Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
| Standard Number:||1926.450; 1926.451; 1926.451(e); 1926.451(e)(2); 1926.451(e)(9); 1926.451(e)(9)(i); 1926.451(e)(9)(ii); 1926.451(f); 1926.451(f)(15); 1926.451(f)(15)(iii); 1926.451(g); 1926.451(g)(2)|
|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.|
(a) Scope and application.Section 1926.451 addresses safe access in general, including the use of ladders, and, significantly, access for employees engaged in dismantling supported scaffolding:
This subpart applies to all scaffolds used in workplaces covered by this part.
* * *
* * *
Competent person means one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.
* * *
Tank builders' scaffold means a support scaffold consisting of a platform resting on brackets that are either directly attached to a cylindrical tank or attached to devices that are attached to such a tank.
* * *As noted in the Preamble at 61 FR 46025 (August 30, 1996):
(e) Access. This paragraph applies to scaffold access for all employees. Access requirements for employees erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds are specifically addressed paragraph (e)(9) of this section. [Emphasis added.]
* * *
(2) Portable, hook-on, and attachable ladders (Additional requirements for the proper construction and use of portable ladders are contained in subpart X of this part
* * *
(9)* * *access for employees erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds shall be in accordance with the following:
(i) The employer shall provide safe means of access for each employee erecting or dismantling a scaffold where the provision of safe access is feasible and does not create a greater hazard. The employer shall have a competent person determine whether it is feasible or would pose a greater hazard to provide, and have employees use a safe means of access. This determination shall be based on site conditions and the type of scaffold being erected or dismantled. [Emphasis added.]
(ii) Hook-on or attachable ladders shall be installed as soon as scaffold erection has progressed to a point that permits safe installation and use.
The Agency agrees that there are some situations where an exemption from final rule paragraph (e) would be appropriate. * * * OSHA finds that it is appropriate for employers to be able to obtain relief from the access requirements when such relief has been determined, on a case by case basis, to be necessary. Accordingly, the Agency has added final rule paragraph (e)(9) * * *.Section 1926.451(g) (Fall protection) contains, among others, fall protection requirements that specifically relate to the dismantling and erection of supported scaffolds. As with the applicability of the access provisions, the feasibility of fall protection for dismantlers is determined by a competent person.
* * * the employer shall have a competent person determine the feasibility and safety of providing fall protection for employees erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds. Employers are required to provide fall protection for employees erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds where the installation and use of such protection is feasible and does not create a greater hazard.Finally, §1926.451(f) contains various provisions that govern the "use" of scaffolds. Significantly, §1926.451(f)(15) addresses the use of ladders on scaffolds:
Ladders shall not be used on scaffolds to increase the working level height of employees, except on large area scaffolds [a defined term in this Subpart]1 where employers have satisfied the following criteria:
This provision was intended to ensure that workers were provided with a secure work platform, and to eliminate the hazard of tipping caused by portable ladders exerting a sideways thrust on scaffold systems.OSHA has previously indicated the types of items that might be considered in an access feasibility analysis by a competent person. In a January 2, 2002, interpretation letter to Ms. Carmen Shafer, the Agency noted that a "safe means of access" is not defined in the standard, but stressed that the goal of §1926.451(e)(9) is to eliminate the exposure of employees erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds to access hazards. The letter then indicated that the general access requirements in §1926.451(e) and the provisions in Part 1926 Subpart X reflect "principles of safe access."
hand-holds, and stepping surfaces that are: (1) level or will allow workers to maintain their balance; (2) sufficiently close to one another so that workers can move from one to the next without falling; (3) spaced evenly enough so that workers can find the next stepping surface without seeing it while ascending and descending; and (4) sufficiently strong and stable. [Emphasis added.]Analysis
The ladder base would be on the scaffold board and the top of the ladder would rest against the structure. The scaffold will not move because the scaffold bracket is attached to the structure. The scaffold boards will not move because the outer most board is against the post and the other board is against the outer most board.Additionally, Section 2.3 of your company's "safety standards on scaffold erection procedures" that were forwarded to this office includes the following:
19. Secure all scaffold planks with chain load binders, or key channels, j-hooks, and bullpins if required.Finally, you stated that the employee on the ladder wears a body harness that is tied off independent of the ladder.
a pole scaffold, tube and coupler scaffold, systems scaffold, or fabricated frame scaffold erected over substantially the entire work area. For example: a scaffold erected over the entire floor area of a room. [back to text]
|Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.