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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

February 28, 1996

[Name Withheld]

Dear [Name Withheld]:

This is in response to your letter of November 25, 1995, inquiring about the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) publications "... or list of rules that govern the laying down and safety requirements of concrete ramps," at the entrances of buildings. We apologize for the delay in responding to your request.

In answer to your inquiry, we are enclosing copies of the construction standard pages containing OSHA's provisions addressing situations where ramps or runways are not provided and a ladder or stairway is required as a means of access to a higher elevation; as contained in §1926.1051 "General requirements," and in paragraph (a) stating that: "(a) A stairway or ladder shall be provided at all personnel points of access where there is a break in elevation of 19 inches (48 cm) or more, and no ramp, runway, sloped embankment, or personnel hoist is provided."

In addition, enclosed herein are copies of OSHA's General Industry standard covering the safety requirements for walking and working surfaces of completed buildings; as contained in §1910.23(c)(1) which requires that: Every open sided floor or platform "... 4 feet or more above the adjacent floor or ground level shall be guarded by a standard railing (or equivalent...)."

As you may be aware, in April 10, 1990, OSHA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to revise its General Industry safety standard for walking and working surfaces of completed buildings (29 CFR 1910, "Walking and Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection Systems; Notice of Proposed Rulemaking") (Vol 55, 13360-13441, Apr. 10, 1990). A copy of this NPRM is also included for your information. The NPRM's section titled "§1910.26 Ramps and bridging devices" which contains specific safety provisions concerning ramps, has been marked for your convenience.



Russell B. Swanson, Director
Directorate of Construction

[Corrected 4/4/2005.

Note: On April 10, 1990 OSHA published proposed revisions to Walking and Working Surfaces; Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection Systems); Notices of Proposed Rulemaking; Slips; Falls; Trips in Federal Register 55:13360-13441. It is available electronically only as an abstract. On May 2, 2003 OSHA reopened the rulemaking record on the proposed revisions to Walking and Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection Systems). It was re-published in its entirety in Federal Register 68:23527-23568 and is available electronically.]