Federal Registers - Table of Contents Federal Registers - Table of Contents
• Publication Date: 03/29/1993
• Publication Type: Proposed Rules
• Fed Register #: 58:16509-16515
• Standard Number: 1926
• Title: Safety Standards for Scaffolds Used in the Construction Industry

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR 1926

[Docket No. S-205A]

RIN 1218 AA40

Safety Standards for Scaffolds Used in the Construction Industry

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION: Proposed Rule; Limited reopening of rulemaking record.

SUMMARY: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reopening its record on the proposed standard for scaffolds used in the construction industry (subpart L) (51 FR 42680, November 26, 1986) in order to solicit comments on the issues specified herein.

First, the Agency believes, based on comments received in this rulemaking, that additional public comment regarding fall protection and safe means of access for employees erecting or dismantling scaffolds will better enable OSHA to determine what can be done to protect such employees.

Second, the Agency is reopening the record to add information on guardrail systems that incorporate crossbraces. The Agency believes that this information is relevant to OSHA's decision regarding the extent to which crossbraces may be used as members in guardrail systems. Therefore, it is appropriate to provide an opportunity for public comment on this information.

Third, the Agency is reopening the record to seek information concerning a type of scaffolding (called chimney bracket scaffolds) used in demolishing, repairing, and erecting chimneys, stacks, and similar structures.

OSHA will consider the information and comments elicited by this limited reopening of the record before the Agency finalizes its revisions of the scaffold regulations.

DATES: Written comments on these issues must be postmarked by May 28, 1993.

ADDRESSES: Written comments on the data described below should be submitted in quadruplicate to the Docket Office, Docket No. S-205A, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Room N-2634, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20210. Comments and information received may be inspected and copied in the Docket Office.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. James F. Foster, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Division of Consumer Affairs, Room 3647, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20210, 202-523-8151.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On November 26, 1986, OSHA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Safety Standards for Scaffolds Used in the Construction Industry (subpart L) (51 FR 42680). The NPRM established a 90-day period, which ended February 23, 1987, during which interested parties could submit written comments or request a hearing regarding the proposal. Several commenters requested an extension of the written comment period based on the complexity of the issues presented. On February 26, 1987, OSHA published a notice (52 FR 5790) extending the comment period to June 1, 1987. Several commenters requested an additional extension of the deadline for the submission of written comments, again because of the complexity of the issues presented. In order to afford the fullest opportunity for the public to comment on the proposal, OSHA extended the comment period a second time to August 14, 1987 (52 FR 20616, June 2, 1987).

In response to the NPRM, OSHA received several requests for a public hearing. Accordingly, pursuant to section 6(b)(3) of the OSH Act, OSHA published a notice of informal public hearing on January 26, 1988 (53 FR 2048). The hearing was held on March 22, 1988, with Administrative Law Judge Joel Williams presiding.

At the close of the hearing, Judge Williams set a period, ending May 9, 1988, for the submission of additional comments and information. On August 11, 1988, Judge Williams certified the rulemaking record, including the hearing transcript and all written submissions to the docket, thereby closing the hearing record for this proceeding.

As discussed below, OSHA has decided to reopen the rulemaking record to receive comments, with supporting information, on the following subjects: the proposed exemption from fall protection requirements and access requirements for employees erecting or dismantling scaffolds; the use of crossbracing in guardrail systems; and the fall protection required for employees working on chimney bracket scaffolds, as well as the requirements for the construction and use of chimney bracket scaffolds.

Fall Protection for Employees Erecting or Dismantling Scaffolds

Proposed paragraph 1926.451(e)(1) exempted employees from the proposed subpart L fall protection requirements while erecting or dismantling scaffolds. In Issue 8 of the NPRM, OSHA asked whether this proposed exemption should apply to the erection and dismantling of supported scaffolds, but not to suspended scaffolds. While noting that there often is no place on a supported scaffold to which a body belt or body harness system can be attached during scaffold erection or dismantling, the Agency observed that suspended scaffolds are often located so that droplines can be conveniently used to tie-off employees during such operations.

