• Part Number:
  • Part Number Title:
    Occupational Safety and Health Standards
  • Subpart:
    1910 Subpart F
  • Subpart Title:
    Powered Platforms, Manlifts, and Vehicle-Mounted Work Platforms
  • Standard Number:
  • Title:
  • GPO Source:
Definitions applicable to this section
Handhold (Handgrip). A handhold is a device attached to the belt which can be grasped by the passenger to provide a means of maintaining balance.
Open type. One which has a handgrip surface fully exposed and capable of being encircled by the passenger's fingers.
Closed type. A cup-shaped device, open at the top in the direction of travel of the step for which it is to be used, and closed at the bottom, into which the passenger may place his fingers.
Limit switch. A device, the purpose of which is to cut off the power to the motor and apply the brake to stop the carrier in the event that a loaded step passes the terminal landing.
Manlift. A device consisting of a power-driven endless belt moving in one direction only, and provided with steps or platforms and handholds attached to it for the transportation of personnel from floor to floor.
Rated speed. Rated speed is the speed for which the device is designed and installed.

Split-rail switch. An electric limit switch operated mechanically by the rollers on the manlift steps. It consists of an additional hinged or "split" rail, mounted on the regular guide rail, over which the step rollers pass. It is springloaded in the "split" position. If the step supports no load, the rollers will "bump" over the switch; if a loaded step should pass over the section, the split rail will be forced straight, tripping the switch and opening the electrical circuit.

Step (platform). A step is a passenger carrying unit.
Travel. The travel is the distance between the centers of the top and bottom pulleys.
General requirements

Application. This section applies to the construction, maintenance, inspection, and operation of manlifts in relation to accident hazards. Manlifts covered by this section consist of platforms or brackets and accompanying handholds mounted on, or attached to an endless belt, operating vertically in one direction only and being supported by, and driven through pulleys, at the top and bottom. These manlifts are intended for conveyance of persons only. It is not intended that this section cover moving stairways, elevators with enclosed platforms ("Paternoster" elevators), gravity lifts, nor conveyors used only for conveying material. This section applies to manlifts used to carry only personnel trained and authorized by the employer in their use.

Purpose. The purpose of this section is to provide reasonable safety for life and limb.

Design requirements. All new manlift installations and equipment installed after the effective date of these regulations shall meet the design requirements of the "American National Safety Standard for Manlifts ANSI A90.1-1969", which is incorporated by reference as specified in §1910.6, and the requirements of this section.

Reference to other codes and subparts. The following codes and subparts of this part are applicable to this section: Safety Code for Mechanical Power Transmission Apparatus, ANSI B15.1-1953 (R 1958); Safety Code for Fixed Ladders, ANSI A14.3-1956; and subparts D, O, and S. The preceding ANSI standards are incorporated by reference as specified in §1910.6.
Floor openings

Allowable size. Floor openings for both the "up" and "down" runs shall be not less than 28 inches nor more than 36 inches in width for a 12-inch belt; not less than 34 inches nor more than 38 inches for a 14-inch belt; and not less than 36 inches nor more than 40 inches for a 16-inch belt and shall extend not less than 24 inches, nor more than 28 inches from the face of the belt.

Uniformity. All floor openings for a given manlift shall be uniform in size and shall be approximately circular, and each shall be located vertically above the opening below it.
Vertical clearance. The clearanace between the floor or mounting platform and the lower edge for the conical guard above it required by subparagraph (7) of this paragraph shall not be less than 7 feet 6 inches. Where this clearance cannot be obtained no access to the manlift shall be provided and the manlift runway shall be enclosed where it passes through such floor.
Clear landing space. The landing space adjacent to the floor openings shall be free from obstruction and kept clear at all times. This landing space shall be at least 2 feet in width from the edge of the floor opening used for mounting and dismounting.
Lighting and landing. Adequate lighting, not less than 5-foot candles, shall be provided at each floor landing at all times when the lift is in operation.
Landing surface. The landing surfaces at the entrances and exits to the manlift shall be constructed and maintained as to provide safe footing at all times.
Emergency landings. Where there is a travel of 50 feet or more between floor landings, one or more emergency landings shall be provided so that there will be a landing (either floor or emergency) for every 25 feet or less of manlift travel.

