval for which it was tested. The written program description and the recorded tests must be available on the jobsite for inspection, upon request, by OSHA or any affected employee.
  • e. Lamps for general illumination must be protected from breakage, and metal shell sockets must be grounded (29 CFR 1926.405(a)(ii)(E)).
  • f. Temporary lights must not be suspended by their cords, unless they are so designed ( 29 CFR 1926.405(a)(ii)(F)).
  • g. Portable lighting used in wet or conductive locations, such as tanks or boilers, must be operated at no more than 12 volts or must be protected by GFCIs(29 CFR 1926.405(a)(ii)(G)).
  • h. Extension cords must be of the three-wire type. Extension cords and flexible cords used with temporary and portable lights must be designed for hard or extra-hard usage (e.g., types S, ST, and SO)(29 CFR 1926.405(a)(ii)(J)).

[16] Electrical-Work Practices

  • a. Employers must not allow employees to work near live parts of electrical circuits, unless they are protected by (29 CFR 1926.416(a)(1)):
    • De-energizing and grounding the parts.
    • Guarding the part by insulation.
    • Any other effective means.
  • b. In work areas where the exact location of underground electrical power lines is unknown, employees using jack hammers, bars, or other hand tools that may contact the lines must be protected by insulating gloves (29 CFR 1926.416(a)(2)).
  • c. Barriers or other means of guarding must be used to ensure that workspace for electrical equipment will not be used as a passageway during periods when energized parts of equipment are exposed (29 CFR 1926.416(b)).
  • d. Worn or frayed electrical cords or cables must not be used. Extension cords must not be fastened with staples, hung from nails, or suspended by wire (29 CFR 1926.416(e)(1) & (2)).
  • e. Equipment or circuits that are de-energized must be rendered inoperative and must have tags attached at all points where the equipment or circuits could be energized (29 CFR 1926.417(b)).
  • f. The noncurrent-carrying metal parts of fixed, portable and plug-connected equipment must be grounded. Portable tools and appliances protected by an approved system of double insulation need not be grounded (29 CFR 1926.404(f)(7)(iv)).
  • g. The path from circuits, equipment, structures, and conduit or enclosures to ground must be permanent and continuous and have ample carrying capacity for the purpose (29 CFR 1926.404(f)(6)).

[17] Excavating and Trenching

  • a. Before opening any excavation, efforts must be made including utility company contact to determine if there are underground utilities in the area, andthey must be located and supported during the excavation operations (29 CFR 1926.651(a)).
  • b. The walls and faces of trenches 5 feet or more deep and all excavations, in which employees are exposed to danger from moving ground or cave-in must be guarded by a shoring system, sloping of the ground, or some other equivalent means (29 CFR 1926.651(c) & 652(a) &(b)).
  • c. In excavations which employees may be required to enter, excavated or other material must be effectively stored and retained at least 2 feet or more from the edge of the excavation (29 CFR 1926.651(i)(1)).
  • d. Daily inspections of excavations must be made by a competent person. If evidence of possible cave-ins or slides is apparent, all work in the excavation must cease until the necessary precautions have been taken to safeguard the employees (29 CFR 1926.650(i)).
  • e. Trenches 4 feet deep or more must have an adequate means of exit such as ladders or steps located so as to require no more than 25 feet of lateral travel (29 CFR 1926.652(h)).

[18] Explosives and Blasting

  • a. Only authorized and qualified persons may be permitted to handle and use explosives (29 CFR 1926.900(a)).
  • b. Explosive material must be stored in approved facilities as required by provisions of the Internal Revenue Service regulations published in 27 CFR 181, Commerce in Explosives ( 29 CFR 1926.904(a)).
  • c. Smoking and open flames must not be permitted within 50 feet of explosives and detonator storage magazines (29 CFR 1926.904(c)).
  • d. Procedures that permit safe and efficient loading must be established before loading is started(29 CFR 1926.905(a)).

[Editor's note: Buildings used for the mixing of blasting agents and water gels should be of non- ombustible construction or sheet metal on wood studs. The floors should be of concrete or other nonabsorbent material. Fuel oil storage facilities should be separated from the mixing plant and located so that oil will drain away from the building in case of tank rupture. The building should be well ventilated. Properly designed heating units that do not depend on combustion processes may be used in the building. All direct sources of heat should be provided from units outside the building. Internal combustion engines used for electric power generation should be located outside the building, or should be ventilated and isolated by a firewall. Exhaust systems on such engines should be located so that there is no hazard from sparks to adjacent material.

When loading blasting agents pneumatically over electric blasting caps, semiconductive delivery hose should be used and the equipment should be bonded and grounded. Semiconductive hose is defined by OSHA as a hose with an electrical resistance high enough to limit flow of stray electric currents to safe levels, yet not so high as to prevent drainage of static electric charges to ground. A hose of not more than two megohms resistance over its entire length and of not less than 5,000 ohms per foot meets the requirement (29 CFR 1910.109, Explosives and blasting agents).

[19] Eye and Face Protection

  • a. Eye and face protection must be provided when machines or operations present potential eye or face injury (29 CFR 1926.102(a)(1)).
  • b. Eye and face protective equipment must meet the requirements of ANSI Z87.1 -1968, Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection (29 CFR 1926.102(a)(2)).
  • c. Employees involved in welding operations must be furnished with filter lenses or plates of at least the proper shade number (29 CFR 1926.102(b)(1)).
  • d. Employees exposed to laser beams must be furnished suitable laser safety goggles, which will protect for the specific wavelength of the laser and be of an optical density (O.D.) adequate for the energy involved (29 CFR 1926.102(b)(2)).

[20] Fall Protection

  • a. Fall protection must be provided in all construction workplaces covered under 29 CFR 1926, except when employees are inspecting the workplace before the start of work or after all work has been completed (29 CFR 1926.500(a)).
  • b. Employers must determine if the surfaces on which employees work have the strength to support them (29 CFR 1926.501(a)(2)).
  • c. Employers have a duty to provide fall protection when employees are at risk of falling 6 feet or more. Generally, fall protection can be provided through the use of guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems (29 CFR 1926.501(1) to (15)).
  • d. The employer must provide a training program for each employee exposed to fall hazards (29 CFR 1926.503(a)).

[21] Fire Protection

  • a. A fire fighting program is to be followed throughout all phases of construction and demolition work. It must provide effective fire fighting equipment to be available without delay, and effectively meet all fire hazards as they occur ( 29 CFR 1926.150(a)(1)).
  • b. Fire fighting equipment must be conspicuously located and readily accessible at all times, must be periodically inspected, and be maintained in operating condition (29 CFR 1926.150(a)(2), (3) &(4)).
  • c. Carbon tetrachloride and other toxic vaporizing liquid fire extinguishers are prohibited ( 29 CFR 1926.150(c)(1)(vii)).
  • d. If the building includes the installation of automatic sprinkler protection, the installation must closely follow the construction and be placed in service, as soon as applicable laws permit, following completion of each story (29 CFR 1926.150(d)(1)).
  • e. A fire extinguisher, rated not less than 2A, must be provided for each 3,000 square feet of the protected building area, or major fraction thereof. Travel distance from any point of the protected area to the nearest fire extinguisher must not exceed 100 feet( 29 CFR 1926.150(c)(1)(i)).
  • f. One or more fire extinguishers, rated not less than 2A, must be provided on each floor. In multistory buildings, at least one fire extinguisher must be located adjacent to stairway (29 CFR 1926.150(c)(1)(iv)).
  • g. The employer must establish an alarm system at the work site so that employees and the local fire department can be alerted for an emergency (29 CFR 1926.150(e)(1)).

[22] Flagmen

  • a. When signs, signals, and barricades do not provide necessary protection on or adjacent to a highway or street, flagmen or other appropriate traffic controls must be provided (29 CFR 1926.201(a)(1)).
  • b. Flagmen must be provided with and must wear a red or orange warning garment while flagging. Warning garments worn at night must be of reflectorized material (29 CFR 1926.201(a)(4)).