OSHA notes that, while Issue 8 did not explicitly call into question the proposed paragraph (e) exemption for the erection or dismantling of supported scaffolds, several commenters addressed that subject and the need, in general, to protect scaffold erectors and dismantlers from fall hazards. For example, three commenters (Exs. 2-43, 2-45, and 2-497) stated that fall protection should be required during all scaffold erection and dismantling operations. One of these commenters (Ex. 2-45) stated that many structures provide overhead anchorages to which lifelines can be connected to allow vertical and horizontal movement. This commenter added that, during the erection of scaffolds, stone masons use light outrigger scaffold sections on the long sides. These sections have guardrails, and can be pushed up the vertical scaffold poles before the employees who erect the scaffolds are exposed to fall hazards at a higher level. (Ex. 2-497) stated that lifelines or perimeter guardrails can be provided even when no overhead anchorage is apparent. The same commenter added that "a bucket truck, manlift or other elevating platform can be used to install lifelines without a fall hazard." The third commenter (Ex. 2-43) stated that "if a fall hazard exists, lifelines or some other fall arrest system should be in place."

In addition, some commenters (Exs. 2-3, 2-12, 2-21 and 2-53) stated that employees erecting or dismantling all types of scaffolds should be exempted from the proposed fall protection requirements of Subpart L. For example, one commenter (Ex. 2-12) stated that fall protection should not be required because, "We have experienced no injuries during this operation. I feel in many instances that certain types of fall protection may actually increase accidents." Another commenter stated that fall protection would be detrimental to employee safety" because "It would be difficult to attach safety ropes to secure object(s) in most cases, as well as hindering the necessary movement of employees. This practice, if approved, would add a significant cost to all masonry projects." OSHA notes that the factors raised by these commenters apply only when supported scaffolds, not suspended scaffolds, are being erected or dismantled.

Also, four commenters (Exs. 2-29, 2-54, 2-57, and 2-70) indicated that fall protection should be provided where feasible during the erection and dismantling of supported scaffolds. One of these commenters (Ex. 2-57) added that some supported scaffolds can be rigged to provide integral fall protection without undue encumbrance of the work. However, the commenter provided no examples. The same commenter indicated that a broad exemption from fall protection requirements during the erection and dismantling of supported scaffolds would reduce the protection of employees and would discourage future technological developments in this area. An additional commenter (Ex. 2-516) stated that fall protection should be provided unless it creates a greater hazard.

Other commenters (Exs. 2-3, 2-9, 2-15, 2-22, 2-30, 2-69, 2-367, 2-368) indicated that the proposed exemption should apply to supported scaffolds. The SIA (Ex. 2-368) stated that "individuals erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds do not require fall protection during erection and dismantling." The Scaffolding, Shoring and Forming Institute (SSFI) (Ex. 2-367) stated that safety belts should not be required during the erection and dismantling of supported scaffolds because "there is no appropriate area for safe tie-off, and drop lines would become entangled in the scaffold during the climbing and moving procedures and could pull the erector off the scaffold."

Several commenters (Exs. 2-13, 2-15, 2-29, 2-30, 2-69 and 2-70) stated that the proposed exemption should not apply to suspended scaffolds. For example, one commenter (Ex 2-13) stated "Persons rigging any suspended scaffold should be protected from the hazard of falling." Another commenter (Ex 2-29) stated "The regulation should state that fall protection should * * * always be provided when erecting or dismantling suspended scaffolds."

In addition, Department of Labor personnel met (Ex. 18) with representatives of the scaffold industry on May 7, 1992, to discuss the proposed exemption from the proposed fall protection requirements for employees erecting or dismantling scaffolds. The industry representatives stated that it was unnecessary and infeasible to provide fall protection for employees erecting or dismantling scaffolds.

