29 CFR 1910.29 - Fall protection systems and falling object protection - criteria and practices.
(a)General requirements. The employer must:
(1) Ensure each fall protection system and falling object protection, other than personal fall protection systems, that this part requires meets the requirements in this section. The employer must ensure each personal fall protection system meets the requirements in subpart I of this part; and
(2) Provide and install all fall protection systems and falling object protection this subpart requires, and comply with the other requirements in this subpart before any employee begins work that necessitates fall or falling object protection.
(1) The top edge height of top rails, or equivalent guardrail system members, are 42 inches (107 cm), plus or minus 3 inches (8 cm), above the walking-working surface. The top edge height may exceed 45 inches (114 cm), provided the guardrail system meets all other criteria of paragraph (b) of this section (see Figure D-11 of this section).
(2) Midrails, screens, mesh, intermediate vertical members, solid panels, or equivalent intermediate members are installed between the walking-working surface and the top edge of the guardrail system as follows when there is not a wall or parapet that is at least 21 inches (53 cm) high:
(iii) Intermediate vertical members (such as balusters) are installed no more than 19 inches (48 cm) apart; and
(3) Guardrail systems are capable of withstanding, without failure, a force of at least 200 pounds (890 N) applied in a downward or outward direction within 2 inches (5 cm) of the top edge, at any point along the top rail.
(4) When the 200-pound (890-N) test load is applied in a downward direction, the top rail of the guardrail system must not deflect to a height of less than 39 inches (99 cm) above the walking-working surface.
(5) Midrails, screens, mesh, intermediate vertical members, solid panels, and other equivalent intermediate members are capable of withstanding, without failure, a force of at least 150 pounds (667 N) applied in any downward or outward direction at any point along the intermediate member.
(7) The ends of top rails and midrails do not overhang the terminal posts, except where the overhang does not pose a projection hazard for employees.
(8) Steel banding and plastic banding are not used for top rails or midrails.
(9) Top rails and midrails are at least 0.25-inches (0.6 cm) in diameter or in thickness.
(10) When guardrail systems are used at hoist areas, a removable guardrail section, consisting of a top rail and midrail, are placed across the access opening between guardrail sections when employees are not performing hoisting operations. The employer may use chains or gates instead of a removable guardrail section at hoist areas if the employer demonstrates the chains or gates provide a level of safety equivalent to guardrails.
(i) Has a self-closing gate that slides or swings away from the hole, and is equipped with a top rail and midrail or equivalent intermediate member that meets the requirements in paragraph (b) of this section; or
(15) Manila or synthetic rope used for top rails or midrails are inspected as necessary to ensure that the rope continues to meet the strength requirements in paragraphs (b)(3) and (5) of this section.
(2) The employer must ensure each warning line:
(i) Has a minimum breaking strength of 200 pounds (0.89 kN);
(iii) Is supported in such a manner that pulling on one section of the line will not result in slack being taken up in adjacent sections causing the line to fall below the limits specified in paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section;
(iv) Is clearly visible from a distance of 25 feet (7.6 m) away, and anywhere within the designated area;
(v) Is erected as close to the work area as the task permits; and
(vi) Is erected not less than 6 feet (1.8 m) from the roof edge for work that is both temporary and infrequent, or not less than 15 feet (4.6 m) for other work.
(3) When mobile mechanical equipment is used to perform work that is both temporary and infrequent in a designated area, the employer must ensure the warning line is erected not less than 6 feet (1.8 m) from the unprotected side or edge that is parallel to the direction in which the mechanical equipment is operated, and not less than 10 feet (3 m) from the unprotected side or edge that is perpendicular to the direction in which the mechanical equipment is operated.
(2) Is secured to prevent accidental displacement.
(f)Handrails and stair rail systems. The employer must ensure:
(i) Handrails are not less than 30 inches (76 cm) and not more than 38 inches (97 cm), as measured from the leading edge of the stair tread to the top surface of the handrail (see Figure D-12 of this section).
(ii) The height of stair rail systems meets the following:
(iii) The top rail of a stair rail system may serve as a handrail only when:
(A) The height of the stair rail system is not less than 36 inches (91 cm) and not more than 38 inches (97 cm) as measured at the leading edge of the stair tread to the top surface of the top rail (see Figure D-13 of this section); and
(6)Projection hazards. The ends of handrails and stair rail systems do not present any projection hazards.
(7)Strength criteria. Handrails and the top rails of stair rail systems are capable of withstanding, without failure, a force of at least 200 pounds (890 N) applied in any downward or outward direction within 2 inches (5 cm) of any point along the top edge of the rail.
|Figure D-13 - Combination Handrail and Stair Rail|
(g)Cages, wells, and platforms used with fixed ladders. The employer must ensure:
(1) Cages and wells installed on fixed ladders are designed, constructed, and maintained to permit easy access to, and egress from, the ladder that they enclose (see Figures D-14 and D-15 of this section);
(h)Outdoor advertising. This paragraph (h) applies only to employers engaged in outdoor advertising operations (see § 1910.28(b)(10)). Employers must ensure that each employee who climbs a fixed ladder without fall protection:
(1) Is physically capable, as demonstrated through observations of actual climbing activities or by a physical examination, to perform the duties that may be assigned, including climbing fixed ladders without fall protection;
(2) Has successfully completed a training or apprenticeship program that includes hands-on training on the safe climbing of ladders and is retrained as necessary to maintain the necessary skills;
(3) Has the skill to climb ladders safely, as demonstrated through formal classroom training or on-the-job training, and performance observation; and
(4) Performs climbing duties as a part of routine work activity.
(i)Ladder safety systems. The employer must ensure:
(3) Mountings for rigid carriers are attached at each end of the carrier, with intermediate mountings spaced, as necessary, along the entire length of the carrier so the system has the strength to stop employee falls;
(4) Mountings for flexible carriers are attached at each end of the carrier and cable guides for flexible carriers are installed at least 25 feet (7.6 m) apart but not more than 40 feet (12.2 m) apart along the entire length of the carrier;
(j)Personal fall protection systems. Body belts, harnesses, and other components used in personal fall arrest systems, work positioning systems, and travel restraint systems must meet the requirements of § 1910.140.
(k)Protection from falling objects.
(v) Have a minimum height of 2.5 inches (6 cm) when used around vehicle repair, service, or assembly pits. Toeboards may be omitted around vehicle repair, service, or assembly pits when the employer can demonstrate that a toeboard would prevent access to a vehicle that is over the pit.
(2) The employer must ensure:
(i) Where tools, equipment, or materials are piled higher than the top of the toeboard, paneling or screening is installed from the toeboard to the midrail of the guardrail system and for a length that is sufficient to protect employees below. If the items are piled higher than the midrail, the employer also must install paneling or screening to the top rail and for a length that is sufficient to protect employees below; and
(l)Grab handles. The employer must ensure each grab handle:
(1) Is not less than 12 inches (30 cm) long;
(3) Is capable of withstanding a maximum horizontal pull-out force equal to two times the maximum intended load or 200 pounds (890 N), whichever is greater.