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.

February 24, 1997

Ms. Georgia Weed
Safety Coordinator
Welliver McGuire, Inc.
911 Stowell Street
P.O. Box 90
Elmira, New York 14902

Dear Ms. Weed:

This is in response to your letter of January 14, requesting clarification of some aspects of the recently promulgated final rule for Scaffolds Used in the Construction Industry, part 1926, Subpart L (61 FR 46026). I am forwarding a copy of the Federal Register of August 30, 1996, for your convenience and reference, and will discuss specific answers to your questions below.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has requested public input on the issues of providing safe access and fall protection for erectors and dismantlers of built-up scaffolds. In addition, OSHA has asked the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) to appoint a workgroup to look into this matter. As pointed out in the Federal Register of August 30, 1996 (61 FR 46026), the public can send suggestions and input on these issues to Docket S-205.

OSHA has accepted cross bracing in lieu of either a midrail or a top rail within certain parameters. One of those criteria is that endpoints of each upright are no more than 48 inches apart. This distance is intended to be measured vertically.

Finally, several discussions in the preamble to the final rule address the criteria for "competent person" and "qualified person." Specifically, I direct you to the discussions on page 46059 and 46095 in the document that is enclosed.

If you have any other questions, please direct them to: The Office of Construction Standards and Compliance Assistance, Room N3621, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210.


Russell B. Swanson, Director
Directorate of Construction