The Agency believes that the input received in response to Issue 8 raises questions about the need for an exemption from fall protection requirements during the erection or dismantling of supported or suspended scaffolds. Therefore, OSHA has reopened the rulemaking, placed the pertinent submissions described below in the record, and has set a comment period for the purpose of receiving comments from interested parties.

Exhibits

[Ex. 18] Record of May 7, 1992, meeting between Department of Labor representatives and scaffold industry representatives. One page with attachment. The industry representatives were D. Victor Saleeby of the Scaffold Industry Association, Joe Puccinelli of Safway Steel Products, and Richard C. Mocny of Patent Scaffolding Co.

The industry representatives stated that providing fall protection for scaffold erectors and dismantlers is neither necessary nor feasible. They provided a document (the attachment) which contained data on the speed of a free-falling body at various fall distances, the amount of time a free falling body takes to fall various distances, the fall arrest forces on a web lanyard (with and without a shock absorber) for a 220 pound weight falling 6 feet, and the data from two load tests of catenary wire ropes.

[Ex. 19] "Scaffold Erection Fall Arrest Experiments 5/91 & 1/92"

(Videotape) from Safway Steel Products (cover letter and tape).

This video tape shows several experiments in which weights were attached to free-standing mobile scaffolds. When the weights were dropped to simulate a falling body, the scaffolds tipped over.

[Ex. 20] State of Washington, Washington Annotated Code WAC 296- 155-24510. This regulation requires that employees exposed to a fall hazard of 10 feet or more be protected by fall restraint or fall arrest systems. December 24, 1991.

[Ex. 21] Scaffold Industry Association (SIA) remarks to the Fall Protection Subcommittee of the Construction Advisory Committee for the State of Washington on February 20, 1992, with four attachments providing background information. Thirty-one pages, February, 1992. The SIA ascribed most falls from scaffolds to misuse of equipment, unauthorized alteration of the equipment (particularly removal of guardrail systems), failure to follow safety standards, and lack of training. The SIA stated that the problem of falls from scaffolds lies with users, not with trained scaffold erectors.

The SIA also discussed existing standards, case law, and industry practice. In particularly, the SIA stated that requiring tie-off of scaffold erectors is not practical or feasible, will create greater hazards, and is not justified by accident statistics.

The text describes tests performed in which scaffolds were toppled when weights attached by lanyards to free standing rolling scaffold towers were dropped to simulate a falling person.

Attachment A:

An SIA analysis of a Bureau of Labor Statistics survey of scaffold accidents. Regarding Attachment A, the SIA noted, "None of the accidents involved fatalities among 'scaffold erectors'."

Attachment B:

An SIA analysis of a survey by the Division of Labor Statistics and Research, State of California, of 114 scaffold fatalities from January, 1964, through June, 1974. Regarding Attachment B, the SIA noted, "None of these accidents were reported as involving scaffold erectors."

Attachment C:

The SIA surveyed its estimated 150 members engaged in the erection and dismantling of scaffolds in order to determine if they had experienced falls by scaffold erectors from 1985 through 1989. Seventy-four members (representing approximately 180 locations) responded. Regarding Attachment C, the SIA noted that a number of the responders were unable to provide information for the earlier years. This survey shows 35 falls and 2 fatalities over the five- year period during which employees worked 10,238,000 hours.

Attachment D:

This is the February 1987 issue of the SIA Newsletter. Photographs on pages 1 and 3 show workers installing scaffolding on the Statue of Liberty without fall protection. Regarding this attachment, the SIA stated that fall protection was not provided or required and that the project was completed without injury to any scaffold erectors.

[Ex. 22] State of Washington, Department of Labor and Industries, Division of Industrial Safety and Health. Cover letter dated June 8, 1992, and minutes of the February 20, 1992, meeting of the State's Construction Advisory Committee's Fall Protection Subcommittee.

