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.

January 9, 1990

Richard F. Andree, CSP, PE, PH.D.
Executive Vice President
Safety and Health Management Consultants, Inc.
161 William Street
New York, New York 10038

Dear Mr. Andree:

This is in response to your letter of December 11, addressed to Assistant Secretary Gerard F. Scannell concerning interpretation of 29 CFR 1910.29(a)(3)(viii) and 29 CFR 1910.28(a)(12) that may apply to the use of horizontal members of the end frames of metal scaffolds as safe access.

Horizontal members of the end frames of metal scaffolds may be used to provide access or egress if the members used as ladder rungs are of equal length, uniform distance apart, and designed by the scaffold manufacturer as a ladder access for that scaffold. Rung spacing shall not exceed 12 inches and shall be uniform throughout the length of the ladder. However, the 13.75 inch uniform spacing between rungs is acceptable and should be noted as a de minimis violation.

There is no Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Program Directive on the use of horizontal members of the end frame of metal scaffolds as a safe access or egress at this time.

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health.


Thomas J. Shepich, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs