OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
Summary of Tutor-Saliba Corporation Decision After Reconsideration
The Division observed employees working near numerous exposed holes in a floor (8 ½ inches long, 4 inches wide, and 4 inches deep). The employees were not protected against stepping in the holes by standard railings or covers. A general violation of section 1632(h) of the Construction Safety Orders requiring guarding of floor holes was established. The Board rejected Employers argument that section 1632(a) limited coverage of section 1632 to temporary or emergency conditions where there is a danger of employees or materials falling through a floor, roof, or wall opening. Although floor holes, by definition are less than 12 inches wide and an employees body cannot fall through an opening that is less than 12 inches wide, the Standards Board specifically intended for section 1632(h) to protect employees working around floor holes against injuries (e.g., twisted or broken ankles) that can be caused by accidentally walking or stepping into even shallow holes. An established rule of statutory construction is that specific sections take precedence over more general sections. The citation was affirmed.
March 26, 2002