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Occupational and Construction Safety

Confined Space

1.0  Introduction

Many workplaces contain spaces which are considered "confined" because their configuration can hinder the activities of employees who must work in them. In addition, there are many instances where employees who work in confined spaces face increased risk of exposure to serious hazards. Some confined spaces pose entrapment hazards, while others restrict air circulation so that hazardous atmospheres may accumulate. Other hazards include exposure to electrical shock, contact with chemicals, heat stress, and moving parts of machinery. OSHA uses the term "permit-required confined space" to describe those spaces which meet the definition of "confined space" and pose health or safety hazards.

2.0   Definitions

Atmosphere-controlled confined space - A permit-required confined space in which potential or actual atmospheric hazards can be controlled with continuous forced mechanical ventilation. Entrants are not required to use a retrieval system.

Attendant - an individual stationed outside the permit space who monitors the authorized entrants

Confined space - a space that is large enough for an employee to bodily enter and perform assigned work, has limited or restricted means for entry or exit, and is not designed for continuous occupation.

Entry permit - a written document provided by the employer to allow and control entry into a permit space

Entry supervisor - a person responsible for determining if acceptable entry conditions are present, for authorizing entry and overseeing entry operations, and for terminating entry

Fully regulated permit-required confined space - A permit-required space that contains a hazard that cannot be controlled or eliminated. Entry into this space requires a retrieval system.

Hazardous atmosphere - Atmospheric conditions are considered hazardous if oxygen levels are less than 19.5% or greater than 23.5%, a combustible gas is greater than 10% of its lower explosive limit (LEL), a toxic substance exceeds an OSHA or American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) limit, an airborne combustible dust obscures vision at five feet or less, or any atmospheric condition recognized as immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH).

Hot work permit - the employer's written authorization to perform operations capable of providing a source of ignition (e.g., welding, cutting, and brazing)

Non-permit confined space - a confined space that does not contain or have the potential to contain any hazard capable of causing death or serious physical harm

Permit required-confined space - a confined space that contains one or more of the following characteristics:

  • A known or potentially hazardous atmosphere.
  • An engulfment hazard.
  • Has an internal configuration that could trap a worker.
  • Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard.

Retrieval system - equipment used for non-entry rescue of persons from permit spaces. Includes a retrieval line, chest or full-body harness and a lifting device or anchor.

3.0  Program

  1. Radford University will comply with the Standard by developing and implementing a written Permit-Required Confined Space Entry Program. The program will include provisions for employee training, hazard identification and control, permit system, and rescue procedures.
  2. This program applies to all permit spaces except telecommunication manholes, which are covered by a separate standard.
  3. The program is maintained in the Facilities Management Department and the Safety Office and is updated as necessary by the Safety Manager. The program is available in the Facilities Management Library for inspection by employees.

4.0   Identification of spaces

  1. A survey to identify permit-required confined spaces at the university will be conducted by the Safety Office and the Facilities Management Department. The inventory will be maintained in the Facilities Management Department and the Safety Office and updated by the Safety Manager.
  2. Confined spaces will be identified by signs, lists, color coding, and/or training programs. Affected employees will be notified of the hazards and that only authorized individuals may enter these spaces.
  3. Confined spaces will be classified as non-permit or permit-required. Permit-required spaces will be classified as atmosphere-controlled or fully regulated spaces.

5.0  Training

  1. All personnel involved in confined space work shall receive appropriate training in hazard recognition, personal protective equipment, safety equipment, communications equipment, procedures for calling rescue services, and proper use of rescue equipment. Training shall be performed before the employee is assigned duties in confined spaces.
  2. Training will be conducted under the coordination and supervision of the Safety Office. Retraining will be performed at least annually. Training records will be maintained by the Safety Manager.
  3. At least one member of the rescue team will receive training in basic first-aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and maintain a current certification.
  4. Workers will be trained in the hazards associated with special work practices such as welding, cutting, and the use of chemicals.
  5. Individuals who perform atmospheric testing will be trained by the Safety Manager. Training will cover field checks, normal use, and specific limitations of the equipment.

6.0  Testing the Atmosphere

  1. The atmosphere in all permit-required confined spaces shall be tested for oxygen concentration, combustible gases, and known or suspected toxic substances immediately prior to entry. A properly calibrated direct reading gas monitor will be used. Calibration will be performed at least every six months by the Safety Office. Prior to use, the equipment will be field checked to ensure that it is operating properly. Gas detector tubes may also be used to test potentially toxic atmospheres.
  2. Atmosphere testing must be performed by a person qualified by the Safety Office. From outside the structure, sampling will be performed at various levels within the confined space, and around all conduits, pipes, or cables. Sampling will be started at the top of the vessel to detect the presence of lighter than air combustibles and toxins. Sampling may be performed with a remote probe. "Listed" intrinsically safe equipment will be used if the monitor is lowered into the confined space.
  3. The atmosphere shall be tested in the following order: oxygen concentration, combustible gases, and toxic materials. Results will be written on the entry permit. If the test instrument indicates the atmosphere is safe and there is no potential for a hazardous atmosphere, workers will be allowed into the space without respiratory protection.
  4. The Facilities Management Director, Assistant Director, or the Safety Manager must be notified immediately if atmospheric conditions are hazardous. Entry will be prohibited until conditions are brought into acceptable limits by purging, cleaning and/or ventilating the space, or appropriate respiratory equipment is worn. Respirators must be approved by the Safety Office.
  5. Testing will be repeated at least hourly or more often depending on the possibility of changing conditions. Monitoring must be continuous if the potential for a hazardous atmosphere exists. For example, continuous monitoring is required for entry into sewers and during welding operations. Atmosphere testing must be recorded on the entry permit.
  6. Any employee who enters the space will be provided an opportunity to observe the pre-entry testing and any periodic testing.
  7. Authorized entrants will be immediately provided with the results of the testing.

7.0  Physical Hazards

  1. If the space poses serious health or safety hazards other than atmospheric either the hazards must be eliminated prior to entry or the space must be entered using retrieval equipment.
  2. If energized parts of electrical equipment are exposed, the circuit parts must be de-energized and tagged or locked out. Mechanical sources in a confined space that could be hazardous must be tagged and locked out or guarded.
  3. Belt and chain drives and mechanical linkages on shaft-driven equipment will be disconnected where possible.
  4. Mechanical moving parts within a confined space will be secured with latches, chains, chocks, blocks, or other devices.
  5. All pumps or lines which convey flammable, injurious, toxic or oxygen displacing gases into a confined space shall be disconnected, or effectively isolated to prevent the development of a hazard in the space. The closing and locking of valves alone are not considered effective protection.

