Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
| Standard Number:||1926.106(a); 1926.106(d)|
|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.|
Employees working over or near water, where the danger of drowning exists, shall be provided with U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket of buoyant work vests. [Emphasis added.]Section 1926.106(a) does not specify a minimum depth of water where a danger of drowning would exist. However, several factors are relevant to determining whether a danger of drowning exists. These include the type (i.e., a pool, a river, a canal), depth, presence or absence of a current, height above the water surface, and the use of fall protection.
When continuous fall protection is used (without exception) to prevent employees from falling into the water, the employer has effectively removed the drowning hazard, and life jackets or buoyant work vests are not needed.Therefore, in your scenario, if the workers were to use 100% fall protection (without exception) while over or near water, life jackets/vests would not be required under §1926.106(a) because you would have removed the drowning hazard.
At least one lifesaving skiff shall be immediately available at locations where employees are working over or adjacent to water.This provision does not state a minimum depth of water required before a lifesaving skiff is necessary. Unlike §1926.106(a), this provision does not include the phrase "where the danger of drowning exists."
|Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
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