[23] Flammable and Combustible Liquids

  • a. Only approved containers and portable tanks must be used for storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids (29 CFR 1926.152(a)(1)).
  • b. No more than 25 gallons of flammable or combustible liquids may be stored in a room outside of an approved storage cabinet. No more than 60 gallons of flammable or 120 gallons of combustible liquids may be stored in any one storage cabinet. No more than three storage cabinets may be located in a single storage area (29 CFR 1926.152(b)(1) & (3)).
  • c. Inside storage rooms for flammable and combustible liquids must be of fire-resistive construction, have self-closing fire doors at all openings, four-inch sills or depressed floors, a ventilation system that provides at least six air changes within the room per hour, and electrical wiring and equipment approved for Class I, Division 1 locations (29 CFR 1926.152(b)(4)).
  • d. Storage in containers outside buildings must not exceed 1,100 gallons in any one pile or area. The storage area must be graded to divert possible spills away from buildings or other exposures, or must be surrounded by a curb or dike. Storage areas must be located at least 20 feet from any building and must be free from weeds, debris, and other combustible materials not necessary to the storage ( 29 CFR 1926.152(c)(1), (3), (4) & (5)).
  • e. Flammable liquids must be kept in closed containers when not actually in use (29 CFR 1926.152(f)(1)).
  • f. Conspicuous and legible signs prohibiting smoking must be posted in service and refueling areas ( 29 CFR 1926.152(g)(9)).

[Editor's note:Marine service stations are required to locate their dispensing units at least 20 feet from fixed sources of ignition. Dispensing nozzles must be automatic-closing. Dispensing units may be located on open piers, wharves, or floating docks or on shore or on piers of the solid fill type. Tanks and pumps not integral with the dispensing unit should be on shore or on a pier of the solid fill type. Where tanks are at an elevation that would produce a gravity head on the dispensing unit, the tank outlet should be equipped with a pressure control valve. Piping should be located so as to be protected from physical damage. Piping that handles Class I liquids should be grounded to control stray currents (29 CFR 1910.106, Flammable and combustible liquids).

The design and construction of tanks should be in accordance with OSHA standards (29 CFR 1910.106(b), Tank storage).

The design (including selection of materials), fabrication, assembly, test, and inspection of piping systems containing flammable or combustible liquids should be suitable for the expected working pressures and structural stresses. Conformity with the applicable provisions of Pressure Piping, ANSI B31 series and OSHA requirements is considered prima facie evidence of compliance (29 CFR 1910.106(c) , Piping, valves and fittings).]

[24] Floor Openings, Open Sides, Hatchways, etc

a. Floor openings must be guarded by a standard railing and toeboards or cover. In general, the railing must be provided on all exposed sides, except at entrances to stairways (29 CFR 1926.500(b)(1)).
  • b. Every open-sided floor or platform six feet or more above adjacent floor or ground level must be guarded by a standard railing, or the equivalent, on all open sides except where there is entrance to a ramp, stairway, or fixed ladder (29 CFR 1926.500(d)(1)).
  • c. Runways four feet or higher must have standard railings on all open sides, except runways 18 inches or wider used exclusively for special purposes may have the railing only on one side where operating conditions necessitate (29 CFR 1926.500(d)(2) & (3)).
  • d. Ladderway floor openings or platforms must be guarded by standard railings with standard toeboards on all exposed sides, except at entrance to opening, with the passage through the railing provided either with a swinging gate or offset so that workers cannot walk directly into the opening( 29 CFR 1926.500(b)(2)).
  • e. Temporary floor openings must have standard railings (29 CFR 1926.500(b)(7)).
  • f. Floor holes into which workers can accidentally walk must be guarded either by a standard railing with standard toeboards on all exposed sides, or a standard floor hole cover. When the cover is not in place, the floor hole must be protected by a standard railing (29 CFR 1926.500(b)(8)).
    • [Editor's note:Wall opening screens should be of such construction and mounting that they are capable of withstanding a load of at least 200 pounds applied horizontally at any point on the near side of the screen. They may be of solid construction, of grillwork with openings not more than eight inches long, or of slatwork with openings not more than four inches wide with length unrestricted ( 29 CFR 1910.23(e)(11), Wall opening screens).]

      [25] Gases, Vapors, Fumes, Dusts, and Mists

      • a. Exposure to toxic gases, vapors, fumes, dusts, and mists must be kept at levels below those specified in the "Threshold Limit Values of Airborne Contaminants for 1970"of the ACGIH (29 CFR 1926.55(a).
      • b. Administrative or engineering controls must be implemented whenever feasible to comply with TLVs (29 CFR 1926.55(b)).
      • c. When engineering and administrative controls are not feasible to achieve full compliance, protective equipment or other protective measures must be used to keep the exposure of employees to air contaminants within the limits prescribed. Any equipment and technical measures used for this purpose must first be approved for each particular use by a competent industrial hygienist or other technically qualified person (29 CFR 1926.55(b)).

      [Editor's note: Where there is a danger of exposure to carbon dioxide, safeguards must be provided to ensure evacuation or rescue. Personnel training, warning signs, discharge alarms, predischarge alarms, and breathing apparatus should be considered (29 CFR 1910.161, Carbon dioxide extinguishing systems).]

      [26] General Duty Clause

      Hazardous conditions or practices not covered in an OSHA standard may be covered under Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which states: "Each employer must furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees"(PL 91-596).

      [27] General Requirements

      • a. The employer must initiate and maintain such programs as may be necessary to provide for frequent and regular inspections of the job site, materials, and equipment (29 CFR 1926.20(b)(1) & (2)).
      • b. The employer must instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and in the regulations applicable to his/her work environment to control or eliminate any hazards or other exposure to illness or injury (29 CFR 1926.21(b)(2)).
      • c. The use of any machinery, tool, material, or equipment that is not in compliance with any applicable requirements of the construction standards is prohibited. (29 CFR 1926.20(b)(3)).

      [28] Hand Tools

      • a. Employers must not issue or permit the use of unsafe hand tools (29 CFR 1926.301(a)).
      • b. Wrenches must not be used when jaws are sprung to the point that slippage occurs. Impact tools must be kept free of mushroomed heads. The wooden handles of tools must be kept free of splinters or cracks and must be kept tight in the tool (29 CFR 1926.301(b),(c) & (d)).
      • c. Electric power-operated tools must either be approved double-insulated, be properly grounded, or used with ground fault circuit interrupters ( 29 CFR 1926.302(a)).

      [Editor's note: Special hand tools for placing material in and removing it from the point of operation should permit easy handling of material without the operator having to put a hand in the danger zone. These hand tools must be used only to supplement required guarding of machines. When the periphery of fan blades is less than 7 feet above the floor or working level, the blades should be guarded. The guard should have openings no larger than ½ inch. Machines designed for a fixed location should be securely anchored to prevent walking or moving (29 CFR 1910.212, General requirements for all machines).

      Blast-cleaning nozzles should be equipped with an operating valve that must be held open manually. A support should be provided on which the nozzle may be mounted when it is not in use.

      After a load has been raised, it should be secured. Hydraulic jacks should be supplied with antifreeze if necessary. All jacks should be lubricated regularly. Each jack should be inspected at times, which depend upon the service conditions (29 CFR 1910.244, Other portable tools and equipment).]

