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Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.23(d)(1)(v)

May 23, 2005

Mr. Richard E. Viktora
General Counsel
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
14 Wall Street
New York, NY 10005

Dear Mr. Viktora:

Thank you for your January 25, 2005 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Your letter was forwarded to OSHA's Directorate of Enforcement Programs for response. 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. You had a specific question relating to fixed stairs.

The question below has been restated for clarity.

Question: Do light-use stairs greater than 88 inches wide require a center stair railing?

Response: The absence of a center stair rail would be in violation of the requirement currently found at §1910.23(d)(1)(v). However, OSHA has omitted the requirement for a center stair rail for stairs greater than 88 inches wide in its proposed revisions of the general industry standards for Walking and Working Surfaces (55 FR 13396, April 10, 1990). Where an employer is in compliance with the provisions of a proposed standard, it is OSHA's general policy, to treat the violation of an existing requirement as a de minimis violation. A de minimis violation does not result in a citation or penalty and need not be abated.

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
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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