The Division of Occupational Safety and Health informed the subcommittee that the Division would enforce its fall protection standard (see Ex. 20, above) on all employers in the construction industry including those whose employees erect and dismantle scaffolds, except where the employer can demonstrate either that providing fall protection is infeasible or that compliance with the standard creates a hazard greater than that created by non- compliance. The minutes also described efforts by the Division to determine when scaffold industry compliance with the fall protection standard would be infeasible or would pose a greater hazard than non-compliance.

[Ex. 23] OSHA's Office of Management Data Systems, Integrated Management Information System. Abstracts of reports of 42 accidents involving falls during erection or dismantling of supported scaffolds from April 1984 to November 1992. December 10th, 1992. OSHA notes that 16 of those accidents resulted in fatalities.

Request or Comments

While OSHA acknowledges that there may be instances where employees erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds cannot be protected from fall hazards, the Agency is considering if, based on the available information, it is appropriate to retain or modify the proposed exemption from fall protection requirements during the erection or dismantling of supported scaffolds. In particular, the Agency noted that, even without the proposed exemption, employers have the opportunity to raise "impossibility of compliance" and "greater hazard" as defenses against citations for violations of 1926.451(e). As regards the erection and dismantling of suspended scaffolds, OSHA believes that the rulemaking record supports revision of proposed 1926.451(e)(1) to remove the proposed exemption.

Accordingly, OSHA request public comment including supporting information (such as current accident, economic, and engineering data) regarding the following questions:

(1) Should the Agency require employers to provide fall protection for employees erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds, except where the employer can demonstrate that it is not practicable or that it would create a greater hazard than would be created by not providing fall protection?

(2) To what extent are employers able to provide fall protection for employees erecting or dismantling supported or suspended scaffolds?

(3) What procedures and equipment ar used to protect employees from fall hazards during the erection or dismantling of supported or suspended scaffolds?

(4) How would the use of fall protection affect the mobility of employees engaged in erecting or dismantling supported or suspended scaffolds?

(5) Would compliance with the proposed fall protection requirement create hazards for employees erecting or dismantling scaffolds? If so, what are those hazards and how could they be prevented?

(6) What criteria should an employer consider in determining if providing fall protection to employees erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds is impracticable or would create a greater hazard than erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds without fall protection? For example, to what extent should the following factors be considered: lack of a structure above or adjacent to the scaffold; height, length, or width of the scaffold, number of employees exposed, duration of employee exposure, and the erection or dismantling procedures followed? Please submit comments and suggestions, with supporting information, regarding any factors that OSHA should consider in drafting the final rule.

(7) If OSHA required employers to provide fall protection, except where it was infeasible or created a greater hazard, what should employers be required to demonstrate in support of their decisions regarding the feasibility of providing fall protection for employees erecting or dismantling scaffolds?

(8) If the Agency retains the proposed exemption from the fall protection requirements for employees erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds, would measures such as fully planking sections on which employees must stand or providing stairway type ladders inside the scaffold reduce employee exposure to fall hazards?

(9) Should OSHA require fall protection for employees on those sections of supported scaffolds, such as the top level of a multi- level scaffold, that are not being erected or dismantled, while retaining the proposed exemption only for those particular sections that are being erected or dismantled at a particular time?

(10) What would be the impact if OSHA revised 1926.451(e)(1) to require that employers protect employees erecting or dismantling suspended scaffolds from fall hazards. Please submit supporting information for any comments or suggestions.

Access Requirements for Employees Erecting or Dismantling Scaffolds

Proposed 1926.451(c) would require that access to and between scaffold platforms more than 2 feet (0.6 m) above or below the point of access be by portable ladder, hook-on ladders, attachable ladders, stairway type ladders (such as ladder stands), ramps, runways, integral prefabricated scaffold rungs, or equivalent means, or by direct access from another scaffold, structure personnel hoist, or similar surface. A note to proposed 1926.451(c) exempted employees erecting or dismantling scaffolds from the proposed access requirements, because OSHA believed at that time that compliance with those proposed requirements would often be infeasible, due to a lack of proper bracing, where a scaffold was being erected or disassembled.