      [29] Hazard Communication

      • a. The purpose of this standard is to ensure that the hazards of all chemicals produced or imported are evaluated, and that information concerning their hazards is transmitted to employers and employees. This transmittal of information must be accomplished by means of hazard communication programs, which include container labeling and other forms of warning, material safety data sheets, and employee training (29 CFR 1926.59(a)(1)).
      • b. Employers must develop, implement, and maintain at the workplace a written hazard communication program for their workplaces. Employers must inform their employees of availability of the program, including the required lists of hazardous chemicals and MSDSs and methods used to inform employees of hazards of non-routine tasks ( 29 CFR 1926.59(e)(1)).
      • c. The employer must ensure that each container of hazardous chemicals in the workplace is labeled, tagged, or marked with the identity of the hazardous chemicals contained therein; and must show hazard warnings appropriate for employee protection ( 29 CFR 1926.59(f)(5)).
      • d. Chemical manufacturers and importers must obtain or develop an MSDS for each hazardous chemical they produce or import. Employers must have an MSDS for each hazardous chemical they use (29 CFR 1926.59(g)(1)).
      • e. Employers must provide employees with information and training on hazardous chemicals in their work area at the time of their initial assignment, and whenever a new hazard is introduced. Employers also must provide employees with information on any operation in their work area where hazardous chemicals are present; and the location and availability of the written hazard communication program, including the required lists of hazardous chemicals and MSDSs (29 CFR 1926.59(h)(1)).

      [30] Head Protection

      • a. Protective helmets must be worn in areas where there is a possible danger of head injuries from impact, flying or falling objects, or electrical shock and burns (29 CFR 1926.100(a)).
      • b. Helmets for protection against impact and penetration of falling and flying objects must meet the requirements of ANSI Z89.1-1969 (29 CFR 1926.100(b)).
      • c. Helmets for protection against electrical shock and burns must meet the requirements of ANSIZ89.2- 1971 (29 CFR 1926.100(c)).

      [31] Hearing Protection

      • a. Feasible engineering or administrative controls must be utilized to protect employees against sound levels in excess of those shown in Table D-2 ( 29 CFR 1926.52(b)).
      • b. When engineering or administrative controls fail to reduce sound levels within the limits of Table D- 2, ear protective devices must be provided and used (29 CFR 1926.52(b) & .101(a)).
      • c. Exposure to impulsive or impact noise must not exceed 140 decibel peak sound pressure level ( 29 CFR 1926.52(e)).
      • d. In all cases, where the sound levels exceed the values shown in Table D-2, a continuing, effective hearing conservation program must be administered (29 CFR 1926.52(d)(1)).
      • e.

        Table D-2-Permissible Noise Exposures
        (29 CFR 1926.52(d)(1)

        Duration per day, hours: Sound level
        dBA slow

        8 90

        6 92

        4 95

        3 97

        2 100

        1½ 102

        1 105

        ½ 110

        ¼ or less 115

      • f. Plain cotton is not an acceptable protective device (29 CFR 1926.101(c)).

      [32] Heating Devices, Temporary

      • a. Fresh air must be supplied in sufficient quantities to maintain the health and safety of workers( 29 CFR 1926.154(a)(1)).
      • b. Solid fuel salamanders are prohibited in buildings and on scaffolds (29 CFR 1926.154(d)).

      [33] Hoists, Material and Personnel

      • a. The employer must comply with the manufacturer's specifications and limitations ( 29 CFR 1926.552(a)(1)).
      • b. Rated load capacities, recommended operating speeds, and special hazard warnings or instructions must be posted on cars and platforms (29 CFR 1926.552(a)(2)).
      • c. Hoisting entrances of material hoists must be protected by substantial full width gates or bars ( 29 CFR 1926.552(b)(2)).
      • d. Hoisting doors or gates of personnel hoists must be at least six feet six inches high, and be protected with mechanical locks that cannot be operated from the landing side and are accessible only to persons on the car (29 CFR 1926.552(c)(4)).
      • e. Overhead protective coverings must be provided on the top of the hoist cage or platform ( 29 CFR 1926.552(b)(3) & (c)(7)).
      • f. All material hoists must conform to the requirements of ANSI A10.5- 1969, Safety Requirements for Material Hoists (29 CFR 1926.552(b)(8)).

      [34] Hooks

       See No. 72, Wire Ropes, Chains, Hooks, etc.

      [35] Housekeeping

      • a. Form and scrap lumber with protruding nails and all other debris, must be cleared from all work areas (29 CFR 1926.25(a)).
      • b. Combustible scrap and debris must be removed at regular intervals (29 CFR 1926.25(b)).
      • c. Containers must be provided for collection and separation of all refuse. Covers must be provided on containers used for flammable or harmful substances (29 CFR 1926.25(c)).
      • d. Wastes must be disposed of at frequent intervals (29 CFR 1926.25(c)).

      [36] Illumination

      • a. Construction areas, ramps, runways, corridors, offices, shops, and storage areas must be lighted to at least the minimum illumination intensities listed in Table D-3 while any work is in progress (29 CFR 1926.56(a)).
      • b. Table D-3-Minimum Illumination Intensities in Foot-Candles
        (29 CFR 1926.56(a))

        Foot-Candles: Area or Operation

        5 General construction area lighting.

        3 General construction areas, concrete placement, active storage areas, loading platforms, refueling, and field maintenance areas.

        5 Indoor: warehouses, corridors, hallways, and exitways.

        . Tunnels, shafts, and general underground work areas: (Exception: minimum of 10 foot-candles is required at tunnel and shaft heading during drilling, mucking, and scaling. Bureau of Mines approved cap lights must be acceptable for use in the tunnel heading).

        10 General construction plant and shops (e.g., batch plants, screening plants, mechanical and electrical equipment rooms, carpenter shops, rigging lofts and active storerooms, mess halls, indoor toilets, and workrooms).

        30 First aid stations, infirmaries, and offices.

      [37] Jointers

      • a. Each hand-fed planer and jointer with a horizontal head must be equipped with a cylindrical cutting head. The opening in the table must be kept as small as possible (29 CFR 1926.304(f)).
      • b. Each hand-fed jointer with a horizontal cutting head must have an automatic guard that will cover the section of the head on the working side of the fence or cage (29 CFR 1926.304(f)).
      • c. A jointer guard must automatically adjust itself to cover the unused portion of the head, and must remain in contact with the material at all times ( 29 CFR 1926.304(f)).
      • d. Each hand-fed jointer with horizontal cutting head must have a guard that will cover the section of the head back of the cage or fence (29 CFR 1926.304(f)).

      [38] Ladders

      • a. Portable and fixed ladders with structural defects such as broken or missing rungs, cleats, or steps; broken or split rails; or corroded components must be withdrawn from service by immediately tagging "DO NOT USE"or marking the ladder in a manner that identifies them as defective. Fixed ladders may also be blocked (i.e. with a plywood attachment that spans several rungs) to indicate they are not to be used. (29 CFR 1926.1053(b)(16) & (17)).
      • b. Portable ladders must be placed on a substantial base, have clear access at the top and bottom and be placed at an angle so the horizontal distance from the wall or top support to the foot of the ladder is approximately one-quarter the working length of the ladder. Portable ladders used for access to an upper landing surface must extend a minimum of three feet (0.9m) above the landing surface, or where not practical, be provided with grab rails and be secured against movement while in use (29 CFR 1926.1053(b)(1), (5) & (9)).
      • c. Ladders must have non-conductive siderails if they are used where the worker or the ladder could contact energized electrical conductors or equipment (29 CFR 1926.1053(b)(12)).
      • d. Portable and fixed ladders, rungs, cleats, and steps must be uniformly spaced not less than 10 inches (25 cm) apart, nor more than 14 inches (36 cm) apart, along the handrails (29 CFR 1926.1053(a)(3)).
      • e. A ladder (or stairway) must be provided at all work points of access where there is a break in elevation of 19 inches (48 cm) or more unless a suitable ramp, runway, embankment, or personnel hoist is provided (29 CFR 1926.1051(a)).
      • f. qNon-self supporting ladders must be used at an angle where the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is approximately one-quarter of the working length of the ladder. Wood job-made ladders with spliced side rails must be used at an angle where the horizontal distance is one-eighth the working length of the ladder.
      • g. Fixed ladders must be used at a pitch no greater than 90 degrees from the horizontal, measured from the back side of the ladder (29 CFR 1926.1053(b)(5)).
      • h. Ladders must not be used on slippery surfaces unless secured or provided with slip-resistant feet to prevent accidental movement. Slip-resistant feet must not be used as a substitute for the care in placing, lashing, or holding a ladder on a slippery surface (29 CFR 1926.1053(b)(7)).
      • i. Employers must provide a training program for employees using ladders and stairways. The program must enable employees to recognize hazards related to ladders and stairways and to use proper procedures to minimize these hazards. For example, employers must ensure that each employee is trained by a competent person in the following areas, as applicable:
        • The nature of fall hazards in the work area;
        • The correct procedures for erecting, maintaining, and disassembling the fall protection systems to be used;
        • The proper construction, use, placement, and care in handling of all stairways and ladders; and
        • The maximum intended load-carrying capacities of ladders used.
      • j. In addition, retraining must be provided for each employee as necessary so that the employee maintains the understanding and knowledge acquired through compliance with the standard (29 CFR 1926.1060).

