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Subchapter 4. Construction Safety Orders
Article 19. Floor, Roof, and Wall Openings

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§1632. Floor, Roof, and Wall Openings to Be Guarded.

a) This section shall apply to temporary or emergency conditions where there is danger of employees or materials falling through floor, roof, or wall openings, or from stairways or runways.

(b)(1) Floor, roof and skylight openings shall be guarded by either temporary railings and toeboards or by covers.

Note: Requirements for guarding existing skylights are found in Section 3212(e) of the General Industry Safety Orders.

(2) Temporary railing and toeboards shall meet the requirements of Sections 1620 and 1621. The railing shall be provided on all exposed sides, except at entrances to stairways.

(3) Covers shall be capable of safely supporting the greater of 400 pounds or twice the weight of the employees, equipment and materials that may be imposed on any one square foot area of the cover at any time. Covers shall be secured in place to prevent accidental removal or displacement, and shall bear a pressure sensitized, painted, or stenciled sign with legible letters not less than one inch high, stating: “Opening--Do Not Remove.” Markings of chalk or keel shall not be used.

(c) Ladderway floor openings or platforms shall be guarded by standard railings with standard toeboards on all exposed sides, except at entrance to opening, with the passage through the railing either provided with a swinging gate or so offset that a person cannot walk directly into the opening.

(d) Hatchways and chute floor openings shall be guarded by one of the following:

(1) Hinged covers of standard strength and construction and a standard railing with only one exposed side. When the opening is not in use, the cover shall be closed or the exposed side shall be guarded at both top and intermediate positions by removable standard railings.

(2) A removable standard railing with toeboard on not more than two sides of the opening and fixed standard railings with toeboards on all other exposed sides. The removable railing shall be kept in place when the opening is not in use and should preferably be hinged or otherwise mounted so as to be conveniently replaceable.

(e) Pits and trap-door floor openings shall be guarded by floor opening covers of standard strength and construction. While the cover is not in place the pit or trap openings shall be protected on all exposed sides by movable standard railings.

(f) Manhole floor openings shall be guarded by standard covers which need not be hinged in place. While the cover is not in place, the manhole opening shall be protected by standard railings.

(g) Temporary floor openings shall have standard railings.

(h) Floor holes, into which persons can accidentally walk, shall be guarded by either a standard railing with standard toeboard on all exposed sides, or a floor hole cover of standard strength and construction that is secured against accidental displacement. While the cover is not in place, the floor hole shall be protected by standard railing.

(i) Where doors or gates open directly on a stairway, a platform shall be provided and the swing of the door shall not reduce the effective width of the platform to less than 20 inches.

(j) Wall openings, from which there is a drop of more than 4 feet, and the bottom of the opening is less than 3 feet above the working surface, shall be guarded as follows:

(1) When the height and placement of the opening in relation to the working surface is such that either a standard rail or intermediate rail will effectively reduce the danger of falling, one or both shall be provided;

(2) The bottom of a wall opening, which is less than 4 inches above the working surface, regardless of width, shall be protected by a standard toeboard or an enclosing screen either of solid construction or as specified in this section.

(k) An extension platform outside a wall opening onto which materials can be hoisted for handling shall have side rails or equivalent guards of standard specifications. One side of an extension platform may have removable railings in order to facilitate handling materials.

(l) When a chute is attached to an opening, the provisions of this section shall apply, except that a toeboard is not required.

(m) Wall opening protection shall meet the following requirements:

(1) Barriers shall be of such construction and mounting that, when in place at the opening, the barrier is capable of withstanding a load of at least 200 pounds applied in any direction (except upward).

(2) Screens shall be of such construction and mounting that they are capable of withstanding a load of at least 200 pounds applied horizontally at any point on the near side of the screen. They may be of solid construction, of grill work with openings not more than 8 inches long, or of slat work with openings not more than 4 inches wide with length unrestricted.

NOTE

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

HISTORY

1. New subsections (d)-(h) filed 5-21-75; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 75, No. 21).

2. Amendment of subsection (a) filed 3-19-79; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 79, No. 12).

3. Amendment filed 1-14-86; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 86, No. 3).

4. Amendment of subsection (b) and repealer of subsection (e) and subsection relettering filed 5-2-96; operative 6-1-96 (Register 96, No. 18).

5. Amendment of subsection (b) filed 5-1-2002; operative 5-1-2002. Submitted to OAL for printing only pursuant to Labor Code section 142.3(a)(3) (Register 2002, No. 18).

6. Redesignation and amendment of subsection (b) as subsections (b)(1) and (b)(3) and new subsection (b)(2) filed 7-7-2004; operative 8-6-2004 (Register 2004, No. 28).

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