8.0  Mechanical Ventilation

  1. Continuous forced mechanical ventilation must be used in all permit-required confined spaces that contain a known or potential atmospheric hazard.
  2. Mechanical ventilation must be used regardless of initial monitoring results if a potential for a hazardous atmosphere still exists. The potential for a hazardous atmosphere will be determined by supervision in consultation with the Safety Manager.
  3. Ventilation systems used in flammable atmosphere shall be explosion-proof and appropriately rated for the hazard. Air will be from a clean source. Oxygen will not be used to ventilate a confined space.
  4. If a hazardous atmosphere is detected, employees will not enter the space until the hazardous atmosphere has been eliminated by continuous forced air ventilation. If it is possible for the hazardous atmosphere to return then retrieval equipment must be worn.
  5. The forced air will be directed to the immediate vicinity where an employee is or will be present within the space. Ventilation shall continue until all employees have left the space. 

9.0  Entry Permits

  1. A fully completed entry permit will be prepared by the entry supervisor prior to entry into a permit-required confined space. The entry supervisor will be in charge of the entry and must be approved by the Director of Facilities Management and the Safety Manager.
  2. The entry supervisor will ensure that the permit specifies the location, type of work, type of space, personal protective measures, authorized entrants, monitoring equipment and calibration date, hazards of the permit space, atmosphere testing, and control measures. Rescue equipment and rescue services will also be included on the permit.
  3. The permit will be dated and carry an expiration time limiting the work to one shift (12 hours). The permit may be extended for another shift if conditions are still acceptable.
  4. The entry supervisor shall sign the permit prior to allowing entry and ensure that entry operations remain consistent with the terms on the permit. The entry must be terminated if a potential hazardous situation occurs which exceeds the conditions authorized on the permit.
  5. The permit will be available at the work site outside the confined space for inspection by all workers.
  6. All confined space entry permits will be turned into the department supervisor after the work is completed. The Safety Office will keep the permits and related information for a minimum of three years.
  7. Hot work (potential ignition sources) shall be authorized on a separate hot work permit and attached and noted on the entry permit.
  8. Entry supervisors may also serve as entrants or attendants.
  9. After the entry has been completed the permit will be canceled by the entry supervisor. Cancellation of the permit indicates that the space is ready to be returned to its normal operating mode.
  10. Entry permits will be reviewed yearly. The program will be revised as necessary to ensure that the health and safety of employees are not compromised.
  11. The space will be reevaluated and a new permit issued if an entrant has reason to believe that the evaluation may not have been adequate.

10.0  Entry Procedures

All permit-required confined spaces

  1. Only individuals authorized and trained by the Safety Office are allowed to enter a permit-required confined space.
  2. The Safety Manager, Director of Facilities Management, and/or entry supervisors will evaluate the space for potential atmospheric and physical hazards prior to entry. Hazards will be controlled or eliminated if possible.
  3. An entry permit will be properly completed by an entry supervisor prior to entry into the confined space.
  4. Any condition making it unsafe to remove an entrance cover will be eliminated before the cover is removed. When a cover has been removed, the opening shall be promptly guarded to prevent an accidental fall through the opening and prevent objects from falling into the hole. Appropriate vehicle and pedestrian barriers will be used to protect workers. Cylinders of compressed gases, except those used with SCBAs, shall never be taken into a confined space.
  5. Any entry into a permit-required confined space will require atmosphere testing for oxygen content, flammable gases and vapors, and potential toxic air contaminants by a properly trained individual. The Director of Facilities Management, Assistant Director, or the Safety Manager must be notified prior to entering a permit-required confined space that contains a hazardous atmosphere.
  6. An attendant with a communication device will remain outside the permit space during all entries.
  7. During confined space entry, all safety rules and procedures must be followed. Metal ladders will not be used when working around electrical equipment. Adequate lighting will be provided. There shall be no smoking in a confined space.
  8. Continuous forced air mechanical ventilation must be used if there is a hazardous or potentially hazardous atmosphere in the space. Any use of chemicals, welding, cutting, or soldering must be approved by supervision and the Safety Manager.
  9. Personal protective equipment (PPE), including respirators, will be provided to workers as necessary for safe entry into the confined space. All PPE must be approved by the Safety Manager.
  10. Electrical equipment used in the confined space must be appropriate for the hazard and meet the requirements of the National Electric Code if a hazardous atmosphere is present. Electrical cords, tools, and equipment will be visually inspected for defects prior to use in a confined space. All electrical equipment must be connected to a ground fault circuit interrupter.
  11. Entry operations will be reviewed if there is reason to believe that the measures taken under this program are not adequate to protect employees. The program will be revised as necessary to correct problems.

Atmosphere controlled permit spaces

  1. If the only hazard posed by the permit space is an actual or potential hazardous atmosphere that can be controlled by continuous forced air ventilation alone, workers may enter the space without retrieval equipment.
  2. Flammable and toxic atmospheres must be less than 50% of a "hazardous atmosphere" to qualify as an atmosphere-controlled space.
  3. Continuous monitoring must be performed. Monitoring results must be documented on the entry permit every hour.

Fully regulated permit spaces

  1. Workers entering a permit space containing an uncontrolled hazardous atmosphere or other uncontrolled serious health or safety hazard will wear full retrieval equipment.
  2. Full retrieval equipment must be worn if it is likely that the hazardous atmosphere will return.
  3. Monitoring must be continuous if a hazardous atmosphere is detected.
  4. Each individual entering a confined space containing an uncontrolled hazardous atmosphere, a potential for engulfment, or other serious health or safety hazard will have a safety line attached to a chest or full body harness. The other end of the line will be secured to an anchor point or lifting device outside the entry portal. The anchor point will not be a motor vehicle. When entry is made through a top opening, a lifting device such as a tripod will be used for lifting employees out of the space.
  5. An individual may enter a confined space containing a hazardous atmosphere without a lifeline if a positive-pressure SCBA or air-line respirator with a 10 minute escape bottle is worn.
  6. The Safety Office and The Radford City Fire Department will be notified prior to the entry.

Non-permit confined spaces

  1. When there are changes in the use of a non-permit confined space that may increase the hazards, the space will be re-evaluated and classified as a permit-required space if necessary.
  2. A space classified as a permit-required confined space may be re-classified as a non-permit space if the following conditions are met:
  • The space poses no actual or potential atmospheric hazard
  • All hazards are eliminated prior to entry (control of atmospheric hazards through forced air ventilation does not constitute elimination of hazards)
  • If it is necessary to enter the permit space to eliminate hazards entry must be performed in according to the requirements of an atmosphere-controlled space or fully regulated space.

