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Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.28; 1910.28(a)(17) ; 1910.28(c)(14) ; 1910.28(d)(7)

August 21, 2007

Takaaki Ono
Nisso Golf Organization AG
Weilstrasse 27
35789 Weilmünster

Dear Mr. Ono:

Thank you for your June 13, 2007, letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Correspondence Control Unit, regarding clarification on OSHA's Safety Requirements for Scaffolding Standards, 29 CFR 1910.28. Your letter has been referred to OSHA's Directorate of Enforcement Programs, Office of General Industry Enforcement (GIE) for response. Your paraphrased question and our responses are provided below.

Question: What is the meaning of the phrase "when required" as used specifically in 29 CFR 1910.28(c)(14), and [1910.28(d)(7)]?

Response: As you indicated, both referenced provisions, 29 CFR 1910.28(c)(14), and 1910.28(d)(7) state:
Guardrails not less than 2 x 4 inches or the equivalent and not less than 36 inches or more than 42 inches high, with a mid-rail, when required, of 1 x 4-inch lumber or equivalent, and toeboards, shall be installed at all open sides on all scaffolds more than 10 feet above the ground or floor. Toeboards shall be a minimum of 4 inches in height. Wire mesh shall be installed in accordance with paragraph (a)(17) of this section.
A midrail or equivalent protection is required to prevent exposed employees from falling within the middle space between the top rail of the guardrail system and surface area of a scaffold platform.

The phrase "when required" is used in instances where protection by alternative methods is inadequate, or has not been provided at the middle space, between the top rail and the scaffold platform. Such equivalent safety methods in lieu of a standard midrail on a guardrail, include, but are not limited to, crossbracing, screens, mesh, intermediate vertical members, solid panels, or equivalent structural members between the top rail of the guardrail system and the work surface.

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. Or 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 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 may consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the OSHA 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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