However, OSHA now believes that the concerns raised regarding the proposed exemption from the proposed fall protection requirements of employees erecting or dismantling scaffolds also apply to the proposed exemption from the proposed access requirements. For example, the Agency believes, based on the above-discussed comments received on Issue 8, that the proposed paragraph (c) exemption is unnecessary for employees erecting suspended scaffolds and will not always be necessary for employees erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds. OSHA solicits comments, with supporting information, on this issue.

Request for Comments

The Agency requests comments, including any supporting information (such as current accident, economic, and engineering data), on the following issues:

(1) Should OSHA revise 1926.451(c) to require that employees erecting or dismantling suspended and/or supported scaffolds have access to and between scaffold platforms that complies with the provisions of proposed 1926.451(c)?

(2) To what extent are employers able to provide safe access for employees erecting or dismantling supported or suspended scaffolds?

(3) What particular circumstances should OSHA consider in determining if the proposed exemption should be deleted in whole or in part?

(4) Would compliance with the proposed access requirement create hazards for employees erecting or dismantling scaffolds? If so, what are those hazards and how could they be prevented?

(5) If OSHA required employers to comply with the access requirements at all times except where it was infeasible or created a greater hazard, what should employers be required to demonstrate in support of their decisions regarding the feasibility of providing safe access for employees erecting or dismantling scaffolds?

Use of Crossbraces

The NPRM indicated situations where employers would be required to protect employees from fall hazards with guardrail systems. Proposed 1926.451(e)(4) set guardrail installation criteria, including requirements for toprails and midrails. "Crossbraces" (defined by ANSI- A10.8-1988, Scaffolding-Safety Requirements, as "Two diagonal scaffold members joined at their center to form an "X", used between frames or uprights, or both") were not included in the list of acceptable guardrail components. In Issue 13 of the NPRM, OSHA noted that the Scaffold Industry Association (SIA) and other groups supported, within limits, the use of crossbraces as an effective guardrail type system. Therefore, OSHA requested public comment on the utility of crossbraces for fall protection.

To facilitate comment, Issue 13 presented several sets of criteria which could potentially be applied to crossbraces if they were used in guardrail systems. The criteria covered the height above the work surfaced at which braces could cross and provide adequate fall protection in lieu of a midrail (20 to 31 inches or 20 to 30 inches); a toprail (39 to 49 inches, with brace ends no more than 54 inches apart); or in lieu of a midrail and toprail (30 to 48 inches, with brace ends no more than 54 inches apart). Issue 13 also indicated that even if crossbraces were otherwise permitted as guardrails, OSHA was considering whether they should not be permitted to be used in place of either a toprail or a midrail on the top level of any supported scaffold, and whether crossbracing should not be allowed in place of both a toprail and a midrail on the same level of a supported scaffold.

OSHA notes that the American National Standard for Construction and Demolition, Scaffolding Safety Requirements, ANSI A10.8-1988, allows the use of crossbracing in lieu of a midrail when the crossing point of two braces is at least 20 inches, but no more than 30 inches, above the platform (Section 4.5.5). In addition, the ANSI standard provides that crossbracing is acceptable as a guardrail system provided that the crossing point of two braces is between 31 and 48 inches above the work platform and the end points at each upright are no more than 54 inches apart (Section 4.5.6). The ANSI standard does not provide a rationale for the above-cited provisions.

Interested parties have continued to submit information on the use of crossbracing in guardrail systems, even though the record for this rulemaking was formally closed on August 11, 1989. OSHA believes that submissions received subsequent to the closing of the record contain information which would further the resolution of the crossbracing issue. Accordingly, the Agency has determined that it is in the public interest to consider those submission and to allow the public an opportunity to comment on the contents of those submissions. Therefore, OSHA has reopened the rulemaking record, placed the pertinent submissions described below in the record, and has set a comment period for the purpose of receiving comments from interested parties. The submissions which have been received and inserted into the record are listed and briefly summarized below.