Emergency landings shall be accessible from both the "up" and "down" rungs of the manlift and shall give access to the ladder required in subparagraph (12) of this paragraph.

Emergency landings shall be completely enclosed with a standard railing and toeboard.
Platforms constructed to give access to bucket elevators or other equipment for the purpose of inspection, lubrication, and repair may also serve as emergency landings under this rule. All such platforms will then be considered part of the emergency landing and shall be provided with standard railings and toeboards.
Guards on underside of floor openings
Fixed type. On the ascending side of the manlift floor openings shall be provided with a bevel guard or cone meeting the following requirements:
The cone shall make an angle of not less than 45° with the horizontal. An angle of 60° or greater shall be used where ceiling heights permit.
The lower edge of this guard shall extend at least 42 inches outward from any handhold on the belt. It shall not extend beyond the upper surface of the floor above.
The cone shall be made of not less than No. 18 U.S. gauge sheet steel or material of equivalent strength or stiffness. The lower edge shall be rolled to a minimum diameter of one-half inch and the interior shall be smooth with no rivets, bolts or screws protruding.
Floating type. In lieu of the fixed guards specified in subdivision (i) of this subparagraph a floating type safety cone may be used, such floating cones to be mounted on hinges at least 6 inches below the underside of the floor and so constructed as to actuate a limit switch should a force of 2 pounds be applied on the edge of the cone closest to the hinge. The depth of this floating cone need not exceed 12 inches.
Protection of entrances and exits
Guard rail requirement. The entrances and exits at all floor landings affording access to the manlift shall be guarded by a maze (staggered railing) or a handrail equipped with self-closing gates.
Construction. The rails shall be standard guardrails with toeboards that meet the requirements in subpart D of this part.
Gates. Gates, if used, shall open outward and shall be self-closing. Corners of gates shall be rounded.
Maze. Maze or staggered openings shall offer no direct passage between enclosure and outer floor space.
Except where building layout prevents, entrances at all landings shall be in the same relative position.
Guards for openings
Construction. The floor opening at each landing shall be guarded on sides not used for entrance or exit by a wall, a railing and toeboard or by panels of wire mesh of suitable strength.
Height and location. Such rails or guards shall be at least 42 inches in height on the up-running side and 66 inches on the down-running side.
Bottom arrangement
Bottom landing. At the bottom landing the clear area shall be not smaller than the area enclosed by the guardrails on the floors above, and any wall in front of the down-running side of the belt shall be not less than 48 inches from the face of the belt. This space shall not be encroached upon by stairs or ladders.
Location of lower pulley. The lower (boot) pulley shall be installed so that it is supported by the lowest landing served. The sides of the pulley support shall be guarded to prevent contact with the pulley or the steps.
Mounting platform. A mounting platform shall be provided in front or to one side of the uprun at the lowest landing, unless the floor level is such that the following requirement can be met: The floor or platform shall be at or above the point at which the upper surface of the ascending step completes its turn and assumes a horizontal position.
Guardrails. To guard against persons walking under a descending step, the area on the downside of the manlift shall be guarded in accordance with subparagraph (8) of this paragraph. To guard against a person getting between the mounting platform and an ascending step, the area between the belt and the platform shall be protected by a guardrail.
Top arrangements
Clearance from floor. A top clearance shall be provided of at least 11 feet above the top terminal landing. This clearance shall be maintained from a plane through each face of the belt to a vertical cylindrical plane having a diameter 2 feet greater than the diameter of the floor opening, extending upward from the top floor to the ceiling on the up-running side of the belt. No encroachment of structural or machine supporting members within this space will be permitted.
Pulley clearance.
There shall be a clearance of at least 5 feet between the center of the head pulley shaft and any ceiling obstruction.
The center of the head pulley shaft shall be not less than 6 feet above the top terminal landing.
Emergency grab rail. An emergency grab bar or rail and platform shall be provided at the head pulley when the distance to the head pulley is over 6 feet above the top landing, otherwise only a grab bar or rail is to be provided to permit the rider to swing free should the emergency stops become inoperative.

