• Record Type:
    OSHA Instruction
  • Current Directive Number:
    STD 01-01-005
  • Old Directive Number:
    STD 1-1.5
  • Title:
    29 CFR 1910.23(c)(1), Protection of Opensided Floors, Platforms and Runways; Guardrails -- Loading Rack Platforms
  • Information Date:
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA Instruction STD 1-1.5 October 30, 1978

JAN 31, 1978




Subject: 29 CFR 1910.23(c)(1) , Protection of Open-sided Floors, Platforms and Runways; Guardrails--Loading Rack Platforms

1. Purpose

The purpose of this directive is to clarify 29 CFR 1910.23(c)(1) as it relates to guardrails on loading rack platforms.

2. Documentation Affected

This directive supersedes Field Information Memorandum #74-84 dated October 22, 1974.

3. Background

a. Strict interpretation of 29 CFR 1910.23(c)(1) would result in having all petroleum loading racks (and similar installations) protected with guardrails on the outside edge of the loading platform above the top of the tank truck. Several citations have been issued for failure to have such guardrails and the Review Commission has ruled against OSHA in contested cases.
b. The standard does not provide that there may be a surface other than "adjacent floor or ground level" which might be within 4 feet of the platform floor. When loading petroleum product tank trucks, the top of the tank is adjacent to and within 4 feet from the floor of the platform.

OSHA Instruction STD 1-1.5 October 30, 1978 -2-

c. The principal reason why guardrails are impractical is that truck tanks are of different configurations and the several loading hatches make it necessary for employees to be able to step from the platform (or use a runway from the platform onto the tank) at any place in order to go onto the tank. It is necessary to go onto the tank to open and close hatches and to place and remove filler spouts. Safety belts and lanyards should not be used when loading flammable liquids because the employee should be able to move freely in case of a fire.
d. Some clarification of the referenced standard was included in the proposed standards changes on Walking-Working Surfaces published in the Federal Register on April 23, 1976. It is intended that the final changes to the section will provide clarification that such platforms will not have guardrails on platform sides adjacent to the top of tank trucks.

4. Action

If it is necessary to cite an employer for an alleged violation of 29 CFR 1910.23(c)(1) involving loading platforms where there is an adjacent truck surface which could be considered as an "adjacent floor", the violation is to be considered de minimis.

5. Effective Date

This directive is effective immediately and will remain in effect until canceled or superseded.

Richard P. Wilson Deputy Director, Federal Compliance and State Programs