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 13, 1995

Mr. Ken Beck, Safety Director
Rochester Acoustical Corp.
44 Paul Road
Rochester, New York 14624

Dear Mr. Beck:

This is in response to your letter faxed to Mr. Dale Cavanaugh on December 14, 1994 requesting interpretations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) new fall protection standards and of OSHA's standards for scaffolds used during dry wall work. I apologize for the delay ofthis response.

With regard to the acceptability of the aluminum folding bench, please be advised that OSHA's regulations do not specifically address this type of equipment. OSHA would consider this bench to be a scaffold and therefore would require the general requirements contained in 29 CFR 1926.451(a) to be followed.

With regard to stilts, please be advised that OSHA regulations do not prohibit their use. In addition, OSHA has no plans to prohibit them. It should be stressed that where standard guardrails are used to protect employees working near an edge, the height of the guardrails may have to be raised if stilts are to be used.

With regard to Baker-type scaffolds, please be advised that fall protection must be provided when the platform level is 10 feet or more above the floor. Mobile scaffolds must be moved in accordance with the provisions of 1926.451(e) and shall not be "pulled along." End rails may be used for access if they have been designed for such purpose.

With regard to the new fall protection regulation addressing low pitch roofs, please be advised that a warning line meeting the requirements of 1926.502(f) would be required. With regard to working on formwork please be advised that employees must be protected at all times on form work where the fall distance is six feet or more. This includes when employees are moving from point to point. Accordingly, a positioning device is insufficient to afford protection when they are moving from point to point, and other means of protection (such as a lifeline or work platform) must be provided.

However, OSHA considers the situation afforded by rebar walls as similar to fixed ladders and therefore, rebar installers may move point to point without being tied off at heights below [15] feet.

If you need any additional information, 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.


Roy F. Gurnham, P.E., J.D.
[Directorate of Construction]

[Correction 10/5/2004. On January 18, 2001, the steel erection Final Rule was published in the Federal Register. Revised Fall Protection requirements are codified in 1926.760(a)(1).]



Rochester Acoustical Corp.
44 Paul Rd.
Rochester, NY 14624

Department of Labor - OSHA
OSHA Compliance Assistance

Attention: Dale Cavanugh

Please respond in writing to the following questions regarding applicable OSHA regulations. We are a dry wall and acoustical ceiling contractor.

  1. Attached to this letter please find a catalog cut of an Aluminum Folding Bench manufactured by Wal-board Tools. We use this bench to reach ceiling heights typically to install board, ceiling grid and tape joints. Is this an acceptable device for clevated work and what safety standard governs its constructions and use?
  2. Another device used mostly by tapers are stilts. Is there a safety standard that governs construction and use of stilts? Rumors are going around that stilts are going to be outlawed or prohibited. Do you have any knowledge of this?
  3. Questions regarding mobile baker's scaffolds. At what height are guardrails required? Is it acceptable to ride or pull one's self along on a mobile scaffold? The end rails of a baker's scaffold have evenly-spaced horizontal members, can these be used for access to the platform? There is no manufacture that makes bolt or ladders for baker's scaffolds that we are aware of.
  4. Regarding the new Fall Protection regulation. When working on a low pitched rook performing work not directly related to built-up roofing and not working within 6 feet of an unprotected side or edge what fall protection system is required?
  5. Regarding the new Fall Protection regulation. When installing rebar or working on formwork above 6 feet and the fall protection system chosen to be used is a positioning device, is there another system required when moving around? Typically a ironworker will climb a rebar cage and snap off once the desired location is reached.





Respond by mail or fax. (Fax number is 716-464-0423.)


Ken Peck Safety Director





(For Figure 1, see printed copy)