11.0  Duties

Entry Supervisor

The entry supervisor will:

  • Know the hazards that may be faced during entry, including information on the mode, signs, or symptoms, and consequences of the exposure
  • Complete the entry permit, conduct air monitoring, and verify that all tests specified by the permit have been conducted
  • Ensure that all entries are performed according to these regulations and that safety and communication equipment is available
  • Ensure that only authorized individuals enter the permit space
  • Ensure that entry operations remain consistent with the terms of the permit
  • Terminate the entry and cancel the permit

Authorized Entrants

Authorized entrants will:

  • Know the atmospheric and physical hazards that may be faced during entry
  • Receive training in how to use safety equipment, personal protective equipment, and communication equipment.
  • Maintain communication with the attendant as necessary to enable the attendant to monitor the status of the entrants.
  • Notify the attendant whenever the entrant recognizes any warning sign or symptom that may indicate exposure to a hazardous atmosphere or notes a possible dangerous condition.
  • Exit from the space as quickly as possible whenever the attendant or supervisor orders an evacuation, the entrants detect a hazardous condition, or the monitor alarms indicating a hazardous atmosphere

Attendants

Attendants will:

  • Receive training in hazard recognition and rescue procedures
  • Remain outside the confined space at all times during entry operations and observe the actions of workers
  • Remain in constant communication with the entrants and order the workers to leave if an unsuspected hazard occurs or a toxic reaction is observed in a worker
  • Warn unauthorized persons not to enter the confined space
  • Be equipped with a communications device capable of contacting a base operator or the emergency rescue team directly
  • Not enter the confined space for rescue purposes until help has arrived
  • Continuously maintain an accurate count of authorized entrants in the permit space.

12.0  Rescue Team

Self-rescue retrieval equipment is required for entry into permit-required spaces that:

  • Contains a hazardous atmosphere
  • Contains a serious uncontrolled health or safety hazard
  • Contains a controlled hazardous atmosphere that is likely to reappear
  1. The attendant will immediately radio the appropriate base operator or contact the rescue team directly with a mobile phone if a confined space emergency occurs. The Facilities Management base operator will be notified during normal working hours. The Campus Police Department base operator will be notified after normal working hours. The base operator will acknowledge the call and contact rescue personnel. The Fire Chief, or his designate, will be in charge and coordinate the rescue effort.
  2. After placing the rescue call, the attendant will attempt to retrieve the worker if the worker is connected to a life line. Under no circumstance will the attendant enter the confined space until help has arrived, and then only with the proper rescue equipment. Attendants participating in the rescue effort will receive specialized training in rescue techniques.
  3. Rescuers entering a hazardous atmosphere or unknown atmosphere shall wear a self-contained breathing apparatus or a positive pressure airline respirator with a ten minute escape bottle of air. An attendant will remain outside the confined space during rescue efforts. Rescuers must wear appropriate protective clothing. Air-purifying respirators shall not be used in confined space rescues.
  4. Rescue breathing equipment is not required if the cause of the emergency is clearly due to a condition other than a hazardous atmosphere.

13.0  Rescue Procedures

Self-rescue retrieval equipment is required for entry into permit-required spaces that:

  • Contains a hazardous atmosphere
  • Contains a serious uncontrolled health or safety hazard
  • Contains a controlled hazardous atmosphere that is likely to reappear
  1. The attendant will immediately radio the appropriate base operator or contact the rescue team directly with a mobile phone if a confined space emergency occurs. The Facilities Management base operator will be notified during normal working hours. The Campus Police Department base operator will be notified after normal working hours. The base operator will acknowledge the call and contact rescue personnel. The Fire Chief, or his designate, will be in charge and coordinate the rescue effort.
  2. After placing the rescue call, the attendant will attempt to retrieve the worker if the worker is connected to a life line. Under no circumstance will the attendant enter the confined space until help has arrived, and then only with the proper rescue equipment. Attendants participating in the rescue effort will receive specialized training in rescue techniques.
  3. Rescuers entering a hazardous atmosphere or unknown atmosphere shall wear a self-contained breathing apparatus or a positive pressure airline respirator with a ten minute escape bottle of air. An attendant will remain outside the confined space during rescue efforts. Rescuers must wear appropriate protective clothing. Air-purifying respirators shall not be used in confined space rescues.
  4. Rescue breathing equipment is not required if the cause of the emergency is clearly due to a condition other than a hazardous atmosphere.

14.0  Contractors

1. Radford University will:

  • Inform contractors that the workplace contains permit-required confined spaces and the hazards in the spaces
  • Inform contractors that entry must be done in compliance with OSHA regulations
  • Apprise contractors of any precautions or procedures that the university has implemented for the protection of workers
  • Coordinate entry operations with the contractor when both university and contractor personnel will be working in the space
  • Debrief the contractor at the end of the entry concerning any hazards confronted or created in the space

2. The contractor will:

  • Comply with OSHA regulations
  • Obtain any information regarding hazards in permit spaces from the university
  • Coordinate entry operations with the university when both university and contractor workers will be in the space
  • Inform the university of the permit space program the contractor will follow
  • Inform the university of any hazards confronted or created in the space

Permit-Required Confined Spaces

Building Survey

Building Permit Space Notes
Allen Manholes  
Allen Electrical vault  
Art Annex Manhole Electrical Control Room
Boiler Plant Manholes  
Boiler Plant Boilers  
Boiler Plant Hotwells Two
Bolling Manholes  
Brown House Manholes  
Buchanan House Manholes  
Davis Manholes  
Dedmond Center Manholes  
Dedmond Center Irrigation Manhole Lower Field by river
Dedmond Center Square Top Storm Drains Near Entrance
Draper Manholes  
Floyd Manholes  
Fountain Access Hatch  
Heth Manholes  
Ingles Manholes  
Jefferson Manholes  
Library Manholes  
Lucas Manholes  
Madison Manholes  
Martin Manholes  
Moffet Manholes  
Muse Manholes  
Muse Manhole By cooling Tower
Muse Electrical Vault Large vault with grating
Norwood Manholes  
Perry Manholes  
Peters Manholes  
Pocahontas Manholes  
Preston Manholes  
Preston 2x2 access hole for water pipe  
Russel Manholes  
Stuart Manholes  
Walker Manholes  
Washington Manholes  
Whitt Manholes  
Young Manholes  

The following are not permit required confined spaces:

  • Steam tunnels
  • Crawl spaces
  • Window wells
  • Electrical vaults with walk in doors
  • Trash shoots
  • 42 inch sump hole in the Boiler Plant
  • Ice storage tanks near Dalton and Davis
  • Electrical vault at Powell
  • Large hatch covered space under tree by Muse
  • Two large hatch covered spaces corner Norwood and Tyler

Electrical - Safety related work practices

1.0   Introduction

Electricity is accepted as a source of power without much thought to the hazards encountered. Some employees work with electricity directly, as is the case with engineers, electricians, or people who do wiring, such as overhead lines, cable harnesses, or circuit assemblies. Others, such as office workers and salespeople, work with it indirectly. OSHA's electrical standard address’s concerns that electricity has long been recognized as a serious workplace hazard, exposing employees to dangers as electric shock, electrocution, fires and explosions. This program addresses electrical safety requirements that are necessary for the safeguarding of employees in their workplaces.

2.0  Scope

This program covers electrical safety work practices for qualified and unqualified persons. Qualified persons are those who are familiar with the construction and operation of the equipment and the hazards involved. They are permitted to work on or near exposed energized parts and have been trained in avoiding electrical hazards. Unqualified persons are those with little or no such training.

