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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

August 2, 1985



MEMORANDUM FOR: All Regional Administrators
FROM: John B. Miles, Jr., Director
Directorate of Field Operations
SUBJECT: Fall Protection for employees engaged in erecting or dismantling scaffolds in the Construction Industry


It is not the intent of the construction scaffold standards to specifically require employees who erect or dismantle scaffolds to use a safety belt and lanyard at all times. However, employees erecting or dismantling scaffolds must wear safety belts and lanyards in performing work at a stationary location for a period of time which allows the practical use of safety belts and lanyards. It is OSHA's position that requiring the constant wearing of belts and lanyards while erecting or dismantling scaffolds could be hazardous to employees.

The Directorate of Safety Standards Programs anticipates publishing a new proposal for Subpart L - Ladders and Scaffolding later this year. The fall protection proposed for employees erecting/dismantling scaffolds will be specifically included in that proposal and the text contains a provision which will exempt employees engaged in erecting or dismantling scaffolds from using any fall protection.