Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
| Standard Number:||1926.500; 1926.500(b) ; 1926.501; 1926.501(b)(4)|
|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.|
§1926.500(b) Definitions.29 CFR 1926.501(b)(4), Subpart M Fall Protection, provides:
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Hole means a gap or void 2 inches (5.1 cm) or more in its least dimension, in a floor, roof, or other walking/working surface.
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Walking/working surface means any surface, whether horizontal or vertical on which an employee walks or works, including, but not limited to, floors, roofs, ramps, bridges, runways, formwork and concrete reinforcing steel but not including ladders, vehicles, or trailers, on which employees must be located in order to perform their job duties.
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§1926.501(b)(4) Holes. (i) Each employee on walking/working surfaces shall be protected from falling through holes (including skylights) more than 6 feet (1.8 m) above lower levels, by personal fall arrest systems, covers, or guardrail systems erected around such holes. [Emphasis added.]An employer has a duty to protect employees from the hazard of a hole in walking/ working surfaces as specified in §1926.501(b)(4). Case law has established that brevity of exposure to a hazard is not a defense to a failure to protect against the hazard.1 Where the duty under §1926.501(b)(4) applies, it must be complied with immediately.
(ii) Each employee on a walking/working surface shall be protected from tripping in or stepping into or through holes (including skylights) by covers. [Emphasis added.]
|Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
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