Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
| Standard Number:||1926.501; 1926.500(b) ; 1926.501(b)(14); 1926.501(b)(4)(i); 1926.501(b)(4)(ii); 1926.502(i)|
|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 http://www.osha.gov.|
"Wall openings" Each employee working on, at, above, or near wall openings (including those with chutes attached) where the outside bottom edge of the wall opening is 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels and the inside bottom edge of the wall opening is less than 39 inches (1.0 m) above the walking/working surface, shall be protected from falling by the use of a guardrail system, a safety net system, or a personal fall arrest system.An "opening" [in a wall/partition] is defined in §1926.500(b) as:
a gap or void 30 inches (76 cm) or more high and 18 inches (48 cm) or more wide, in a wall or partition, through which employees can fall to a lower level.A "hole" [in a walking/working surface] is defined in §1926.500(b) as:
a gap or void 2 inches (5.1 cm) or more in its least dimension, in a floor, roof, or other walking/working surface.The floor holes within the chase would pose a fall hazard to workers on each floor unless exposure to the holes is eliminated or fall protection is provided.1 As you state in your letter, the 14½-inch gaps between the studs are smaller than those needed to meet the definition of an "opening." As these gaps in the stud walls are not considered wall openings, the stud walls prevent the workers from unintentionally falling into the holes in the chase.
Each employee on walking/working surfaces shall be protected from falling through holes (including skylights) more than 6 feet above lower levels, by personal fall arrest systems, covers, or guardrail systems erected around such holes.§1926.501(b)(4)(ii) states:
Each employee on a walking/working surface shall be protected from tripping in or stepping into or through holes (including skylights) by covers. [back to text]
|Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
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