      [39] Lasers

      • a. Only qualified and trained employees may be assigned to install, adjust, and operate laser equipment (29 CFR 1926.54(a)).
      • b. Employees must wear proper eye protection where there is a potential exposure to laser light greater than 0.005 watts (5 milliwatts) (29 CFR 1926.54(c)).
      • c. eam shutters or caps must be used, or the laser turned off, when laser transmission is not actually required. When the laser is left unattended for a substantial period of time-such as during lunch hour, over night, or at change of shifts-the laser must be turned off (29 CFR 1926.54(e)).
      • d. Employees must not be exposed to light intensities above: direct staring-1 microwatt per square centimeter; incidental observing-1 milliwatt per square centimeter; diffused reflected light-2½ watts per square centimeter (29 CFR 1926.54(j)(1) , (2), & (3)).
      • e. Employees must not be exposed to microwave power densities in excess of 10 milliwatts per square centimeter (29 CFR 1926.54(l)).

      [40] Lift Slab Construction

      • a. Lift-slab operations must be designed and planned by a registered professional engineer who has experience in lift-slab construction. These plans and designs must be implemented by the employer and must include detailed instructions and sketches indicating the prescribed method of erection ( 29 CFR 1926.705(a)).
      • b. Jacks/lifting units must be marked to indicate their rated capacity, not loaded down beyond their rated capacity, and capable of supporting at least 2 [fr 1/2] times the load being lifted during the jacking operations (29 CFR 1926.705(b), (c), & (d)).
      • c. If leveling is maintained by manual controls, the controls must be in a central location and attended by a competent person while lifting is in progress ( 29 CFR 1926.705(h)).
      • d. Under no circumstances may an employee who is not essential to the jacking operation be permitted immediately beneath a slab (29 CFR 1926.705(k)(2)).
      • e. When making temporary connections to support slabs, wedges must be secured by tack welding, or an equivalent method of securing the wedges to prevent them from falling out of position. Lifting rods may not be released until the wedges at that column have been secured (29 CFR 1926.705(l)).

      [41] Liquefied Petroleum Gas

      • a. Each system must have containers, valves, connectors, manifold valve assemblies, and regulators of an approved type (29 CFR 1926.153(a)(1)).
      • b. All cylinders must meet DOT specifications( 29 CFR 1926.153(a)(2)).
      • c. Every container and vaporizer must be provided with one or more approved safety relief valves or devices (29 CFR 1926.153(d)(1)).
      • d. Containers must be placed upright on firm foundations or otherwise firmly secured (29 CFR 1926.153(g) & (h)(11)).
      • e. Portable heaters must be equipped with an approved automatic device to shut off the flow of gas in the event of flame failure (29 CFR 1926.153(h)(8)).
      • f. Storage of LPG within buildings is prohibited (29 CFR 1926.153(j)).
      • g. Storage locations must have at least one approved portable fire extinguisher, rated at least 20- B:C (29 CFR 1926.153(l)).

      [Editor's note: When LPG and one or more other gases are stored or used in the same area, the containers should be marked properly to identify their contents. Containers with foundations attached should be designed, installed, and used in accordance with requirements. If they are used at a general location for six months or less they should have adequate ferrous metal supports. The outside bottom of the container shell should not be more than five feet above the surface of the ground unless fire-resisting supports are provided. The bottom of the skids should not be less than two inches or more than 12 inches below the outside bottom of the container shell. Flanges, nozzles, valves, and fittings connected with the interior of the container should be protected against physical damage. When not permanently located on fire- resisting foundations, piping connections should be flexible. Skids, or lugs for attachment of skids, should be secured to the container to withstand loading in any direction equal to four times the weight of the container and attachments when filled to the maximum permissible loaded weight. Field welding should be made only on saddle plates or brackets applied by the manufacturer. Precautions should be taken against the possibility of damage to LPG systems from vehicular traffic (29 CFR 1910.110, Storage and handling of liquefied petroleum gases).]

      [42] Medical Services and First Aid

      a. The employer must ensure the availability of medical personnel for advice and consultation on matters of occupational health (29 CFR 1926.50(a)).
    • b. When a medical facility is not reasonably accessible for the treatment of injured employees, a person trained to render first aid must be available at the work site (29 CFR 1926.50(c)).
    • c. First aid supplies approved by the consulting physician must be readily available (29 CFR 1926.50(d)(1)).
    • d. The telephone numbers of the physicians, hospitals, or ambulances must be conspicuously posted ( 29 CFR 1926.50(f)).
      • [Editor's note: Where there is danger of exposure to corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body should be provided within the work area (29 CFR 1910.151 , Medical services and first aid).]

        [43] Motor Vehicles and Mechanized Equipment

        • a. All vehicles in use must be checked at the beginning of each shift to assure that all parts, equipment, and accessories that affect safe operation are in proper operating condition and free from defects. All defects must be corrected before the vehicle is placed in service (29 CFR 1926.601(b)(14)).
        • b. A motor vehicle, or earthmoving or compacting equipment having an obstructed rear view must not be used unless:
          • The vehicle has a reverse signal alarm distinguishable from the surrounding noise level, or
          • The vehicle is backed up only when an observer signals that it is safe to do so (29 CFR 1926.601(b)(4) &.601(a)(9)(iv)).
        • c. Heavy machinery, equipment, or parts thereof that are suspended or held aloft must be substantially blocked to prevent falling or shifting before employees are permitted to work under or between them (29 CFR 1926.600(a)(3)(i)).

        [Editor's note: Derail and/or bumper blocks should be provided on spur railroad tracks where a rolling car could contact other cars being worked on, or could enter a building, work, or traffic area ( 29 CFR 1910.176, Handling materials-general).]

        [44] Noise

         (See Hearing Protection, No. 31)

        [45] Personal Protective Equipment

        • a. The employer is responsible for requiring workers to wear appropriate personal protective equipment in all operations where they could be exposed to hazardous conditions or where there is the need for such equipment (29 CFR 1926.28(a)).
        • [Editor's note: Where employees provide their own protective equipment, the employer is responsible for the personal equipment's adequacy, maintenance, and sanitary condition. Further, the equipment must be of safe design and construction (29 CFR 1910.132, General requirements, personal protective equipment). Safety-toe footwear should meet the American National Standard for Men's Safety- Toe Footwear (29 CFR 1910.136, Occupational foot protection).]
          b. Lifelines, safety belts, and lanyards must be used only for employee safeguarding (29 CFR 1926.104(a)).

        • c. Employees working over or near water, where the danger of drowning exists, must be provided with U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets or buoyant work vests (29 CFR 1926.106(a)).

        [46] Powder-Actuated Tools

        • a. Only trained employees may be allowed to operate powder-actuated tools (29 CFR 1926.302(e)(1)).
        • b. All powder-actuated tools must be tested daily before use and all defects discovered before or during use must be corrected (29 CFR 1926.302(e)(2) & (3)).
        • c. Tools must not be loaded until immediately before use. Loaded tools must not be left unattended (29 CFR 1926.302(e)(5) & (6)).