3.0  Work Practices for Qualified and Unqualified Employees

Work practices are covered for qualified and unqualified persons who work on, near, or with the following installations:

  • Premises wiring. Installations of electric conductors and equipment within or on buildings or other structures, and on other premises such as yards, parking lots, and industrial substations.
  • Wiring for connection to supply. Installations of conductors that connect to the supply of electricity.
  • Other wiring. Installations of other outside conductors on the premises.
  • Optical fiber cable. Installations of optical fiber cable where such installations are made along with electric conductors.

4.0 Other Covered Work by Unqualified Persons

These provisions also cover work performed by unqualified persons on, near, or with the following installations:

  • Generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity
  • Communication installations
  • Installations in vehicles
  • Railway installations

5.0  Excluded Work by Qualified Persons

This program does not apply to work performed by qualified persons on or directly associated with the following installations:

  1. Generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity (including communication and metering) located in buildings used for such purposes or located outdoors. (This work is covered by OSHA 1910.269).
  2. Work on or directly associated with installations of utilization equipment used for purposes other than generating, transmitting, or distributing electric energy (such as installations which are in office buildings, warehouses, garages, machine shops, or recreational buildings, or other utilization installations which are not an integral part of a generating installation, substation, or control center) is considered premises wiring and is covered by this program.
  3. For work on or directly associated with utilization installations, an employer who complies with the work practices of 1910.269 (electric power generation, transmission, and distribution) will be deemed to be in compliance with this program. The requirements of this program apply to all work on or directly associated with utilization installations, regardless of whether the work is performed by qualified or unqualified persons.
  4. Work on or directly associated with generation, transmission, or distribution installations includes:
    • Work performed directly on such installations, such as repairing overhead or underground distribution lines or repairing a feed-water pump for the boiler in a generating plant.
    • Work directly associated with such installations, such as line-clearance tree trimming and replacing utility poles.
    • Work on electric utilization circuits in a generating plant provided that the circuits are commingled with installations of power generation equipment or circuits, and the generation equipment or circuits present greater electrical hazards than those posed by the utilization equipment or circuits (such as exposure to higher voltages or lack of overcurrent protection).
  5. Installations of communication equipment to the extent that the work is covered under OSHA 1910.268.
  6. Installations in ships, watercraft, railway rolling stock, aircraft or automotive vehicles other than mobile homes and recreational vehicles.

6.0  Training

General

  1. The training required by this section shall be of the classroom or on-the-job type. The degree of training provided shall be determined by the risk to the employee.
  2. Training will be performed by the Safety Office and Departmental Supervisors. Training records will be maintained by the Safety Office.
  3. Training will be performed before the employee is assigned duties involving work around or on electrical systems.
  4. Retraining will be performed if supervision or the Safety Office determines that the employee does not have the necessary knowledge or skills to safely work on or around electrical systems.

Scope

  1. The training requirements contained in this section apply to employees who face a risk of electric shock that is not reduced to a safe level by the electrical installation requirements of the National Electric Code and OSHA Standards.
  2. Employees in the following occupations must be trained. Other employees who may reasonably be expected to face comparable risk of injury due to electric shock or other electrical hazards must also be trained.
  • Blue collar supervisors
  • Electrical and electronic engineers
  • Electrical and electronic equipment assemblers
  • Electrical and electronic technicians
  • Electricians
  • Industrial machine operators
  • Material handling equipment operators
  • Mechanics and repairers
  • Painters
  • Riggers and roustabouts
  • Stationary engineers
  • Welders
      3.  Workers in these groups do not need to be trained if their work or the work of those they supervise does not bring them close enough to exposed parts of electric circuits operating at 50 volts or more to ground for a hazard to exist.
 

Content of training

  1. Employees shall be trained in the safety-related work practices required by this program that pertains to their respective job assignments.
  2. Unqualified persons shall be trained in any electrically related safety practices which are necessary for their safety.
  3. Qualified persons shall, at a minimum, be trained in the following:
  • The skills and techniques necessary to distinguish exposed live parts from other parts of electric equipment.
  • The skills and techniques necessary to determine the nominal voltage of exposed live parts.
  • The approach distances and the corresponding voltages to which the qualified person will be exposed.

     4.  Qualified persons whose work on energized equipment involves either direct contact or contact by means of tools or materials must also have training in the proper use of special precautionary techniques, personal protective equipment, insulating and shielding materials, and insulating tools.

7.0  Work Practices

General

Safety-related work practices shall be employed to prevent electric shock or other injuries when work is performed near or on equipment or circuits which may be energized. The specific safety-related work practices shall be consistent with the associated electrical hazards.

  1. Deenergized parts. Live parts to which an employee may be exposed shall be deenergized unless deenergizing introduces additional or increased hazards or it is infeasible due to equipment design or operational limitations. Live parts that operate at less than 50 volts to ground do not need to be deenergized if there is no increased exposure to electrical burns or explosions due to electric arcs.
  2. Examples of increased or additional hazards include interruption of life support equipment, deactivation of emergency alarm systems, shutdown of hazardous location ventilation equipment, or removal of illumination for an area.
  3. Examples of work that may be performed on or near energized circuits because of infeasibility due to equipment design or operational limitations include testing of electric circuits that can only be performed with the circuit energized, work on circuits that form an integral part of a continuous industrial process that would need to be completely shut down in order to permit work on one circuit or piece of equipment.
  4. Energized parts. If the exposed parts are not deenergized other safety-related work practices shall be used to protect employees who may be exposed to the electrical hazards. These work practices shall protect employees against contact with energized circuits directly with any part of their body or indirectly through some other conductive object. The work practices used shall be suitable for the conditions under which the work is performed and the voltage level of the exposed electric conductors or circuit parts.

Working on or near exposed deenergized parts

Application. This section applies to work on exposed deenergized parts. Conductors and parts of electric equipment that have been deenergized but have not been locked or tagged out in accordance with this section shall be treated as energized parts.

Lockout and Tagging. While any employee is exposed to electrical equipment or circuits which have been deenergized, the circuits energizing the parts shall be locked out or tagged or both in accordance with this section. The requirements shall be followed in the order in which they are presented.

Procedures. A written copy of these procedures shall be made available to employees.

Deenergizing equipment. Safe procedures for deenergizing circuits and equipment shall be determined before circuits or equipment are deenergized.

  1. The circuits and equipment shall be disconnected from all electric energy sources. Control circuit devices, such as push buttons, selector switches, and interlocks, may not be used as the sole means for deenergizing circuits or equipment. Interlocks for electric equipment may not be used as a substitute for lockout and tagging procedures.
  2. Stored electric energy which might endanger personnel shall be released. Capacitors shall be discharged and high capacitance elements shall be short-circuited and grounded, if the stored electric energy might endanger personnel. If the capacitors or associated equipment are handled in meeting this requirement, they shall be treated as energized.
  3. Stored non-electrical energy in devices that could reenergize electric circuit parts shall be blocked or relieved to the extent that the circuit parts could not be accidentally energized by the device.

Application of locks and tags

  • A lock and a tag shall be placed on each disconnecting means used to deenergize circuits and equipment on which work is to be performed. The lock shall be attached so as to prevent persons from operating the disconnecting means unless they resort to undue force or the use of tools.
  • Each tag shall contain a statement prohibiting unauthorized operation of the disconnecting means and removal of the tag.
  • If a lock cannot be applied, a tag may be used without a lock.
  • A tag used without a lock, shall be supplemented by at least one additional safety measure that provides a level of safety equivalent to that obtained by use of a lock. Examples of additional safety measures include the removal of an isolating circuit element, blocking of a controlling switch, or opening of an extra disconnecting device.
  • A lock may be placed without a tag if only one circuit or piece of equipment is deenergized, the lockout period does not extend beyond the work shift, and employees exposed to the hazards associated with reenergizing the circuit or equipment are familiar with this procedure.

Verification of deenergized condition. The requirements of this section shall be met before any circuits or equipment can be considered deenergized.

  • A qualified person shall operate the equipment operating controls or otherwise verify that the equipment cannot be restarted.
  • A qualified person shall test the circuit elements and electrical parts of equipment to which employees will be exposed and verify that the circuit elements and equipment parts are deenergized. The test shall also determine if any energized condition exists as a result of inadvertently induced voltage or unrelated voltage backfeed even though specific parts of the circuit have been deenergized and presumed to be safe. If the circuit to be tested is over 600 volts, nominal, the test equipment shall be checked for proper operation immediately after this test.

Reenergizing equipment. These requirements shall be met, in the order given, before circuits or equipment are reenergized, even temporarily.

  • A qualified person shall conduct tests and visual inspections, as necessary, to verify that all tools, electrical jumpers, shorts, grounds, and other such devices have been removed, so that the circuits and equipment can be safely energized.
  • Employees exposed to the hazards associated with reenergizing the circuit or equipment shall be warned to stay clear of circuits and equipment.
  • Each lock and tag shall be removed by the employee who applied it or under his or her direct supervision. However, if this employee is absent from the workplace, then the lock or tag may be removed by a qualified person designated to perform this task provided that the employer ensures that the employee who applied the lock or tag is not available at the workplace, and the employer ensures that the employee is aware that the lock or tag has been removed before he or she resumes work at that workplace.
  • There shall be a visual determination that all employees are clear of the circuits and equipment.

Working on or near exposed energized parts

1. Application. This section applies to work performed on exposed live parts (involving either direct contact or by means of tools or materials) or near enough to them for employees to be exposed to any hazard they present.

2. Work on energized equipment. Only qualified persons may work on electric circuits that have not been deenergized. Such persons shall be capable of working safely on energized circuits and be familiar with the proper use of special precautionary techniques, personal protective equipment, insulating and shielding materials, and insulated tools.

3. Overhead power lines. If work is performed near overhead lines, the lines shall be deenergized and grounded, or other protective measures shall be provided before work is started. If the lines are deenergized, arrangements shall be made with the person or organization that operates the electric circuits to deenergize and ground them. If protective measures, such as guarding, isolating, or insulating, are provided, these precautions shall prevent employees from contacting the lines directly with any part of their body or indirectly through conductive materials.

a. The work practices used by qualified persons installing insulating devices on overhead power transmission or distribution lines are covered by OSHA 1910.269 . Unqualified persons are prohibited from performing this type of work.

b. When an unqualified person is working in an elevated position near overhead lines, the location shall be such that the person and the longest conductive object he or she may contact cannot come closer to any unguarded, energized overhead line than the following distances:

  • For voltages to ground 50kV or below - 10 feet
  • For voltages to ground over 50kV - 10 feet plus 4 inches for every 10kV over 50kV.

c. When an unqualified person is working on the ground in the vicinity of overhead lines, the person may not bring any conductive object closer to unguarded, energized overhead lines than the distances given above. For voltages normally encountered with overhead power line, objects which do not have an insulating rating for the voltage involved are considered to be conductive.

d. When a qualified person is working in the vicinity of overhead lines, whether in an elevated position or on the ground, the person may not approach or take any conductive object without an approved insulating handle closer to exposed energized parts than shown in the following table unless:

  • The person is insulated from the energized part (gloves, with sleeves if necessary, rated for the voltage involved are considered to be insulation of the person from the energized part on which work is performed), or
  • The energized part is insulated both from all other conductive objects at a different potential and from the person, or
  • The person is insulated from all conductive objects at a potential different from that of the energized part.

Approach distances for qualified employees

Voltage Minimum Approach Range
300V and less Avoid Contact
Over 300V, not over 750V 1 ft. 0 in.
Over 750V, not over 2kV 1 ft. 6 in.
Over 2kV, not over 15kV 2 ft. 0 in.
Over 15kV, not over 37kV 3 ft. 0 in.
Over 37kV, not over 87.5kV 3 ft. 6 in.
Over 87.5kV, not over 121kV 4 ft. 0 in.
Over 121kV, not over 140kV 4 ft. 0 in.

e. Any vehicle or mechanical equipment capable of having parts of its structure elevated near energized overhead lines shall be operated so that a clearance of 10 ft. is maintained. If the voltage is higher than 50kV, the clearance shall be increased 4 in. for every 10kV over that voltage. However, under any of the following conditions, the clearance may be reduced:

  • If the vehicle is in transit with its structure lowered, the clearance may be reduced to 4 ft.
  • If the voltage is higher than 50kV, the clearance shall be increased 4 in. for every 10 kV over that voltage.
  • If insulating barriers are installed to prevent contact with the lines, and if the barriers are rated for the voltage of the line being guarded and are not a part of or an attachment to the vehicle or its raised structure, the clearance may be reduced to a distance within the designed working dimensions of the insulating barrier.
  • If the equipment is an aerial lift insulated for the voltage involved, and if the work is performed by a qualified person, the clearance (between the uninsulated portion of the aerial lift and the power line) may be reduced to the distance given in the above table.

f.  Employees standing on the ground may not contact the vehicle or mechanical equipment or any of its attachments, unless:

  • The employee is using protective equipment rated for the voltage; or
  • The equipment is located so that no uninsulated part of its structure (that portion of the structure that provides a conductive path to employees on the ground) can come closer to the line than permitted in paragraph e.

g. If any vehicle or mechanical equipment capable of having parts of its structure elevated near energized overhead lines is intentionally grounded, employees working on the ground near the point of grounding may not stand at the grounding location if there is a possibility of overhead line contact. Additional precautions, such as the use of barricades or insulation, shall be taken to protect employees from hazardous ground potentials, depending on earth resistivity and fault currents, which can develop within the first few feet or more outward from the grounding point.

4. Illumination. Employees may not enter spaces containing exposed energized parts, unless illumination is provided that enables the employees to perform the work safely. If there is a lack of illumination or an obstruction prevents observation of the work, employees may not perform tasks near exposed energized parts. Employees may not reach blindly into areas which may contain energized parts.

5. Confined or enclosed work spaces. When an employee works in a confined or enclosed space (such as a manhole or vault) that contains exposed energized parts, the employee shall use, protective shields, protective barriers, or insulating materials as necessary to avoid inadvertent contact with these parts. Doors, hinged panels, and the like shall be secured to prevent their swinging into an employee and causing the employee to contact exposed energized parts.

6. Conductive materials and equipment. Conductive materials and equipment that are in contact with any part of an employee's body shall be handled in a manner that will prevent them from contacting exposed energized conductors or circuit parts. If an employee must handle long conductive objects (such as ducts and pipes) in areas with exposed live parts, work practices (such as the use of insulation, guarding, and material handling techniques) shall be instituted that will minimize the hazard.

7. Portable ladders. Portable ladders shall have nonconductive siderails if they are used where the employee or the ladder could contact exposed energized parts.

8. Conductive apparel. Conductive articles of jewelry and clothing (such a watch bands, bracelets, rings, key chains, necklaces, aprons, cloth with conductive thread, or metal headgear) may not be worn if they might contact exposed energized parts. However, such articles may be worn if they are rendered nonconductive by covering, wrapping, or other insulating means.

9. Housekeeping duties. Where live parts present an electrical contact hazard, employees may not perform housekeeping duties at such close distances to the parts that there is a possibility of contact, unless adequate safeguards (such as insulating equipment or barriers) are provided. Electrically conductive cleaning materials (including conductive solids such as steel wool, metalized cloth, and silicon carbide, as well as conductive liquid solutions) may not be used in proximity to energized parts unless procedures are followed which will prevent electrical contact.

10. Interlocks. Only a qualified person may defeat an electrical safety interlock, and then only temporarily while he or she is working on the equipment. The interlock system shall be returned to its operable condition when this work is completed.

8.0  Use of Equipment

Portable Electrical Equipment

1. Application. This paragraph applies to the use of cord and plug connected equipment, including extension cords.

2. Handling. Portable equipment shall be handled in a manner which will not cause damage.  Flexible electric cords connected to equipment may not be used for raising or lowering the equipment. Flexible cords may not be fastened with staples or otherwise hung in such a fashion as could damage the outer jacket or insulation.

3. Visual inspection. Portable cord and plug connected equipment and extension cords shall be visually inspected before use for external defects (such as loose parts, deformed and missing pins, or damage to outer jacket or insulation) and for evidence of possible internal damage (such as pinched or crushed outer jacket). Cord and plug connected equipment and extension cords which remain connected once they are put in place and are not exposed to damage need not be visually inspected until they are relocated.

a. If there is a defect or evidence of damage that might expose an employee to injury, the defective or damaged item shall be removed from service, and no employee may use it until repairs and tests necessary to render the equipment safe have been made.

b. When an attachment plug is to be connected to a receptacle, the relationship of the plug and receptacle contacts shall first be checked to ensure that they are of proper mating configurations.

4. Grounding type equipment.

a. An extension cord used with grounding type equipment shall contain an equipment grounding conductor.

b. Attachment plugs and receptacles may not be connected or altered in a manner which would prevent proper continuity of the equipment grounding conductor at the point where plugs are attached to receptacles. Additionally, these devices may not be altered to allow the grounding pole of a plug to be inserted into slots intended for connection to the current-carrying conductors.

c. Adapters which interrupt the continuity of the equipment grounding connection may not be used.

5. Conductive work locations. Portable electric equipment and extension cords used in highly conductive work locations (such a those inundated with water), or in job locations where employees are likely to contact water, shall be approved for those locations.

6. Connecting attachment plugs

a. Employees' hands may not be wet when plugging and unplugging flexible cords and cord and plug connected equipment, if energized equipment is involved.

b. Energized plug and receptacle connections may be handled only with insulating protective equipment if the condition of the connection could provide a conducting path to the employee's hand (if, for example, a cord connector is wet from being immersed in water).

c. Locking type connectors shall be properly secured after connection.

Electric power and lighting circuits

1. Routine opening and closing of circuits. Load rated switches, circuit breakers, or other devices specifically designed as disconnecting means shall be used for the opening, reversing, or closing of circuits under load conditions. Cable connectors not of the load break type, fuses, terminal lugs, and cable splice connections may not be used for such purposes, except in an emergency.

2. Reclosing circuits after protective device operation. After a circuit is deenergized by a circuit protective device, the circuit may not be manually reenergized until it has been determined that the equipment and circuit can be safely energized. The repetitive manual reclosing of circuit breakers or reenergizing circuits through replaced fuses is prohibited.

a. When it can be determined from the design of the circuit and the overcurrent devices involved that the automatic operation of a device was caused by an overload rather than a fault condition, no examination of the circuit or connected equipment is needed before the circuit is reenergized.

3. Overcurrent protection modification. Overcurrent protection of circuits and conductors may not be modified, even on a temporary basis.

Test instruments and equipment

1. Use. Only qualified persons may perform testing work on electric circuits or equipment.

2. Visual Inspection. Test instruments and equipment and all associated test leads, cables, power cords, probes, and connectors shall be visually inspected for external defects and damage before the equipment is used. If there is a defect or evidence of damage that might expose an employee to injury, the defective or damaged item shall be removed from service, and may not be used until it is repaired and tested for safety.

3. Rating of equipment. Test instruments and equipment and their accessories shall be rated for the circuits and equipment to which they will be connected and shall be designed for the environment in which they will be used.

Occasional use of flammable or ignitable materials

1. Where flammable materials are present only occasionally, electric equipment capable of igniting them shall not be used, unless measures are taken to prevent hazardous conditions from developing. Such materials include, but are not limited to: flammable gases, vapors, or liquids; combustible dust; and ignitable fibers or filings.

9.0   Safeguards for personnel protection

Personal Protective equipment

  1. Employees working in areas where there are potential electrical hazards shall use electrical protective equipment that is appropriate for the specific parts of the body to be protected and for the work to be performed.
  2. Protective equipment shall be maintained in a safe, reliable condition and shall be periodically inspected or tested, as required by OSHA 1910.137.
  3. If the insulating capability of protective equipment may be subject to damage during use, the insulating material shall be protected. (For example, an outer covering of leather is sometimes used for the protection of rubber insulating material.)
  4. Employees shall wear nonconductive head protection wherever there is a danger of head injury from electric shock or burns due to contact with exposed energized parts.
  5. Employees shall wear protective equipment for the eyes or face wherever there is danger of injury to the eyes or face from electric arcs or flashes or from flying objects resulting from electrical explosion.

General protective equipment and tools

1. When working near exposed energized conductors or circuit parts, employees shall use insulated tools or handling equipment if the tools or handling equipment might make contact with such conductors or parts. If the insulating capability of insulated tools or handling equipment is subject to damage, the insulating material shall be protected.

  • Fuse handling equipment, insulated for the circuit voltage, shall be used to remove or install fuses when the fuse terminals are energized.
  • Ropes and handlines used near exposed energized parts shall be nonconductive.

2. Protective shields, barriers, or insulating materials shall be used to protect employees from shock, burns, or other electrically related injuries while the employee is working near exposed energized parts which might be accidentally contacted or where dangerous electric heating or arcing might occur. When normally enclosed live parts are exposed for maintenance or repair, they shall be guarded to protect unqualified persons from contact with the live parts.

Alerting techniques

The following alerting techniques shall be used to warn and protect employees from hazards which could cause injury due to electric shock, burns, or failure of electric equipment parts:

1. Safety signs and tags. Safety signs, safety symbols, or accident prevention tags shall be used where necessary to warn employees about electrical hazards which may endanger them, as required by OSHA 1910.145.

2. Barricades. Barricades shall be used in conjunction with safety signs where it is necessary to prevent or limit employee access to work areas exposing employees to uninsulated energized conductors or circuit parts. Conductive barricades may not be used where they might cause an electrical contact hazard.

3. Attendants. If signs and barricades do not provide sufficient warning and protection from electrical hazards, an attendant shall be stationed to warn and protect employees.

Excavating and Trenching

1.0 Introduction

Excavation and trenching cave-ins result in more than one hundred fatalities annually in the United States. With little or no warning, an unsupported, improperly shored or sloped trench or excavation wall can collapse, trapping workers below in seconds. For each fatality there are an estimated fifty related serious injuries annually. In addition to human losses the financial costs can be enormous--property damage, work stoppage, and workers' compensation.

The purpose of this program is to protect employees from hazards that may be encountered while working in trenches and excavations. The program includes provisions for employee training, hazard identification and control, and safe work practices that must be followed while working in an excavation or trench. This program complies with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard 29 CFR 1926 Subpart P.

2.0 Scope

This program applies to all open excavation made in the earth's surface, including trenches. It covers all employees that work in or around excavations.

3.0 Definitions

Accepted engineering practices - the standards of practice required by a registered professional engineer.

Aluminum Hydraulic Shoring - a manufactured shoring system consisting of aluminum hydraulic cylinders (crossbraces) used with vertical rails (uprights) or horizontal rails (wales). This system is designed to support the sidewalls of an excavation and prevent cave-ins.

Bell-bottom pier hole - a type of shaft or footing excavation in which the bottom is made larger than the cross section above to form a belled shape.

Benching - a method of protecting employees from cave-ins by excavating the sides of an excavation to form horizontal steps, usually with vertical or near-vertical surfaces between levels.

Cave-in - the sudden movement of soil or rock into an excavation, or the loss of soil from under a trench shield or support system, in amounts large enough to trap, bury, or injure a person.

Competent person - one who has been trained to identify hazards in the surroundings or working conditions and has the authority to have these hazards promptly corrected. For purposes of this standard, a competent person must have specific training in, and be knowledgeable about, soil analysis, protective systems, and the requirements of this standard. The competent person shall determine the means of protection (sloping back the sides of the excavation, use of trench shields, or shoring) that will be used for each excavation project.

Cross braces - the horizontal members of a shoring system installed perpendicular to the sides of the excavation. The cross braces bear against either uprights or wales.

Excavation - any man-made cut, cavity, trench, or depression in an earth surface formed by earth removal.

Faces or sides - the vertical or inclined earth surfaces formed as a result of excavation work.

Failure - the movement or damage of a structural member or connection that makes it unable to support loads.

Hazardous atmosphere - an atmosphere that is explosive, flammable, corrosive, oxidizing, irritating, oxygen deficient, toxic, or otherwise harmful, that may cause death, illness, or injury.

Kickout - the accidental movement or failure of a crossbrace.

Protective System - a method of protecting employees from cave-ins from material that could fall from an excavation face or into an excavation, or from the collapse of adjacent structures. Protective systems include shoring, sloping, shield systems or other systems that provide the necessary protection.

Ramp - an incline walking or working surface used to gain access to one point from another. A ramp is constructed of earth or structural materials such as steel or wood.

Sheeting - the members of a shoring system that retain the earth in position and in turn are supported by other members of the shoring system.

Shield - a structure that withstands cave-ins and protects employees working within the shield system. Shields can be permanent structures or portable units moved along as work progresses. Shields used in trenches are usually called "trench boxes" or "trench shields." Shields do not generally prevent cave-ins but protect employees if a cave-in occurs.

Shoring - a structure that supports the sides of an excavation to prevent cave-ins. Shoring systems may be hydraulic, mechanical, or made from timber.

Sloping - inclining the sides away from the excavation to protect employees from cave-ins. The required slope will vary with soil type, weather, and surface loads that may affect the soil in the area of the trench (such as adjacent buildings, vehicles near the edge of the trench)

Stable rock - natural solid mineral material that can be excavated with vertical sides that will remain intact while exposed. Rock which contains visible fractures or seams, or rock (e.g., shale) which is interlayed with clay or soil does not constitute stable rock.

Structural ramp - a ramp built of steel or wood, usually used for vehicle access. Ramps made of soil or rock are not considered structural ramps.

Support system - a structure such as underpinning, bracing, or shoring, which provides support to an adjacent structure, underground installation, or the sides of an excavation.

Tabulated Data - tables and charts approved by a registered professional engineer used to design and construct a protective system.

Trench - a narrow excavation (in relation to its length) made below the surface of the ground. In general, the depth is greater than the width. The width of a trench measured at the bottom is less than 15 feet.

Uprights - the vertical members of a trench shoring system placed in contact with the earth and usually positioned so that individual members do not contact each other. Uprights spaced so that individual members are closely spaced, in contact with or interconnected to each other are often called "sheeting."

Wales - horizontal members of a shoring system placed parallel to the excavation face whose sides bear against the vertical members of the shoring system or earth (the uprights or sheeting).

4.0  General Requirements

Training

  1. All personnel involved in excavation work shall be trained in the requirements of this program. Training will be conducted by the Safety Manager or other knowledgeable person.
  2. Training shall be performed before the employee is assigned duties in excavations.
  3. Retraining will be performed whenever a supervisor or the Safety Manager determines that an employee does not have the knowledge or skills to safely work in excavations.
  4. Training records will be maintained in the Safety Office. These records shall include the date of the training program, the instructor, and a copy of the written material presented.
  5. Appropriate training will include:
    1. Recognition of potential hazards.
    2. Safe work practices that must be followed while working in excavations.
    3. Personal protective equipment required during work in excavations.
    4. Procedures to be followed if a hazardous atmosphere exists or could reasonably be expected to develop.
    5. Emergency and non-entry rescue methods, and procedures for calling rescue service.
    6. Ladder safety.

Pre-work Site Inspection

  1. Before excavation, the site will be thoroughly inspected by a competent person for any conditions requiring precautionary safety measures.
  2. All equipment, materials, permanent installations, trees, and other objects at the surface that could present a hazard to employees working in the excavation shall be removed or supported as necessary.

Underground Installations

  1. The location of sewers, telephones, fuel, electric, water lines, or any other underground installations that may be encountered shall be determined before opening an excavation.
  2. If it is not possible to establish the exact location of these installations, the work may proceed with caution if detection equipment or other safe means are used to locate the utility.
  3. Work shall be done in a manner that does not endanger underground installations or employees. While the excavation is open, underground installations shall be protected, supported, or removed to protect employees.

