May 17, 1990
Mr. Ernest J. Frederick Senior Civil Engineer Raytheon Service Company Suite
901 18000 Pacific Highway South Seattle, Washington 98188
Dear Mr. Frederick:
This is in response to your letter of March 19 addressed to Mr. Gerald
Reidy, Director, Office of Construction/Maritime Compliance Assistance,
concerning head clearance requirements for fixed ladders used on FAA radio
communication towers varying in height from 30 to 150 feet.
Regarding 29 CFR 1910.268(h) Telecommunications Ladders, the following
clarifications are provided:
1. 29 CFR 1910.268(h) does not specifically cover clearances on
the climbing side of fixed ladders, and
Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. If we may be
of further assistance, please contact us.
2. 29 CFR 1910.268(a)(3) states in part, "Operations or conditions
not specifically covered by this section are subject to all applicable
standards contained in this Part 1910," therefore;
3. 29 CFR 1910.27(c)(1) Climbing Side Clearance, Fixed Ladders,
copy enclosed, pertains to clearances on the climbing side of fixed ladders
installed on FAA radio communication towers. That standard requires the
clearance on the climbing side of a vertical fixed ladder to be 30
4. Also, enclosed is the newly released Occupational Safety and
Health Administration standard "Walking and Working Surfaces and Personal
Protective Equipment", 29 CFR 1910.23(c)(13) page 13399, and ANSI A14.3-1984,
Section 22.214.171.124 which state that "When unavoidable obstructions are
encountered, the minimum clearance may be reduced to 24 inches if deflection
plates are provided".
5. If an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
compliance officer were to observe conditions as described in item 4 above, a
violation would be noted and classified as de minimis, with no abatement
required and no penalty assessed. De minimis violations are explained by an
enclosure from our Field Operations Manual.
Patricia K. Clark Director Designate Directorate of Compliance Programs