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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

June 18, 1991

Mr. Paul Vincent Bonfigio
Safety Advisor
Vincent Safety Service Company
Suite 206, P.O. Box 212
357 Hempstead Turnpike
West Hempstead, New York 11552

Dear Mr. Bonfigio:

Thank you for your letters of March 28, 1991 concerning guarding of protruding reinforcement steel rods and May 29, 1991 concerning guardrails on intermediate levels of scaffolds.

When the standard on concrete and masonry construction was changed in 1988, it was broadened to protect employees not only while working above vertically protruding rod but also to protects employees from the hazard of falling into horizontal protruding rods or rods at the same level as the employee.

Enclosed are the pages from the Federal Register of the preamble which address this change.

Your suggestion to use a 2" x 4" wood rail or pipe rail placed horizontally at or near the junction of the cross braces and a plank for a toeboard would partially address the guard rail problem on the intermediate levels; however it does not provide for a midrail as required. Enclosed find a copy of material on a unit made by WACO SCAFFOLDING and EQUIPMENT which appeared in the April 1991 issue of the Newletter of the SCAFFOLD INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION.

If I may be of further assistance please contact me.


Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs