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.

June 16, 1987



Regional Administrator
Directorate of Field Operations
SUBJECT: Enforcement of [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13)] for Housing Construction Operations


We concur that it is not common practice in the housing industry to erect guardrails on a fully decked open-sided second floor that is more than six feet above the adjacent ground. Normally the contractor will erect the exterior partition before allowing the employees to perform any other work which will expose the employees to a fall hazard. However, employers allowing employees to perform work other than erection of the partition at the open-sided second floor thereby exposing employees to a fall hazard would be violation of [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13)].

[Corrected 05/28/2004]