OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

March 22, 1978

Jerre Harris
Vice President
Donald Harris, Inc.
Masonry Contractor
420 Greentree Road
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15220

Dear Mr. Harris:

This is in response to your letter dated February 23, 1978, concerning the construction standards requirements for toeboards.

It is the intent of 29 CFR 1926.451(a)(6) to require a screen between the toeboard and the guardrail in situations only where employees are required to work or pass under the temporary elevated platform and its supporting structure. Employees working near the scaffold but not required to work or pass under the scaffold are normally protected from falls of materials by the toeboard as required by 29 CFR 1926.451(2)(5). Where material on the scaffold platform is piled to such height that a standard toeboard does not not provide protection, paneling or screening from floor to intermediate rail or to top rail shall be provided as indicated in 29 CFR 1926.500(f)(3)(ii).

If I may be of any further assistance, please feel free to contact me.


John K. Barto, Chief
Division of Occupational Safety Programming