Emergency exit ladder. A fixed metal ladder accessible from both the "up" and "down" run of the manlift shall be provided for the entire travel of the manlift. Such ladders shall meet the requirements in subpart D of this part.

Superstructure bracing. Manlift rails shall be secured in such a manner as to avoid spreading, vibration, and misalinement.
General. Both runs of the manlift shall be illuminated at all times when the lift is in operation. An intensity of not less than 1-foot candle shall be maintained at all points. (However, see subparagraph (6)(iii) of this paragraph for illumination requirements at landings.)
Control of illumination. Lighting of manlift runways shall be by means of circuits permanently tied in to the building circuits (no switches), or shall be controlled by switches at each landing. Where separate switches are provided at each landing, any switch shall turn on all lights necessary to illuminate the entire runway.
Weather protection. The entire manlift and its driving mechanism shall be protected from the weather at all times.
Mechanical requirements
Machines, general
Brakes. Brakes provided for stopping and holding a manlift shall be inherently self-engaging, by requiring power or force from an external source to cause disengagement. The brake shall be electrically released, and shall be applied to the motor shaft for direct-connected units or to the input shaft for belt-driven units. The brake shall be capable of stopping and holding the manlift when the descending side is loaded with 250 lb on each step.
The belts shall be of hard-woven canvas, rubber-coated canvas, leather, or other material meeting the strength requirements of paragraph (b)(3) of this section and having a coefficient of friction such that when used in conjunction with an adequate tension device it will meet the brake test specified in subdivision (i) of this subparagraph.
The width of the belt shall be not less than 12 inches for a travel not exceeding 100 feet, not less than 14 inches for a travel greater than 100 feet but not exceeding 150 feet and 16 inches for a travel exceeding 150 feet.
A belt that has become torn while in use on a manlift shall not be spliced and put back in service.
Maximum speed. No manlift designed for a speed in excess of 80 feet per minute shall be installed.
Platforms or steps
Minimum depth. Steps or platforms shall be not less than 12 inches nor more than 14 inches deep, measured from the belt to the edge of the step or platform.
Width. The width of the step or platform shall be not less than the width of the belt to which it is attached.
Distance between steps. The distance between steps shall be equally spaced and not less than 16 feet measured from the upper surface of one step to the upper surface of the next step above it.

Angle of step. The surface of the step shall make approximately a right angle with the "up" and "down" run of the belt, and shall travel in the approximate horizontal position with the "up" and "down" run of the belt.

Surfaces. The upper or working surfaces of the step shall be of a material having inherent nonslip characteristics (coefficient of friction not less than 0.5) or shall be covered completely by a nonslip tread securely fastened to it.
Strength of step supports. When subjected to a load of 400 pounds applied at the approximate center of the step, step frames, or supports and their guides shall be of adequate strength to:
Prevent the disengagement of any step roller.
Prevent any appreciable misalinement.
Prevent any visible deformation of the steps or its support.
Prohibition of steps without handholds. No steps shall be provided unless there is a corresponding handhold above or below it meeting the requirements of paragraph (c)(4) of this section. If a step is removed for repairs or permanently, the handholds immediately above and below it shall be removed before the lift is again placed in service.

Location. Handholds attached to the belt shall be provided and installed so that they are not less than 4 feet nor more than 4 feet 8 inches above the step tread. These shall be so located as to be available on the both "up" and "down" run of the belt.


Size. The grab surface of the handhold shall be not less than 4½ inches in width, not less than 3 inches in depth, and shall provide 2 inches of clearance from the belt. Fastenings for handholds shall be located not less than 1 inch from the edge of the belt.

Strength. The handhold shall be capable of withstanding, without damage, a load of 300 pounds applied parallel to the run of the belt.
Prohibition of handhold without steps. No handhold shall be provided without a corresponding step. If a handhold is removed permanently or temporarily, the corresponding step and handhold for the opposite direction of travel shall also be removed before the lift is again placed in service.
Type. All handholds shall be of the closed type.
Up limit stops
Requirements. Two separate automatic stop devices shall be provided to cut off the power and apply the brake when a loaded step passes the upper terminal landing. One of these shall consist of a split-rail switch mechanically operated by the step roller and located not more than 6 inches above the top terminal landing. The second automatic stop device may consist of any of the following:
Any split-rail switch placed 6 inches above and on the side opposite the first limit switch.
An electronic device.

