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Subchapter 4. Construction Safety Orders Article 18. Access and Egress
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§1629. Stairways and Ladders.

(a) General.

(1) In all buildings or structures 2 or more stories or 24 feet or more in height or depth, suitable permanent or temporary stairways shall be installed as required in Section 1629(b).

Exception: At those locations where unusual site conditions prevail, an alternate effective means of access acceptable to the Division may be afforded.

(2) For the purpose of this Section, scaffolds shall not be considered to be structures.

(3) Stairways, ramps or ladders shall be provided at all points where a break in elevation of 18 inches or more occurs in a frequently traveled passageway, entry or exit.

(4) A minimum of 1 stairway shall be provided for access and exit for buildings and structures to 3 stories or 36 feet; if more than 3 stories or 36 feet, 2 or more stairways shall be provided.

(A) When a building or structure has only one stairway between levels, that stairway shall be kept clear to permit free passage of employees.

(B) Where two or more stairways are provided and work is being performed in the stairways, at least one stairway shall be maintained clear for access between levels at all times. Note:For stairway access at demolition projects, refer to Article 31 of these safety orders. Exceptionfor subsection (a)(4): 1. At those locations where unusual site conditions prevail, an alternate effective means of access acceptable to the Division may be afforded.

(5) Stairways shall conform to the criteria shown in Plate B-17, Appendix and Article 17 of these safety orders.

(6) Spiral stairways that are not part of the permanent structure shall not be used.

(7) Sufficient illumination on all stairways, providing at least five (5) foot-candles of light on the steps, shall be maintained. All lamps providing stairway illumination shall be substantially guarded either physically or by location.

(b) Buildings.

(1) Wood Frame Buildings.

(A) The stairway to a second or higher floor shall be completed before studs are raised to support the next higher floor.

(B) Cleats shall not be nailed to studs to provide access to and egress from roof or other work areas.

(2) Steel Frame Buildings. Stairways shall extend to the uppermost floor that has been planked or decked. Ladders may be used above that point.

(3) Reinforced Concrete or Composite Steel -Concrete Buildings. Stairways shall extend to the lowermost floor upon which a complete vertical shoring system is in place. A minimum of two ladders at different locations for each floor may be used above this floor but not to exceed three floors.

(4) Roof and attic work areas of all buildings shall be provided with a safe means of access and egress, such as stairways, ramps or ladders that conform to the provisions of Article 25 of these safety orders.

(c) Ladder Use.

(1) Single cleat ladders shall not exceed 30 feet in length.

(2) Where ladders are allowed as primary access or exit as in (b) above from a working area for 25 or more employees, or simultaneous two-way traffic is expected, double cleat ladders shall be installed. Double cleat ladders shall not exceed 24 feet in length.

(3) Side rails of all ladders shall extend at least 3 feet above the landing or level they serve.

(4) Ladders and their use shall also conform to Article 25 of these Safety Orders.

<General Materials (GM) - References, Annotations, or Tables>

Note: Authority and reference cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code.

HISTORY 1. New section filed 2-11-72; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 72, No. 7).

2. Repealer and new section filed 5-21-75; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 75, No. 21).

3. Amendment of subsection (c)(2) filed 10-14-75 as procedural and organizational; effective upon filing (Register 75, No. 42).

4. Amendment of subsection (b) filed 3-19-79; effective thirtieth day after filing (Register 79, No. 12).

5. Amendment of subsection (a) filed 4-27-79; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 79, No. 17).

6. New subsection (a)(6) filed 6-1-92; operative 7-1-92 (Register 92, No. 23).

7. Amendment of subsection (c)(2) filed 3-26-2001; operative 4-25-2001 (Register 2001, No. 13).

8. Amendment filed 4-20-2007; operative 5-20-2007 (Register 2007, No. 16).

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