29 CFR § 1910.21 - Scope and definitions.

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§ 1910.21 Scope and definitions.

(a) Scope. This subpart applies to all general industry workplaces. It covers all walking-working surfaces unless specifically excluded by an individual section of this subpart.

(b) Definitions. The following definitions apply in this subpart:

Alternating tread-type stair means a type of stairway consisting of a series of treads that usually are attached to a center support in an alternating manner such that an employee typically does not have both feet on the same level while using the stairway.

Anchorage means a secure point of attachment for equipment such as lifelines, lanyards, deceleration devices, and rope descent systems.

Authorized means an employee who the employer assigns to perform a specific type of duty, or allows in a specific location or area.

Cage means an enclosure mounted on the side rails of a fixed ladder or fastened to a structure behind the fixed ladder that is designed to surround the climbing space of the ladder. A cage also is called a “cage guard” or “basket guard.”

Carrier means the track of a ladder safety system that consists of a flexible cable or rigid rail attached to the fixed ladder or immediately adjacent to it.

Combinationladder means a portable ladder that can be used as a stepladder, extension ladder, trestle ladder, or stairway ladder. The components of a combination ladder also may be used separately as a single ladder.

Dangerous equipment means equipment, such as vats, tanks, electrical equipment, machinery, equipment or machinery with protruding parts, or other similar units, that, because of their function or form, may harm an employee who falls into or onto the equipment.

Designated area means a distinct portion of a walking-working surface delineated by a warning line in which employees may perform work without additional fall protection.

Dockboard means a portable or fixed device that spans a gap or compensates for a difference in elevation between a loading platform and a transport vehicle. Dockboards include, but are not limited to, bridge plates, dock plates, and dock levelers.

Equivalent means alternative designs, equipment, materials, or methods, that the employer can demonstrate will provide an equal or greater degree of safety for employees compared to the designs, equipment, materials, or methods specified in this subpart.

Extension ladder means a non-self-supporting portable ladder that is adjustable in length.

Failure means a load refusal, breakage, or separation of component parts. A load refusal is the point at which the ultimate strength of a component or object is exceeded.

Fall hazard means any condition on a walking-working surface that exposes an employee to a risk of harm from a fall on the same level or to a lower level.

Fall protection means any equipment, device, or system that prevents an employee from falling from an elevation or mitigates the effect of such a fall.

Fixed ladder means a ladder with rails or individual rungs that is permanently attached to a structure, building, or equipment. Fixed ladders include individual-rung ladders, but not ship stairs, step bolts, or manhole steps.

Grab bar means an individual horizontal or vertical handhold installed to provide access above the height of the ladder.

Guardrail system means a barrier erected along an unprotected or exposed side, edge, or other area of a walking-working surface to prevent employees from falling to a lower level.

Handrail means a rail used to provide employees with a handhold for support.

Hoist area means any elevated access opening to a walking-working surface through which equipment or materials are loaded or received.

Hole means a gap or open space in a floor, roof, horizontal walking-working surface, or similar surface that is at least 2 inches (5 cm) in its least dimension.

Individual-rung ladder means a ladder that has rungs individually attached to a building or structure. An individual-rung ladder does not include manhole steps.

Ladder means a device with rungs, steps, or cleats used to gain access to a different elevation.

Ladder safety system means a system designed to eliminate or reduce the possibility of falling from a ladder. A ladder safety system usually consists of a carrier, safety sleeve, lanyard, connectors, and body harness. Cages and wells are not ladder safety systems.

Low-slope roof means a roof that has a slope less than or equal to a ratio of 4 in 12 (vertical to horizontal).

Lower level means a surface or area to which an employee could fall. Such surfaces or areas include, but are not limited to, ground levels, floors, roofs, ramps, runways, excavations, pits, tanks, materials, water, equipment, and similar surfaces and structures, or portions thereof.

Manhole steps means steps that are individually attached to, or set into, the wall of a manhole structure.

Maximum intended load means the total load (weight and force) of all employees, equipment, vehicles, tools, materials, and other loads the employer reasonably anticipates to be applied to a walking-working surface at any one time.

Mobile means manually propelled or moveable.

Mobile ladder stand (ladder stand) means a mobile, fixed-height, self-supporting ladder that usually consists of wheels or casters on a rigid base and steps leading to a top step. A mobile ladder stand also may have handrails and is designed for use by one employee at a time.

Mobile ladder stand platform means a mobile, fixed-height, self-supporting unit having one or more standing platforms that are provided with means of access or egress.

Open riser means the gap or space between treads of stairways that do not have upright or inclined members (risers).

