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.

September 25, 1995

Mr. Carl Heinlein
Associate Director
The Associated General
Contractors of America
1957 E. Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006

Dear Mr. Heinlein:

This is in response to your letter requesting an interpretation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) New Fall Protection Standard for the Construction Industry (1926.500).

With regard to the applicability of the new fall protection regulations (Part 1926, Subpart M) to traditional one-sided masonry scaffolds, please be advised that, in accordance with 1926.500(2)(i) and .500(3)(i), the requirement for fall protection and the criteria for guardrails contained in Subpart M do not apply to employees working from scaffolds. This activity is addressed in Subpart L. Therefore, according to 1926.451[(g) and (h)], fall protection is required for employees working on masonry scaffolds (including overhand bricklaying when performed from a scaffold) whenever the fall height is greater than 10 feet.

With regard to the open side of masonry scaffolds, a guardrail is not required on the side where work is being performed provided the open side edge of the scaffold is within 14 inches of the wall.

If you have any questions, please call me or Dale Cavanaugh of my staff at (202)219-8136.


Roy F. Gurnham, P.E., J.D.
Office of Construction and Maritime
Compliance Assistance