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Subchapter 18. Ship Building, Ship Repairing and Ship Breaking Safety Orders
Article 6. Precautions

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§8374. Deck Openings and Open Decks.

(a) All deck and tank top openings 18 square feet or over in area shall be guarded by standard guardrail and 4-inch toeboards where necessary until replaced by ship's equipment.

Railing uprights shall not be spaced at greater distances than 10 feet on centers, and top- and midrails shall be of not less than 2-inch by 4-inch lumber, or other material which will provide equivalent protection.

NOTE: Three-eighths-inch were rope, if kept taut at all times is considered equivalent.

(b) Every manhole, tank top opening, small hatch opening, deck opening, or companionway opening through which access must be had, and whose open area is less than 18 square feet, shall be guarded by a guardrail which will not have to be removed to give access to or through the opening. Where such railings are located on tank tops or inner bottoms, they shall not be less than 30 inches or more than 31 inches high, shall completely encircle the opening, and shall consist of a single rail. Rail and uprights shall be of iron or steel.

In locations other than tank tops or inner bottoms, similar guards shall be used, but with the addition of 4-inch toeboards where necessary. Standard guardrail and toeboards may also be used as provided in subsections (a) and (b) of this section.

Where ladders extend through the opening, necessary gaps shall be left in the railings.

(c) Mast, king post, ventilator, hawse pipe deck openings, and the deck openings of hawse pipes shall be guarded by flat covers securely fastened in place. Such covers may be of steel or some other equally serviceable material.

(d) All top decks, raised decks, superstructures, flats, and similar locations shall be guarded by standard guardrailings on all open sides when the sheer drop from such open sides is 5 feet or more. The top- and midrails shall be of 2-inch by 4-inch lumber, or other material which will provide equivalent protection.

(e) Sections of bilges from which floor plates or gratings have been removed shall be guarded by guardrails except where they would interfere with work in progress. If these open sections are in a walkway at least two 2 x 10-inch planks placed edge to edge, or equivalent, shall be laid across the opening to provide a safe walking surface.

(f) Gratings, walkways, and catwalks, from which sections or ladders have been removed, shall be barricaded with standard guardrails.

(g) Before opening or closing hatches employees shall be removed from the square of the hatch below.

(h) Stairways and ramps shall comply with Section 8371(h).

(i) Ladders shall comply with Section 8371(i).

NOTE: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.


1. New subsections (e), (f), (g) filed 10-31-75; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 75, No. 44).

2. Amendment filed 1-22-88; operative 2-21-88 (Register 88, No. 6).

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