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.



March 8, 1995



MEMORANDUM FOR: Byron R. Chadwick
Regional Administrator, Region III
FROM: John B. Miles, Jr.
Director, Directorate of Compliance Programs
SUBJECT: Interpretation Regarding Guardrails Proposed for Coors Stadium


We apologize for the late reply to your initial request of June 24, 1994 and your follow-up memorandum of November 8, 1994 regarding a request for interpretation from Mortenson/Barton Malow, JV. The "Railing Section Type N" of 36 inches proposed height, (Coors Field Drawing, A.60C-38), does not meet the OSHA standard, 29 CFR 1910.23(e)(1), Railing, Toe Boards, and Cover Specifications, which requires 42 inches nominal from the upper surface of top rail to floor.

The April 10, 1990 proposed OSHA standard, 29 CFR 1910.28, however, allows existing guardrail systems to be a minimum of 36 inches high. Under the proposed rule, OSHA determined that the continued use of existing guardrails as low as 36 inches (91 cm) would not unacceptably reduce employee protection. The proposed rule states: "The top member of guardrail systems installed before (insert date 60 days after the effective date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register) shall be at least 36 inches (91 cm) above the work surface under all conditions."

Therefore, the proposed use of 36-in permanent handrails as guardrail protection at Coors Stadium is acceptable through the de minimis policy. OSHA allows de minimis treatment when an employer is in compliance with a proposed standard. If you have any questions regarding this interpretation, please [contact us by fax at: U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA, Directorate of Construction, Office of Construction Standards and Guidance, fax # 202-693-1689. You can also contact us by mail at the above office, Room N3468, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210, although there will be a delay in our receiving correspondence by mail.]

[Corrected 4/20/2006]