        [47] Power Transmission and Distribution

        • a. Existing conditions must be determined before starting work, by an inspection or a test ( 29 CFR 1926.950(b)(1)).
        • b. Electric equipment and lines must be considered energized until determined otherwise by testing or until grounding (29 CFR 1926.950(b)(2) & 954(a)).
        • c. Operating voltage of equipment and lines must be determined before working on or near energized parts (29 CFR 1926.950(b)(3)).
        • d. Rubber protective equipment must comply with the provisions of the ANSI J6 series, and must be visually inspected before use (29 CFR 1926.951(a)(1)).

        [48] Power Transmission, Mechanical

        • a. Belts, gears, shafts, pulleys, sprockets, spindles, drums, fly-wheels, chains, or other reciprocating, rotating, or moving parts of equipment must be guarded if such parts are exposed to contact by employees or otherwise constitute a hazard (29 CFR 1926.300(b)(2)).
        • b. Guarding must meet the requirements of ANSI B15.1-1953 (R 1958), "Safety Code for Mechanical Power Transmission Apparatus"(29 CFR 1926.300(b)(2))

        [49] Radiation, Ionizing

        • a. Pertinent provisions of the Atomic Energy Commission's Standards for Protection Against Radiation (10 CFR 20), relating to protection against occupational radiation exposure, must apply (29 CFR 1926.53(a)).
        • b. Persons using radioactive materials or X-rays must be specially trained, or licensed if required ( 29 CFR 1926.53(b)).

        [50] Railings

        • a. A standard railing must consist of top rail, intermediate rail, toeboard, and posts, and have a vertical height of approximately 42 inches from upper surface of top rail to the floor, platform, etc.( 29 CFR 1926.500(f)(1)).
        • b. The top rail of a railing must be smooth-surfaced and strong enough to withstand at least 200 pounds. The intermediate rail must be approximately halfway between the top rail and floor ( 29 CFR 1926.500(f)(1)).

        [Editor's note:A wall hole is an opening less than 30 inches but more than one inch high, of unrestricted width, in any wall or partition. Where there is the hazard of materials falling through a wall hole, and the lower edge of the near side of the hole is less than four inches above the floor, and the far side of the hole more than five feet above the next lower level, the hole should be protected by a standard toeboard, or an enclosing screen either of solid construction, or as otherwise specified by OSHA (29 CFR 1910.21 , Definitions; and 29 CFR 1910.23, Guarding floor and wall openings and holes).]

        [51] Respiratory Protection

        • a. In emergencies, or when feasible engineering or administrative controls are not effective in controlling toxic substances, appropriate respiratory protective equipment must be provided by the employer and must be used (29 CFR 1926.103(a)(1)).
        • b. Respiratory protective devices must be approved by the Mine Safety and Health Administration/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health or acceptable to the U.S. Department of Labor for the specific contaminant to which the employee is exposed (29 CFR 1926.103(a)(2)).
        • c. Respiratory protective devices must be appropriate for the hazardous material involved and the extent and nature of the work requirements and conditions (29 CFR 1926.103(b)(1) & (2)).
        • d. Employees required to use respiratory protective devices must be thoroughly trained in their use (29 CFR 1926.103(c)(1)).
        • e. Respiratory protective equipment must be inspected regularly and maintained in good condition (29 CFR 1926.103(c)(2)).

        [Editor's note: Abrasive blasting respirators should be worn by abrasive-blasting operators when: working inside of blast-cleaning rooms; or the nozzle and blast are not physically separated from the operator in an exhaust ventilated enclosure where silica sand is used in manual blasting operations or toxic dust exceeds the prescribed levels (29 CFR 1910.94, Ventilation).

        While engineering controls are being instituted to prevent atmospheric contamination (or if controls are not feasible), respirators must be used. Respirators must be provided by the employer, who must also establish and maintain a respiratory protective program. (29 CFR 1910.134, Respiratory protection).]

        [52] Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS)

        Rollover protective structures (ROPS) apply to the following types of materials-handling equipment: all rubber-tired self-propelled scrapers, rubber-tired front-end loaders, rubber-tired dozers, wheel-type agricultural and industrial tractors, crawler tractors, crawler-type loaders, and motor graders-with or without attachments-that are used in construction work. This requirement does not apply to sideboom pipelaying tractors (29 CFR 1926.1000(a)(1)).

        [53] Safety Nets

        • a. Safety nets must be provided when workplaces are more than 25 feet above the surface where the use of ladders, scaffolds, catch platforms, temporary floors, safety lines, or safety belts is impractical ( 29 CFR 1926.105(a)).
        • b. Where nets are required, operations must not be undertaken until the net is in place and has been tested (29 CFR 1926.105(b)).

        [54] Saws, Band

        • a. All portions of band saw blades must be enclosed or guarded, except for the working portion of the blade between the bottom of the guide rolls and the table (29 CFR 1926.304(f)).
        • b. Band saw wheels must be fully encased ( 29 CFR 1926.304(f)).

        [55] Saws, Portable Circular

        • a. Portable, power-driven circular saws must be equipped with guards above and below the base plate or shoe. The lower guard must cover the saw to the depth of the teeth, except for the minimum arc required to allow proper retraction and contact with the work, and must automatically return to the covering position when the blade is removed from the work (29 CFR 1926.304(d)).

        [56] Saws, Radial

        • a. Radial saws must have an upper guard which completely encloses the upper half of the saw blade. The sides of the lower exposed portion of the blade must be guarded by a device that will automatically adjust to the thickness of and remain in contact with the material being cut (29 CFR 1926.304(f)).
        • b. Radial saws used for ripping must have non- kickback fingers or dogs (29 CFR 1926.30y4(f)).
        • c. Radial saws must be installed so that the cutting head will return to the starting position when released by the operator (29 CFR 1926.304(f)).

        [57] Saws, Swing or Sliding Cut-Off

        • a. All swing or sliding cut-off saws must be provided with a hood that will completely enclose the upper half of the saw (29 CFR 1926.304(f)).
        • b. Limit stops must be provided to prevent swing or sliding type cut-off saws from extending beyond the front or back edges of the table (29 CFR 1926.304(f)).
        • c. Each swing or sliding cut-off saw must be provided with an effective device to return the saw automatically to the back of the table when released at any point of its travel (29 CFR 1926.304(f)).
        • d. Inverted sawing of sliding cut-off saws must be provided with a hood that will cover the part of the saw that protrudes above the top of the table or material being cut (29 CFR 1926.304(f)).

        [58] Saws, Table

        • a. Circular table saws must have a hood over the portion of the saw above the table, so mounted that the hood will automatically adjust itself to the thickness of and remain in contact with the material being cut (29 CFR 1926.304(f)).
        • b. Circular table saws must have a spreader aligned with the blade, spaced no more than ½ inch behind the largest blade mounted in the saw. This provision does not apply when grooving, dadoing, or rabbiting (29 CFR 1926.304(f)).
        • c. Circular table saws used for ripping must have non-kickback fingers or dogs (29 CFR 1926.304(f)).
        • d. Feed rolls and blades of self-feed circular saws must be protected by a hood or guard to prevent the hands of the operator from coming in contact with the in-running rolls at any time (29 CFR 1926.304(f)).

        [59] Scaffolds (General)

        [Editor's note:The general requirements of 29 CFR 1926.451 do not apply to aerial lifts; the criteria for aerial lifts are contained in 29 CFR 1926.453. Also, OSHA announced Nov. 25, 1996, that it has delayed implementing a final safety scaffold standard requirement that roof bracket scaffolds be at least 12 inches wide. The implementation delay is a result of a court petition filed by Murray-Black Co. requesting a review of the final Subpart L ( 29 CFR 1926.451(b)(2)(i)) with regard to the roof bracket width requirement. The administrative stay of final implementation was effective Nov. 29, 1996.

        On Jan. 7, 1997, OSHA issued compliance directive CPL 2-1.23 that lists inspection procedures and provides clarification to ensure uniform enforcement of the scaffold standard, Subpart L (29 CFR 1926.451(a)(1)). The directive provides detailed clarification on the standard's competent person requirements and gives guidance on the standard's section regarding safe access during erection and dismantling of supported scaffolds and training.