The Scaffold Industry Association (SIA) has stated (Ex. 2-368) that OSHA should permit employers to use crossbracing in lieu of guardrails on fabricated frame scaffolds since such scaffolds are designed to receive crossbracing, but not to receive standard guardrails.

OSHA notes that easily attachable guardrail systems which overcome any such problem are commercially available. For example, there is a system (Ex. 24) that consists of upright members which have connection points for guardrails at the standard heights. These upright members lock in place onto the upright members of the scaffold, leaving the connection points of the framer free for attaching crossbracing. Another system (Ex. 25) consists of guardrail panels which are supported by hooks placed over the horizontal frame members. A third system (Exs. 26 and 27) attaches the midrail to the crossbracing itself, while the toprail attaches to the scaffold uprights by the use of sleeves and also attaches to the crossbrace.

Exhibits

[Ex. 24] Waco Scaffolding and Equipment advertisement on page 13 of the Scaffolding Industry Association Newsletter of May, 1991. This advertisement depicts a scaffold guardrail system in which guardrail posts attach to scaffold uprights. According to the advertisement, this system provides fliplocks to accept both tubular and angle iron guardrails at 21 inches and 42 inches, eliminating the need to attach guardrails to the crossbrace connection points or to tie guardrails to the scaffold frame.

[Ex. 25] Safway Steel Products sectional scaffolding catalogue. 19 pages, undated. Various scaffold guardrail systems are depicted on page 10 of this catalogue. One of those systems attaches to scaffold horizontal members by use of hooks, eliminating the need to attach guardrails to the crossbrace connection points or to tie guardrails to the scaffold frame.

[Ex. 26] Letter and attachment dated October 6, 1989, from Donald E. Nail, Nail Safety Rails, to OSHA regarding a scaffold guardrail system invented by him.

Mr. Nail provided photographs, a drawing, and the patent documents of a scaffold guardrail system in which the toprail attaches to sleeves placed on the scaffold uprights. Each sleeve has a notch that allows it to receive on of the horizontal members connected to each upright. A tab allows each sleeve to be locked in place on a horizontal member. The toprail also attaches to one scaffold crossbrace member by a pivot connection. The midrail attaches directly to the scaffold crossbraces by sliding rings. Mr. Nail noted that, once the guardrails have been attached to a crossbrace assembly, the guardrails remain attached to the assembly in such a manner that they fold up with it for storage.

Mr. Nail noted that the toprail would automatically be positioned for installation after the crossbrace members have been secured during erection of the scaffolding, and actual installation of the toprail involves only placing the sleeves into engagement with the uprights and pivoting them to engage the horizontal members, thus locking the toprail into place. The midrail is automatically positioned as soon as the crossbrace members are connected during the assembly of the scaffolding.

[Ex. 27] Letter and attachment dated July 12, 1990, from Donald E. Nail, Nail Safety Rails. Mr. Nail states that an automatic safety guardrail for scaffolding would be economical and effective. The attachment is a brochure which addresses his automatic safety guardrail, and states that its benefits are as follow: "faster setup of scaffolds, saves money in labor, minimal investment, easy to store, meets OSHA's guidelines, safe work environment".

[Ex. 28] Memorandum from Frank Strasheim summarizing the recommendations of OSHA's Fall Protection Task Force meeting of November 7 and 8, 1989. Three pages, November 27, 1989.

The task force recommended that crossbracing not be accepted as a substitute for a standard guardrail system on scaffolding.

Request for Comments

The Agency requests comments, including any supporting information (such as current accident, economic, and engineering data), on the following issues:

(1) Are the Waco, Safway, or Nail supplemental rail systems feasible to use? Would they provide protection equivalent to that provided by guardrails that comply with proposed subpart L (conventional guardrails)?

(2) To what extent would the use of crossbraces alone provide fall protection equivalent to that provided through the use of either conventional guardrail systems or the supplemental rail systems described above?