A switch actuated by a lever, rod, or plate, the latter to be placed on the "up" side of the head pulley so as to just clear a passing step.


Manual reset location. After the manlift has been stopped by a stop device it shall be necessary to reset the automatic stop manually. The device shall be so located that a person resetting it shall have a clear view of both the "up" and "down" runs of the manlift. It shall not be possible to reset the device from any step or platform.

Cut-off point. The initial limit stop device shall function so that the manlift will be stopped before the loaded step has reached a point 24 inches above the top terminal landing.
Electrical requirements.
Where such switches open the main motor circuit directly they shall be of the multipole type.
Where electronic devices are used they shall be so designed and installed that failure will result in shutting off the power to the driving motor.
Where flammable vapors or combustible dusts may be present, electrical installations shall be in accordance with the requirements of subpart S of this part for such locations.
Unless of the oil-immersed type controller contacts carrying the main motor current shall be copper to carbon or equal, except where the circuit is broken at two or more points simultaneously.
Emergency stop
General. An emergency stop means shall be provided.
Location. This stop means shall be within easy reach of the ascending and descending runs of the belt.
Operation. This stop means shall be so connected with the control lever or operating mechanism that it will cut off the power and apply the brake when pulled in the direction of travel.
Rope. If rope is used, it shall be not less than three-eights inch in diameter. Wire rope, unless marlin-covered, shall not be used.
Instruction and warning signs
Instruction signs at landings or belts. Signs of conspicuous and easily read style giving instructions for the use of the manlift shall be posted at each landing or stenciled on the belt.
The instructions shall read approximately as follows:

Face the Belt.
Use the Handholds.
To Stop—Pull Rope.
Top floor warning sign and light.

At the top floor an illuminated sign shall be displayed bearing the following wording:


Signs shall be in block letters not less than 2 inches in height. This sign shall be located within easy view of an ascending passenger and not more than 2 feet above the top terminal landing.

In addition to the sign required by paragraph (c)(7)(ii)(a) of this section, a red warning light of not less than 40- watt rating shall be provided immediately below the upper landing terminal and so located as to shine in the passenger's face.
Visitor warning. A conspicuous sign having the following legend—AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY—shall be displayed at each landing.
Operating rules
Proper use of manlifts. No freight, packaged goods, pipe, lumber, or construction materials of any kind shall be handled on any manlift.


Periodic inspection
Frequency. All manlifts shall be inspected by a competent designated person at intervals of not more than 30 days. Limit switches shall be checked weekly. Manlifts found to be unsafe shall not be operated until properly repaired.

Items covered. This periodic inspection shall cover but is not limited to the following items:

Step Fastenings.
Rail Supports and Fastenings.
Rollers and Slides.
Belt and Belt Tension.
Handholds and Fastenings.
Floor Landings.
Limit Switches.
Warning Signs and Lights.
Drive Pulley.
Bottom (boot) Pulley and Clearance.
Pulley Supports.
Driving Mechanism.
Electrical Switches.
Vibration and Misalignment.
"Skip" on up or down run when mounting step (indicating worn gears).

Inspection record. A certification record shall be kept of each inspection which includes the date of the inspection, the signature of the person who performed the inspection and the serial number, or other identifier, of the manlift which was inspected. This record of inspection shall be made available to the Assistant Secretary of Labor or a duly authorized representative.

[39 FR 23502, June 27, 1974, as amended at 43 FR 49746, Oct. 24, 1978; 51 FR 34560, Sept. 29, 1986; 54 FR 24334, June 7, 1989; 55 FR 32014, Aug. 6, 1990; 61 FR 9227, March 7, 1996; 72 FR 71068, Dec. 14, 2007; 81 FR 82999, Nov. 18, 2016]