      • a. Scaffolds and their components must be capable of supporting, without failure, at least four times the maximum intended load (29 CFR 1926.451(a)(1)).
      • [Editor's note: The intended load includes all personnel, equipment, and supply loads, OSHA clarifies in CPL 2-1.23. The directive adds that the intended load will often be less than the rated load; however, the intended load should never exceed the rated load unless this design is approved by an engineer and the manufacturer.]
        b. Direct connections to roofs and floors, and counterweights used to balance adjustable suspension scaffolds, must be able to resist at least four times the tipping moment imposed by the scaffold operating at either the rated load of hoist, or 1.5 (minimum) times the tipping moment imposed by the scaffold operating at the stall load of the hoist, whichever is greater (29 CFR 1926.451(a)(2)). Competent person duties to supervise and direct the rigging of the scaffold are explained in 29 CFR 1926.451(f)(7).

      • c. Suspension ropes, including connecting hardware, used on non-adjustable suspension scaffolds must be able to support, without failure, six times the maximum load applied to the rope (29 CFR 1926.451(a)(3)).
      • Suspension ropes, including connecting hardware, used on adjustable suspension scaffolds must be able to support without failure, at least six times the maximum intended load applied to the rope while the scaffold is operating at the rated load of the hoist, or two (minimum) times the stall load of the hoist, whichever is greater (29 CFR 1926.451(a)(4)).

      • d. Employees on a scaffold more than 10 feet (3.1 m) above a lower level must be protected from falling (29 CFR 1926.451(g)(1)). Guardrail systems must be installed along all open sides and ends of platforms. Guardrail systems must be installed before the scaffold is released for use by employees other than erection/dismantling crews (29 CFR 1926.451(g)(1)).
      • [Editor's note: According to CPL 2-1.23 , the employer has the option, in many instances, of providing a guardrail system or of having each employee use a personal fall arrest system. Exceptions are provided in 29 CFR 1926.451(g)(1)(i)-(vi).

        Under the standard, fall protection must be provided on all supported and suspended scaffolds. On supported scaffolds this fall protection will most often be a guardrail system. However, there may be some unique situations in which a personal fall arrest system may be necessary for a supported system. In such cases, the requirements in section 29 CFR 1926.502 for safe anchorage of the system must be met.

      • e. Effective Sept. 2, 1997, the employer must have a competent person determine the feasibility and safety of providing fall protection for employees erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds. Employers are required to provide fall protection for employees erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds where the installation and use of such protection is feasible and does not create a greater hazard (29 CFR 1926.451(g)(2)).
      • [Editor's note: OSHA recognizes that an employer may have more than one competent person on the worksite to deal with different aspects of the scaffolding process, the compliance directive clarifies. The compliance officer must determine the identity of the competent person and assess the training and experience qualifications of that person at an early stage of the inspection. OSHA defines a competent person as an individual who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions that are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective action to eliminate the hazards.

        OSHA notes in CPL 2-1.23 that although Subpart L provides employers with flexibility in the design of scaffolds and the selection of fall protection, the employer is required to have a competent person who has training and experience to make a determination on fall protection, integrity of scaffolds, and that the scaffold is maintained and used in a safe manner.

        OSHA recognizes that compliance may not be feasible during certain scaffold erection and dismantling operations, according to the directive. However, the agency says it will be required to determine at each stage of erection and dismantling whether safe access and fall protection can be provided. If safe access and fall protection can be provided, OSHA wants employers to comply with pertinent requirements.

        Provisions for safe access during erection and dismantling of supported scaffolds are contained in 29 CFR 1926.451(e)(9). OSHA has directed its compliance officers to ascertain whether employees engaged in erecting and dismantling scaffolds have been trained in these activities and in the hazards specific to types of scaffolds involved.]
        f. The top edge height of toprails or equivalent member on supported scaffolds manufactured or placed in service after Jan. 1, 2000, must be installed between 38 inches (0.97 m) and 45 inches (1.2 m) above the platform surface. The top edge height on supported scaffolds manufactured and placed in service before Jan. 1, 2000, and on all suspended scaffolds where both a guardrail and personal fall arrest system are required must be between 36 inches (0.9 m) and 45 inches (1.2 m). When conditions warrant, the height of the top edge may exceed the 45 inch height, provided the guardrail system meets all other standard criteria (29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(ii)).

        [Editor's note: Both a guardrail system and personal fall protection are required for single-point or two-point adjustable suspension scaffolds.

      • g. In addition to wearing hardhats, each employee on a scaffold must be provided with additional protection from falling hand tools, debris, and other small objects through the installation of toeboards, screens, or guardrail systems, or through the erection of debris nets, catch platforms, or canopy structures that contain or deflect falling objects.
      • For falling objects that are too large or heavy to be contained by or deflected by the above methods, the employer must place such objects away from edges of surfaces from which they could fall and secure the materials to keep them from falling ( 29 CFR 1926.451(h)(1)).]
        [Editor's note: OSHA compliance directive CPL 2-1.23 warns that hardhats should not be the sole means of protecting employees from overhead falling objects. The use or non-use of hardhats will be documented by compliance officers, whenever it could affect the gravity of a violation of Subpart L.

      • h. An employer must have each employee working on scaffolds trained by a person qualified on the use of such equipment. Workers must be trained to recognize the hazards associated with the type of hazards being used. In addition, this qualified person must be able to understand the procedures necessary to minimize and control possible scaffolding hazards (29 CFR 1926.454(a)).]
        • [Editor's note: OSHA notes that training must include information on associated hazards, methods of protection, and the maximum intended load. Load-carrying capacities of the scaffold must be included when applicable to the job being done.

          Subpart L does not specify criteria for training a person designated to work as a competent person. If an OSHA compliance officer determines that an individual designated as a competent person - whether a member of management or an employee - does not have the proper knowledge to carry out the duties of a competent person, violations may be found.

          When applicable, employee training should include the following areas:

          • The nature of any electrical hazards, fall hazards, and falling object hazards in the work area;
          • The correct procedures for dealing with electrical hazards and for erecting, maintaining, and disassembling the fall protection systems and falling object protection systems;
          • The proper use of the scaffold and proper handling of materials on the scaffold;
          • The maximum intended load and the load carrying capacities of the scaffolds used; and
          • Other relevant scaffolding requirements (Subpart L).
        • i. Solid wood used as scaffold planks must be selected for use following the grading rules by a recognized lumber association or by an independent lumber grading inspection agency (29 CFR 1926.452 ).
        • Allowable spans must be determined in compliance with the National Design Specification for Wood Construction published by the National Forest Products Association; paragraph five of the ANSIA10.8 1988 Scaffolding Safety Requirements published by the American National Standards Institute; or for 2 × 10 (nominal) or 2 × 9 inch (rough) solid sawn wood panels, as illustrated in the following table:

          Maximum intended nominal load
          (lb/ft2) Maximum
          span using
          full thickness
          lumber (ft) Maximum
          span using
          lumber (ft)

          75 10
          6 8

        • j. The maximum permissible span for 1¼ × 9 inch or wider wood plank of full thickness with a maximum intended load of 50 pounds per foot must be 4 feet. Fabricated planks and platforms may be used in place of solid sawn wood planks (29 CFR 1926.452).
          • [60] Stairs

