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Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.268; 1910.268(g)(1); 1910.269(g)(1)(v)

March 31, 2005

Mr. Frederick Bartnicki, PE
Senior Engineer
Werner Company
93 Werner Road
Greenville, PA 16125-9499

Dear Mr. Bartnicki:

Thank you for your September 20, 2004 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Directorate of Enforcement Programs (DEP). This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any questions not delineated within your original correspondence.

In your letter you refer to a November 16, 1988 letter of interpretation and request clarification of the agency's position on the §1910.268 requirements for fall protection when working from ladders. The 1988 letter stated that pursuant to §1910.268(g)(1), safety belts and straps must be used when employees perform work from ladders at positions more than four feet above the ground. That letter was withdrawn to allow for a review of the rulemaking record and the agency's policies on this issue.

As a result of our review of the rulemaking history of §1910.268(g)(1), we have concluded that there was no intention that an employee must be tied off when working from a ladder (as opposed to a "ladder platform"). The 1988 letter did not reference or otherwise appear to take into account the rulemaking history. We also note that the analogous provision of §1910.269 does not require tying off in these circumstances (§1910.269 (g)(1)(v)), and no such requirement for ladder use was proposed or adopted in the rulemaking for the construction ladder standards, Subpart X of Part 1926.

We would note that although there is no requirement in §1910.268 for fall protection while an employee works from a ladder, neither is there a prohibition against the use of fall protection.

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. 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/. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of General Industry Enforcement at (202) 693-1850.


Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs

Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents

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