At least four feet tall. The employer must provide one or more of the following to safeguard each employee from falling through any opening (including skylights) that is 4 feet (1.2 m) or more above a lower level:
Covers, Guardrails, travel restraint systems, and personal fall arrest systems are all options.
Below the height of four feet Covers or guardrail systems must be used to prevent employees from tripping into or walking into or through any hole that is less than 4 feet (1.2 m) above a lower level.
Stairway floor holes:
Except at the stairwell entrance, each employee must be protected from falling into a stairwell floor hole by a fixed guardrail system on all exposed sides. Employers may protect employees from falling into the hole by using a hinged floor hole cover that meets the criteria in OSHA Standard 1910.29 and a removable guardrail system on all exposed sides, except at the stairway entrance, for any stairway used less than once per day where traffic across the stairway floor hole prevents the use of a fixed guardrail system.
A guardrail system and toeboards must be installed on all exposed sides to prevent employees from falling into a ladderway floor hole or ladderway platform hole, except at the hole’s entry, where a self-closing gate or an offset must be employed.
Hatchway and chute floor holes:
A hinged floor-hole cover and a fixed guardrail system that leaves just one exposed side to prevent each employee from falling through a hatchway and chute floor hole. When the hole isn’t in use, the employer must seal the cover or provide a removable guardrail system on the exposed sides; a removable guardrail system and toeboards on no more than two sides of the hole, and a fixed guardrail system on the other exposed sides. When the hole is not in use, the employer must guarantee that the removable guardrail system is kept in place; or
When a work process demands moving material through a hatchway or chute floor hole, a guardrail or travel restraint device is used.
Runways and Similar Walkways
Each employee on a runway or similar walkway must be covered by a guardrail system if they fall 4 feet (1.2 m) or more to a lower level. When the employer can show that guardrails on both sides of a runway used exclusively for a special purpose are not possible, the employer may omit the guardrail on one side of the runway if the following conditions are met:
- Each employee is furnished with and employs a personal fall arrest device or travel restraint system, and the runway is at least 18 inches (46 cm) wide.
The employer must use guardrails, safety nets, travel restraint systems, or persuade each employee on a walking-working surface near an opening where the inside bottom edge of the opening is less than 39 inches (99 cm) above that walking-working surface and the outside bottom edge of the opening is 4 feet (1.2 m) or more above a lower level to be protected from falling.
Employees must be protected from falling into dangerous equipment while working at any height.
Work under 4 feet: Unless the equipment is covered or guarded to eliminate the hazard, the employer must guarantee that each employee less than 4 feet (1.2 m) above dangerous equipment is prevented from falling into or onto the dangerous equipment by a guardrail system or a travel restraint system.
Work at 4 feet or more: A guardrail system, safety net system, travel restraint system, or personal fall arrest system must safeguard each employee who is 4 feet (1.2 m) or more above dangerous equipment from falling (PFAS).
Repair, Service, and Assembly Pits Less Than 10 Feet Deep
For a repair pit, service pit, or assembly pit that is less than 10 feet (3 m) deep, a fall protection system is not necessary if the employer:
- Only authorised individuals who have been trained in compliance with OSHA Standard 1910.30 have access within 6 feet (1.8 m) of the pit’s edge.
- Places a warning line at least 6 feet (1.8 m) from the pit’s edge, as well as stanchions capable of resisting a force of at least 16 pounds (71 N) applied horizontally against the stanchion at a height of 30 inches (76 cm) without tipping over; or places a cobra at least 6 feet (1.8 m) from the pit’s edge.
- When two or more pits in a common area are less than 15 feet (4.5m) apart, the employer may comply by placing contrasting floor markings at least 6 feet (1.8 m) from the pit edge around the entire area of the pits; and Posts readily visible caution signs that comply with OSHA Standard 1910.145, Specifications for accident prevention signs and tags, and state “CautionOpen Pit.”