            • a. A stairway or ladder must be provided at all worker points of access where there is a break in elevation of 19 inches (48 cm) or more and no ramp, runway, embankment, or personnel hoist is provided.(29 CFR 1926.1051(a)).
            • b. Except during construction of the actual stairway, skeleton metal frame structures and steps must not be used (where treads and/or landings are to be installed at a later date), unless the stairs are fitted with secured temporary treads and landings. (29 CFR 1926.1052(b)).
            • c. When there is only one point of access between levels, it must be kept clear to permit free passage by workers. If free passage becomes restricted, a second point of access must be provided and used. (29 CFR 1926.1051(a)).
            • d. When there are more than two points of access between levels, at least one point of access must be kept clear. (29 CFR 1926.1051(a)).
            • e. All stairway and ladder fall protection systems required by these rules must be installed and all duties required by the stairway and ladder rules must be performed before employees begin work that requires them to use stairways and ladders and their respective fall protection systems. (29 CFR 1926.1051(b)).
            • f. Stairways that will not be a permanent part of the structure on which construction work is performed must have landing at least 30 inches deep and 22 inches wide (76 × 56 cm) at every 12 feet (3.7m) or less of vertical rise. (29 CFR 1926.1052(a)).
            • g. Stairways must be installed at least 30 degrees, and no more than 50 degrees, from the horizontal. (29 CFR 1926.1052(a)).
            • h. Variations in riser height, or stair tread, or landing depth, must not exceed ¼ inch in any stairway system, including any foundation structure used as one or more treads of the stairs. (29 CFR 1926.1052(a)).
            • i. Where doors or gates open directly onto a stairway, a platform must be provided that extends at least 20 inches (51 cm) beyond the swing of the door. (29 CFR 1926.1052(a)).
            • j. Except during construction of the actual stairway, stairways with metal pan landing and treads must not be used where the treads and/or landings have not been filled in with concrete or other material, unless the pans of the stairs and/or landings are temporarily filled in with wood or other material. All treads and landings must be replaced when worn below the top edge of the pan. (29 CFR 1926.1052(b)).
            • k. Stairways having four or more risers, or rising more than 30 inches (76 cm) in height, whichever is less, must have at least on handrail. A stairrail also must be installed along each unprotected side or edge. When the top edge of a stairrail also serves as a handrail, the height of the top edge must not be more than 37 inches (94 cm) nor less than 36 inches (91.5 cm) from the upper surface of the stairrail to the surface of the tread. (29 CFR 1926.1052(c)).
            • l. Winding or spiral stairways must be equipped with a handrail to prevent using areas where the tread width is less than 6 inches (15 cm). (29 CFR 1926.1052(c)).
            • m. Stairrails installed after March 15, 1991, must not be less than 36 inches (91.5 cm) in height.(29 CFR 1926.1052(c)).
            • n. Midrails, screens, mesh, intermediate vertical members, or equivalent intermediate structural members must be provided between the top rail and stairway steps of the stairrail system. (29 CFR 1926.1052(c)).
            • o. Midrails, when used, must be located midway between the top of the stairrail and the stairway steps. (29 CFR 1926.1052(c)).
            • p. The height of handrails must not be more than 37 inches (94 cm) nor less than 30 inches (76 cm) from the upper surface of the handrail to the surface of the tread. (29 CFR 1926.1052(c)).
            • q. Temporary handrails must have a minimum clearance of 3 inches (8 cm) between the handrail and walls, stairrail, and other objects. (29 CFR 1926.1052(c)).
            • r. Unprotected sides and edges of stairway landings must be provided with standard 42 inch (1.1 m) guardrail systems. (29 CFR 1926.1052(c)).

            [61] Steel Erection

            • a. Permanent floors must be installed so there is not more than eight stories between the erection floor and the uppermost permanent floor, except when structural integrity is maintained by the design (29 CFR 1926.750(a)(1)).
            • b. During skeleton steel erection, a tightly planked temporary floor must be maintained within two stories or 30 feet, whichever is less, below and directly under that portion of each tier of beams on which any work is being performed (29 CFR 1926.750(b)(2)(i)).
            • [Editor's note: Temporary flooring used in steel erection, when not in use as a floor, must be properly bundled and braced to prevent movement until ready for use at the next tier (OSHA Instruction STD 3-6.1, October 1978).]
              c. During skeleton steel erection, where tightly planked temporary flooring cannot be maintained, and where scaffolds are not used, safety nets must be maintained whenever the potential fall distance exceeds two stories or 25 feet (29 CFR 1926.750(b)(1)(ii)).

            • d. A safety railing of ½-inch wire rope or equivalent must be installed around the perimeter of all temporarily floored buildings, approximately 42 inches high, during structural steel assembly(29 CFR 1926.750(b)(1)(iii)).
            • e. When placing structural members, the load must not be released from the hoisting line until the member is secured by at least two bolts, or the equivalent, at each connection, drawn up wrench tight(29 CFR 1926.751(a)).

            [62] Storage

            • a. All materials stored in tiers must be secured to prevent sliding, falling, or collapse (29 CFR 1926.250(a)(1)).
            • b. Aisles and passageways must be kept clear and in good repair (29 CF R 1926.250(a)(3)).
            • c. Storage of materials must not obstruct exits (29 CFR 1926.151(d)(1)).
            • d. Materials must be stored with due regard to their fire characteristics (29 CFR 1926.151(d)(2)).
            • e. Weeds and grass in outside storage areas must be kept under control (29 CFR 1926.151(c)(3)).

            [Editor's note:Portable and powered dockboards should be strong enough to carry the load imposed on them. Portable dockboards should be secured in position. Handholds should be provided on portable dockboards to permit safe handling. Protection should be provided to prevent railroad cars from being moved while dockboards or bridge plates are in position (29 CFR 1910.30, Other working surfaces).]

            [63] Tire Cages

            A safety tire rack, cage, or equivalent protection must be provided and used when inflating, mounting, or dismounting tires installed on split rims, or rims equipped with locking rings or similar devices (29 CFR 1926.600(a)(2)).

            [64] Toeboards (Floor and Wall Openings and Stairways)

            • a. Railings protecting floor openings, platforms, scaffolds, etc., must be equipped with toeboards wherever, beneath the open side, employees can pass, there is moving machinery, or there is equipment with which falling material could cause a hazard (29 CFR 1926.500(b) & (d)).
            • b. A standard toeboard must be at least 4 inches in height, and may be of any substantial material either solid or open, with openings not to exceed 1 inch in greatest dimension (29 CFR 1926.500(f)(3)).

            [65] Toilets

            • a. Toilets must be provided according to the following: 20 or fewer persons - one facility; 20 or more persons - one toilet seat and one urinal per 40 persons; 200 or more persons - one toilet seat and one urinal per 50 workers (29 CFR 1926.51(c)(1)).
            • b. This requirement does not apply to mobile crews having transportation readily available to nearby toilet facilities (29 CFR 1926.51(c)(4)).

            [66] Underground Construction

            • a. The employer must provide and maintain safe means of access and egress to all work stations (29 CFR 1926.800(b)).
            • b. The employer must control access to all openings to prevent unauthorized entry underground. Unused chutes, manways, or other openings must be tightly covered, bulkheaded, or fenced off, and must be posted with signs indicating "Keep Out" or similar language. Completed or unused sections of the underground facility must be barricaded ( 29 CFR 1926.800(b)(3)).
            • c. Unless underground facilities are sufficiently completed, the employer must maintain a check-in/check-out procedure that will help the above-ground designated personnel to determine an accurate count of the number of persons underground in the event of an emergency (29 CFR 1926.800(c)).
            • d. All employees must be instructed to recognize and avoid hazards associated with underground construction activities (29 CFR 1926.800(d)).
            • e. Underground construction operations must be classified as potentially gassy if air monitoring discloses that methane or other flammable gases exceed the prescribed level (29 CFR 1926.800(h).
            • f. The employer must assign a competent person to perform all air monitoring to determine proper ventilation and quantitative measurements of potentially hazardous gases (29 CFR 1926.800(j)).
            • g. Fresh air must be supplied to all underground work areas in sufficient quantities to prevent dangerous or harmful accumulation of dust, fumes, mists, vapors, or gases (29 CFR 1926.800(k)).

            [67] Voluntary Rescues

            • a. No citation will be issued to an employer because of a rescue untertaken by an employee to help a person in imminent danger, unless:
              1. The employer has assigned the employee responsibility to assist in rescue operations, or the employee's job duties include performance of rescue activities, and the employer fails to provide proper safety protection to the employee; or
              2. The employee works in a place that requires the employee to carry out duties where life-threatening accidents are foreseeable - such as where employees perform excavations or perform construction over water - and the employer has not designated the employee to perform rescue operations and the employee voluntarily decides to rescue an individual, but the employer has failed to tell employees (1) the arrangements that have been made for rescues, (2) not to attempt rescues themselves, and (3) the hazards of attempting a rescue (29 CFR 1903.14(f)).