(3) Should OSHA permit the use of crossbracing in lieu of a midrail on scaffolding provided that the crossing point of the two braces is at or between 31 inches and 20 inches above the work surface? If so, what should the maximum distance allowed between the end points of the crossbraces at each upright be?

(4) Should OSHA permit the use of crossbracing in lieu of midrails and toprails on scaffolding provided the cross point of the two braces is at or between 48 inches and 30 inches above the work surface, and the end points of the crossbraces at each upright are not more than 54 inches apart?

(5) Should OSHA permit the use of crossbracing in lieu of a toprail provided the crossing point of the two braces is at or between 39 inches and 49 inches above the work surface, and the end points of the crossbraces at each upright are not more than 54 inches apart?

(6) Should OSHA permit the use of crossbraces in lieu of midrails provided the crossing point of the two braces is at or between 30 inches and 20 inches above the work surface? If so, what should the maximum distance allowed between the end points of the crossbraces at each upright be?

(7) To what extent would the implementation of configuration(s) or design(s) other than those noted above result in crossbracing that adequately protects employees from fall hazards? Please provide detailed descriptions, with supporting information, for any such configuration or design.

(8) Should OSHA prohibit the use of crossbracing in lieu of both a toprail and a midrail on the same level of a scaffold?

(9) Should OSHA prohibit the use of crossbraces in lieu of either a toprail or a midrail on intermediate levels of scaffolding?

(10) Should OSHA prohibit the use of crossbracing in lieu of either a toprail or a midrail on the top level of scaffolding?

Chimney Bracket Scaffolds

Chimney bracket scaffolds consist of platforms supported by brackets which are secured in place by one or more wire ropes placed in an approximately horizontal plane around the circumference of the structure and tensioned by a turnbuckle.

The Agency has recently received information (Exs. 31 and 32) which suggest that the protection of employees working from chimney bracket scaffolds may not be adequately addressed by proposed 1926.451. For example, OSHA is concerned that proposed 1926.451(e) may not adequately address chimney bracket scaffold fall hazards.

OSHA is considering whether or not it is necessary to promulgate specific fall protection requirements in Subpart L for protection of employees on chimney bracket scaffolds. The Agency is also considering whether or not it is appropriate to promulgate technical requirements for chimney bracket scaffolds that are more detailed than those proposed for scaffolds in general. Therefore, OSHA believes that it is appropriate to present a series of questions concerning these scaffolds, and to provide an opportunity for public comment on those questions. The record developed on these issues will be used by OSHA in evaluating the need for specific requirements in subpart L for chimney bracket scaffolds, and in determining what those requirements should be.

Exhibits

[Ex. 29] State of Washington, Washington Annotated Code WAC 296- 155-485(26). This sets forth the State of Washington's requirements for "chimney, stack and tank bracket scaffolds". Two pages, December 24, 1991.

[Ex. 30] State of Alaska, Alaska Administrative Code, Construction Code, Subchapter 05, paragraph 120(b)(22). This sets forth the State of Alaska's requirements for "chimney and tank bracket scaffolds". Three pages, May 30, 1982.

[Ex. 31] International Chimney Corporation advertisement on page 21 of Demolition Age Magazine of March, 1992.

This advertisement includes a picture of an employee on a chimney bracket scaffold and picture of other employees on a ladder that provides access to a chimney bracket scaffold.

[Ex. 32] OSHA's Office of Management Data Systems, Integrated Management Information System. Abstracts of reports of 2 accidents involving falls from chimney bracket scaffolds.

One fall occurred when a section of concrete being removed from a 250 foot tall smoke stack fell onto the chimney bracket scaffold, knocking the employee off the scaffold. The employee fell 250 feet to the ground. The other fall occurred when a section of a chimney bracket scaffold fell 46 feet while two employee were raising the safety rope. Neither employee was tied off although safety belts were present on the scaffold.