Opening means a gap or open space in a wall, partition, vertical walking-working surface, or similar surface that is at least 30 inches (76 cm) high and at least 18 inches (46 cm) wide, through which an employee can fall to a lower level.

Personal fall arrest system means a system used to arrest an employee in a fall from a walking-working surface. It consists of a body harness, anchorage, and connector. The means of connection may include a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline, or a suitable combination of these.

Personal fall protection system means a system (including all components) an employer uses to provide protection from falling or to safely arrest an employee's fall if one occurs. Examples of personal fall protection systems include personal fall arrest systems, positioning systems, and travel restraint systems.

Platform means a walking-working surface that is elevated above the surrounding area.

Portable ladder means a ladder that can readily be moved or carried, and usually consists of side rails joined at intervals by steps, rungs, or cleats.

Positioning system (work-positioning system) means a system of equipment and connectors that, when used with a body harness or body belt, allows an employee to be supported on an elevated vertical surface, such as a wall or window sill, and work with both hands free. Positioning systems also are called “positioning system devices” and “work-positioning equipment.”

Qualified describes a person who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience has successfully demonstrated the ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project.

Ramp means an inclined walking-working surface used to access another level.

Riser means the upright (vertical) or inclined member of a stair that is located at the back of a stair tread or platform and connects close to the front edge of the next higher tread, platform, or landing.

Rope descent system means a suspension system that allows an employee to descend in a controlled manner and, as needed, stop at any point during the descent. A rope descent system usually consists of a roof anchorage, support rope, a descent device, carabiner(s) or shackle(s), and a chair (seatboard). A rope descent system also is called controlled descent equipment or apparatus. Rope descent systems do not include industrial rope access systems.

Rung, step, or cleat means the cross-piece of a ladder on which an employee steps to climb up and down.

Runway means an elevated walking-working surface, such as a catwalk, a foot walk along shafting, or an elevated walkway between buildings.

Scaffold means any temporary elevated or suspended platform and its supporting structure, including anchorage points, used to support employees, equipment, materials, and other items. For purposes of this subpart, a scaffold does not include a crane-suspended or derrick-suspended personnel platform or a rope descent system.

Ship stair (ship ladder) means a stairway that is equipped with treads, stair rails, and open risers, and has a slope that is between 50 and 70 degrees from the horizontal.

Side-step ladder means a type of fixed ladder that requires an employee to step sideways from it in order to reach a walking-working surface, such as a landing.

Spiral stairs means a series of treads attached to a vertical pole in a winding fashion, usually within a cylindrical space.

Stair rail or stair rail system means a barrier erected along the exposed or open side of stairways to prevent employees from falling to a lower level.

Stairway (stairs) means risers and treads that connect one level with another, and includes any landings and platforms in between those levels. Stairways include standard, spiral, alternating tread-type, and ship stairs.

Standard stairs means a fixed or permanently installed stairway. Ship, spiral, and alternating tread-type stairs are not considered standard stairs.

Step bolt (pole step) means a bolt or rung attached at intervals along a structural member used for foot placement and as a handhold when climbing or standing.

Stepladder means a self-supporting, portable ladder that has a fixed height, flat steps, and a hinged back.

Stepstool means a self-supporting, portable ladder that has flat steps and side rails. For purposes of the final rule, stepstool includes only those ladders that have a fixed height, do not have a pail shelf, and do not exceed 32 inches (81 cm) in overall height to the top cap, although side rails may extend above the top cap. A stepstool is designed so an employee can climb and stand on all of the steps and the top cap.

Through ladder means a type of fixed ladder that allows the employee to step through the side rails at the top of the ladder to reach a walking-working surface, such as a landing.

Tieback means an attachment between an anchorage (e.g., structural member) and a supporting device (e.g., parapet clamp or cornice hook).

Toeboard means a low protective barrier that is designed to prevent materials, tools, and equipment from falling to a lower level, and protect employees from falling.

Travel restraint system means a combination of an anchorage, anchorage connector, lanyard (or other means of connection), and body support that an employer uses to eliminate the possibility of an employee going over the edge of a walking-working surface.

Tread means a horizontal member of a stair or stairway, but does not include landings or platforms.

Unprotected sides and edges mean any side or edge of a walking-working surface (except at entrances and other points of access) where there is no wall, guardrail system, or stair rail system to protect an employee from falling to a lower level.

Walking-working surface means any horizontal or vertical surface on or through which an employee walks, works, or gains access to a work area or workplace location.

Warning line means a barrier erected to warn employees that they are approaching an unprotected side or edge, and which designates an area in which work may take place without the use of other means of fall protection.

Well means a permanent, complete enclosure around a fixed ladder.