            [Editor's note:OSHA considers this provision merely a clarification of the law. Employers continue to be responsible for complying with standards that address rescue-related operations. Examples include: emergency planning and response provisions of the process safety management and hazardous waste operations standards; standards for confined spaces in general industry and grain handling; and, in construction, rescue precautions prescribed for work performed near or over water and for excavation work. Employers also must continue to comply with OSHA standards for employee emergency plans in general industry.]

            [68] Wall Openings

            • a. Wall openings, from which there is a drop of more than 4 feet, and the bottom of the opening is less than 3 feet above the working surface, must be guarded (29 CFR 1926.500(c)(1)).
            • b. When the height and placement of the opening in relation to the working surface is such that a standard rail or intermediate rail will effectively reduce the danger of falling, one or both must be provided (29 CFR 1926.500(c)(1)(i)).
            • c. The bottom of a wall opening, which is less than 4 inches above the working surface, must be protected by a standard toeboard or an enclosing screen (29 CFR 1926.500(c)(1)(ii)).

            [69] Washing Facilities

            • a. The employer must provide adequate washing facilities for employees engaged in operations involving harmful contaminants (29 CFR 1926.51(f)).
            • b. Washing facilities must be in close proximity to the worksite and must be so equipped as to enable employees to remove all harmful substances (29 CFR 1926.51(f)).

            [Editor's note: Washing facilities must be maintained in a sanitary condition. Lavatories must be available in all places of employment. The requirement does not extend to mobile crews or to unattended work locations if workers have transportation to nearby washing facilities. Each lavatory must be provided with hot, cold, and tepid running water, soap, and towels. Whenever showers are required, they must be provided in accordance with OSHA regulations. Whenever employees are required to wear protective clothing because of the possibility of contamination with toxic materials, change rooms equipped with storage facilities for street clothes and separate storage facilities for the protectiveclothing must be provided (29 CFR 1910.141, Sanitation).]

            [70] Welding, Cutting, and Heating

            • a. Employers must instruct employees in the safe use of welding equipment (29 CFR 1926.350(d) & 351(d)).
            • b. Proper precautions (isolating welding and cutting, removing fire hazards from the vicinity, providing a fire watch, etc.) for fire prevention must be taken in areas where welding or other "hot work" is being done. No welding, cutting, or heating must be done where the application of flammable paints, or the presence of other flammable compounds, or heavy dust concentrations creates a fire hazard (29 CFR 1926.352(a), (b), (c), (e) & (f)).
            • c. Arc welding and cutting operations must be shielded by noncombustible or flameproof shields to protect employees from direct arc rays (29 CFR 1926.351(e)).
            • d. When electrode holders are to be left unattended, the electrodes must be removed and the holders must be placed or protected so that they cannot make electrical contact with employees or conducting objects (29 CFR 1926.351(d)(1)).
            • e. All arc welding and cutting cables must be completely insulated and be capable of handling the maximum current requirements for the job. There must be no repairs or splices within 10 feet of the electrode holder, except where splices are insulated equal to the insulation of the cable. Defective cable must be repaired or replaced (29 CFR 1926.351(b)).
            • f. Fuel gas and oxygen hose must be easily distinguishable and must not be interchangeable. Hoses must be inspected at the beginning of each shift and must be repaired or replaced if defective (29 CFR 1926.351(f)(1) & (3)).
            • g. General mechanical or local exhaust ventilation or air line respirators must be provided as required, when welding, cutting, or heating (29 CFR 1926.353(b)(1), (c)(1), (c)(2), & (d)(1)(iv)):
              • Zinc-, lead-, cadmium-, mercury-, or beryllium- bearing, based, or coated materials in enclosed spaces.
              • Stainless steel with inert-gas equipment.
              • In confined spaces.
              • Where an unusual condition can cause an unsafe accumulation of contaminants.

              [Editor's note: When welding, cutting or heating metals coated with lead bearing paint, the employer must provide local exhaust ventilation or protect employees with airline respirators.

              The employer also must ensure that the paint is stripped back at least 4 inches from the area of heat application, or protect the employees with airline respirators (OSHA Instruction STD 3-8.1, October 1978).]
              h. Proper eye protective equipment must be provided to prevent employee exposure (29 CFR 1926.353(e)(2)).

              [71] Wire Ropes, Chains, Ropes

              • a. Wire ropes, chains, ropes, and other rigging equipment must be inspected prior to use and as necessary to assure their safety. Defective gear must be removed from service (29 CFR 1926.251(a)(1)).
              • [Editor's note: The use of chain and synthetic, fiber, or wire ropes as top rails and intermediate rails of guardrails used on scaffolding is permissible if:

                • The rope or chain is secured to each support and is taut at all times.
                • The rope or chain is free of sharp edges, burrs, or projections.
                • The maximum deflection of the top rail when a load of 200 pounds is applied in any direction does not exceed 3 inches in one direction, including the free hanging sag in the rope or chain (OSHA Instruction STD 3-10.3, October 1978).]
            • b. Job or shop hooks and links, or makeshift fasteners, formed from bolts, rods, etc., or other such attachments, must not be used (29 CFR 1926.251(b)(3)).
            • c. When U-bolts are used for eye splices, the U-bolt must be applied so that the "U"section is in contact with the dead end of the rope (29 CFR 1926.251(c)(5)(i)).
            • d. When U-bolt wire rope clips are used to form eyes, the following table must be used to determine the number and spacing of clips (29 CFR 1926.251(c)(5)).


            improved plow Number of clips


            steel, rope di-
            ameter inches Drop

            1/2;. 3 4 3 

            5/8;. 3 4 3¾

            ¾. 4 5 4½

            7/8; 4 5 5¼

            1. 5 6 6

            i 1/8. 6 6 6¾

            1¼. 6 7 7½

            1 3/8. 7 7 8¼

            1½. 7 8 9 

            [Editor's note:Regular inspection of alloy steel chain slings should be made, and a record kept that is available for inspection. Whenever any sling is used, safe operating practices must be observed. Wire rope slings must be kept to required minimum sling lengths, and used only in safe operating temperatures. Only welded end attachments proof-tested at twice their rated capacity should be used. A certificate of the proof test must be kept and made available for examination. Natural and synthetic fiber rope slings should be used in safe operating temperatures and spliced according to minimum requirements. Fiber rope slings should not be used if end attachments that come in contact with rope have sharp edges or projections. Fiber rope slings should be removed from service if damaged, worn, or abnormal. Synthetic webbing should be of uniform thickness and width, and selvage edges should not be splitm from the webbing's width. Fittings should be of the required minimum breaking strength and free of sharp edges. Attachment of end fittings to webbing and formation of eyes should be in accordance with OSHA requirements. When synthetic web slings are used, precautions must be taken with regard to environmental conditions and used only in safe operating temperatures. Defective synthetic web slings should be removed from service (29 CFR 1910.184, Slings).]

            [72] Woodworking Machinery

            • a. All fixed power-driven wood-working tools must be provided with a disconnect switch that can be either locked or tagged in the off position (29 CFR 1926.304(a)).

            [Editor's note: On woodworking machinery, when a fixed enclosure, fixed barrier, or manually adjusted guard is used instead of an automatic guard, it will be considered a de minimis violation, provided the guards are used in accordance with manufacturer's instructions and under sufficient supervision preventing employee exposure to the saw blade (OSHA Instruction STD 1-12.18, October 1978).]
            b. All working tools and machinery must meet applicable requirements of ANSI 01.1-1961, "Safety Code for Woodworking Machinery" (29 CFR 1926.304(f)).

            118.20 REFERENCES

            General Sources

            • Safety and Health Standards Digest (OSHA 2202, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration; Revised July 1991; Corrected November 1991)