Request for Comments

The Agency requests public comment on the following questions, including any supporting information (such as accident, economic, and engineering data), concerning chimney bracket scaffolds;

(1) During which construction activities are chimney bracket scaffolds used?

(2) What are the hazards that are presented by each of these applications?

(3) OSHA has characterized these scaffolds as suspension scaffolds. To what extent is that treatment appropriate?

(4) How are these scaffolds erected or dismantled?

(5) What hazards do employees face during the erection or dismantling of these scaffolds?

(6) To what extent is it feasible to provide fall protection for employees erecting or dismantling these scaffolds? How can such fall protection be provided? Should OSHA require the use of personal fall arrest systems for employees erecting or dismantling these scaffolds?

(7) What procedures are used to raise, lower, or adjust chimney bracket scaffolds?

(8) What hazards do employees face during the raising, lowering, or adjusting of these scaffolds?

(9) To what extent is it feasible to provide fall protection for employees raising, lowering, or adjusting these scaffolds? How can such fall protection be provided? Should OSHA require the use of personal fall arrest systems for these activities?

(10) OSHA is concerned that a fatal accident would be likely to occur if only one wire rope were used to secure the scaffold brackets and that rope were to fail. Should OSHA require that a minimum of two wire ropes be used for securing the brackets in place? Would one wire rope be sufficient in personal fall arrest systems were used?

(11) Should the use of personal fall arrest systems be required once these scaffolds have been secured in place for use, regardless of the number of wire ropes used to support the scaffold?

(12) Should the use of personal fall arrest systems be required, in addition to the use of guardrail systems, once these scaffolds have been secured in place for use?

(13) How can an adequate anchorage be provided for personal fall arrest systems? Should the anchorage be independent of the scaffold in all cases? Can an independent horizontal wire rope around the structure be used as such an anchorage?

(14) Does the number of wire ropes used to secure the brackets in place affect the need for the use of personal fall arrest systems? If so, how?

(15) Are there situations where the use of a personal fall arrest system is not feasible or would create a greater hazard than would arise if employees worked without personal fall arrest systems?

(16) Is it feasible to secure the brackets without using wire ropes? How?

(17) Should crossbracing be required to secure the brackets from lateral or rotational movement? How would crossbraces be installed to secure the brackets?

(18) What should be the minimum strength requirements for the wire ropes and tensioning devices used to secure the brackets?

(19) What should be the minimum strength requirements for the structure which supports the scaffold?

(20) Should a competent person (as defined in 1926.32(f)) be required to inspect the supporting structure before scaffold erection begins?

(21) Should a registered professional engineer be required to inspect the supporting structure before scaffold erection begins?

(22) How can employees working below these scaffolds be protected from falling objects?

(23) Should there be a limit on the size or weight of the material removed from the structure in one piece?

(24) Should there be a limit to the size or weight of the material dropped from the scaffold in one piece?

(25) How many different types of chimney bracket scaffolds are there? How do they differ? To what extent do responses to the preceding questions vary according to the type used?

(26) Are there other safety hazards which have not been addressed in the questions above? If yes, what are they, and how can they be abated?

References

A completed set of references is available for examining and copying at the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. S-205A, Room N-2634, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20210.

Public Participation

Written comments regarding the issues raised in this notice must be postmarked by [insert date 60 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register]. Four copies of these comments must be submitted to the Docket Office, Docket No. S-205A, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Room S- 2634, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210, (202) 219-7894. All materials submitted will be available for inspection and copying at the above address. Materials previously submitted to the Docket for the Subpart L rulemaking regarding the issues set forth in this notice need not be resubmitted.

Authority

This document was prepared under the direction of David C. Zeigler, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. It is issued under Section 6(b) of the OSHA Act (29 USC 655), Section 107 of CSA (40 USC 333), and 29 CFR part 1911. Signed at Washington, DC, this 23rd day of March 1993.

David C. Zeigler,
Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor.

[FR Doc. 93-7063 Filed 3-26-93; 8:45 am]


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