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Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 3. General Plant Equipment and Special Operations
Article 15. Vats, Pans, Bins, Bunkers, Hoppers, and Similar Containers and Vessels

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§3482. Bulk Storage of Loose Material.

(a) No employees shall be permitted to work on or over loose material, or attend an employee working on or over loose material, until they have been instructed in the hazards involved and the precautions that must be taken to prevent employees from being caught in caved-in material. Note:Work in grain handling facilities shall be in accordance with the provisions of section 5178, Grain Handling Facilities.

(b) Fuel houses, silos, bins, bunkers, hoppers and similar structures shall be so constructed or equipped with tunnels, chains, mechanical diggers, vibrators or other effective means of removing material so that employees are not required to work where there is a possibility of being engulfed or having their bodies entrapped by a cave-in; or platforms or walkways shall be provided and employees shall remain upon such platforms or walkways while working over loose material within such structures unless protected as required in Section 3482(c) or (d). (Title 24, Part 2, Section 441A.)

(c) When construction as required in Section 3482(b) is impractical and in existing installations, when the design permits, a manually powered hoist with an operator shall be provided. The hoist shall be capable of supporting and lifting an employee and tools and equipment. The supporting wire rope shall be not less than 5/16 inch in diameter. The hoist shall have a brake capable of stopping and holding any load which may reasonably be expected to be imposed on it including the impact of a fall. (Title 24, Part 2, Section 2-1134(b).)

(1) No employee shall be required or permitted to stand, climb, or walk upon piles of sand, sawdust, chips, gravel, fuel, seed or similar granular or loose materials within bins, bunkers, hoppers, silos or other structures, unless a boatswain's chair or a Class III body harness with a line suspended from the hoist is used.

(2) When an employee is required to move about on the piled material the hoist operator shall pay out and retrieve the excess line so that reasonable tautness in the line is maintained.

(3) Inflowing and outflowing material shall be blocked unless such movement is necessary to the work which the employee is performing. In such case, the employee shall have the means to control or stop the flow of materials, or have direct communication with a standby person who has immediate control.

(d) When the requirements of Section 3482(b) or (c) are not practical, the employee shall wear an approved safety belt or harness with a line attached. The line shall be snubbed overhead and attended by a standby person who shall keep the line reasonably taut at all times. The line shall be not less than 13/16-inch Manila rope or other suitable material of equivalent strength and diameter.

(e) No employee shall be required or permitted to work or climb on piled, granular or free flowing (loose) material, such as but not limited to sand, sawdust, chips, gravel, fuel or seed piled on a level deck or on the ground, unless provision is made for safe access to and egress from the piled material and protection from engulfment/entrapment hazards is provided as described in Section 3482(b). Whenever possible, platforms or walkways shall be provided and employees shall be instructed to remain upon such platforms or walkways while working over loose material.

Note: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code; and Section 18943(b), Health and Safety Code.


1. Amendment of subsection (a) and new subsection (b) filed 2-13-75; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 75, No. 7).

2. Amendment filed 12-3-75; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 75, No. 49).

3. Amendment filed 7-16-76; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 76, No. 29).

4. Editorial correction filed 10-7-83; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 83, No. 41).

5. Amendment filed 9-27-85; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 85, No. 42).

6. Amendment of subsections (a) and (b), repealer of subsection (e), subsection relettering, amendment of newly designated subsection (e), and amendment of Note filed 2-8-2001; operative 3-10-2001 (Register 2001, No. 6).

7. Amendment of subsections (a), (c)(1) and (e) filed 11-14-2006; operative 12-14-2006 (Register 2006, No. 46).

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