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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

September 5, 1986


Regional Administrator

JOHN B. MILES, JR., Director
Directorate of Field Operations
ARA/TS STD 3-10 1926.451
Applicability of 29 CFR 1926.451(a)(4) - General Requirements

Our clarification to the three questions raised in your August 18, memorandum are as follows:

1. Does the "minimum horizontal dimension" mentioned in the last sentence of the above standard pertain to the platform or the scaffold framing?

It pertains to the platform.

2. Does the 1926.451(a)(4) requirement to guard scaffolds 4 to 10 feet in height when the minimum width dimension is not met apply to all types of scaffolds?

It applies to all types of scaffolds no regulated by existing specific standards.

3. If the specific standard overrides the general requirement, in what situation is the general requirement regarding the guarding of 4 to 10 feet high scaffolds applicable?

The general requirement regarding the guarding of scaffolds 4 feet 10 feet high applies for any scaffold constructed to comply with the general requirements that is not regulated by any specific standard.