Stability of Adjacent Structures

  1. Support systems (such as shoring, bracing, or underpinning) shall be used to assure the stability of structures and the protection of employees if excavation operations could affect the stability of adjoining buildings, walls, or other structures.
  2. Excavation below the level of the base or footing of a foundation or retaining wall that could pose a hazard to employees shall not be allowed unless:
    1. A support system, such as underpinning, is provided to ensure the safety of employees and the stability of the structure or
    2. The excavation is in stable rock or
    3. A registered professional engineer has approved the determination that the structure is sufficiently removed from the excavation and will be unaffected by the excavation activity or
    4. A registered professional engineer has approved the determination that the excavation work will not pose a hazard to employees.
  3. Sidewalks, pavements, and collateral structures shall not be undermined unless a support system or other method of protection is provided.

Protection of the Public

  1. Guardrails, fences, or barricades shall be provided on excavations adjacent to walkways, driveways and other pedestrian or vehicle thoroughfares.
  2. Warning lights shall be maintained as necessary for the safety of the public at night.

5.0  Protection for Workers

Protection Systems

  1. Employees in an excavation shall be protected from cave-ins by using an appropriate sloping, shoring, or shielding system. The only exceptions are:
    1. Excavations made entirely in stable rock; or
    2. Excavations less than 5 feet deep where examination by a competent person provides no signs of a potential cave-in.
  2. Protective systems shall be capable of resisting all loads that could reasonably be expected to be applied to the system.
  3. Protective systems for excavations under 20 feet shall be designed by a knowledgeable person. Systems shall be inspected daily, prior to work, by a competent person. Protective systems over 20 feet deep must be designed by a registered professional engineer.

Access and Means of Egress

  1. Stairs, ladders, ramps or other safe means shall be provided where employees enter trench excavations over 4 feet deep.
  2. The maximum distance along the length of the trench to reach the means of egress shall not exceed 25 feet.
  3. The sloped end of a trench may be used to enter the trench if employees can walk the ramp in an upright manner. A knotted rope line may not be used to assist employees using sloped areas as access to trenches.
  4. Lifting equipment such as backhoes, shall not be used to move employees into and out of the trench.

Structural Ramps

  1. Structural ramps used solely by employees for access or egress from excavations shall be designed by a competent person.
  2. Structural ramps used for equipment shall be designed by a competent person qualified in structural design.
  3. Ramps and runways constructed of two or more structural members shall be connected together to prevent movement. Structural members shall be of uniform thickness. Cleats or other appropriate means used to connect runway structural members shall be attached to the bottom of the runway or shall be attached in a manner to prevent tripping.
  4. Structural ramps used for steps shall be provided with cleats or other surface treatments to prevent slipping.

Ladders

  1. When portable ladders are used, the ladder side rails shall extend a minimum of 3 feet above the surface of the excavation.
  2. Ladders shall have nonconductive side rails if work is performed near exposed energized equipment.
  3. Ladders will be inspected before use for signs of damage or defects. Damaged ladders will be removed from service and marked "Do Not Use" until repaired.
  4. Ladders shall be used on stable and level surfaces unless secured. Ladders placed where they can be displaced by workplace activities or traffic shall be secured or barricaded to keep activities away from the ladder.
  5. Extension ladders shall be positioned so that the foot of the ladder is one-quarter of the working length away from the support. Employees shall not carry any object or load while on the ladder that could cause them to lose their balance.

Exposure to Vehicular Traffic

  1. Employees exposed to vehicular traffic (not just directing traffic) shall wear warning vests or other high-visibility garments.

Openings

  1. Wells, holes, pits, shafts, and all similar hazardous excavations shall be effectively barricaded or covered and posted as necessary to prevent unauthorized access.
  2. All temporary excavations of this type shall be backfilled as soon as possible.

Employee Exposure to Falling Loads

  1. Employees shall not work underneath loads handled by lifting or digging equipment.
  2. Employees shall stand away from any vehicle being loaded or unloaded
  3. Operators may remain in the cabs of vehicles being loaded or unloaded if the vehicles provide adequate protection.

Warning System for Mobile Equipment

  1. A warning system shall be used when mobile equipment is operated near the edge of an excavation if the operator does not have a clear view of the edge.
  2. The warning system shall consist of barricades, hand or mechanical signals, or stop logs.
  3. A warning system is not required for mobile equipment used to push soil back into the trench.

Hazardous Atmospheres

  1. A qualified individual will test the atmosphere in excavations over four feet deep if a hazardous atmosphere is possible. The qualified individual will be trained by the Safety Office. A hazardous atmosphere may exist, for example, in excavations in landfill areas, where hazardous substances are stored, or near gas pipelines.
  2. Adequate precautions will be taken to prevent exposures to atmospheres containing less than 19.5 percent oxygen and other hazardous atmospheres. These precautions include proper respiratory protection or forced mechanical ventilation.
  3. Forced mechanical ventilation shall be used to prevent exposure to an atmosphere containing a flammable gas in excess of 10 percent of its lower flammability limit.
  4. When controls are used to reduce the level of atmospheric contaminants to acceptable limits, continuous air monitoring will be performed. The device used for atmospheric monitoring will be equipped with an audible and visual alarm.
  5. Atmospheric testing will be performed using a properly calibrated direct reading gas monitor. Direct reading gas detector tubes or other acceptable means may also be used to test potentially toxic atmospheres.
  6. Atmospheric testing instruments shall be calibrated at least every six months by the Safety Office.
  7. Each atmospheric testing instrument will be field checked immediately before use to ensure that it is operating properly.
  8. Emergency rescue equipment such as breathing apparatus, safety harness and line, and a tripod shall be readily available where hazardous atmospheres may develop in an excavation. Only personnel that have approved training and appropriate equipment shall attempt retrieval into a hazardous atmosphere.
  9. If entry into a known hazardous atmosphere must be performed, the Safety Office shall be given advanced notice so hazards can be evaluated and rescue personnel placed on standby.

Personal Protective Equipment

  1. All employees working in trenches or excavations shall wear approved hardhats and steel toed shoes.
  2. Employees exposed to flying fragments, dust, or other similar materials shall wear approved safety glasses with side shields.
  3. Employees exposed to hazards produced by welding, cutting or brazing operations shall use approved spectacles, faceshield, or helmet.
  4. Employees entering bell-bottom pier holes or other similar deep and confined footing excavations shall wear a harness with a lifeline attached to it. The lifeline shall be separate from any line used to handle materials and be individually attended at all times while the employee is in the excavation.
  5. As necessary, employees shall wear appropriate gloves for hand protection.
  6. Employees using or working near, hammer drills, masonry saws, jackhammers or similar high noise producing equipment shall use suitable hearing protection.

Walkways and Guardrails

  1. Walkways shall be provided where employees or equipment are permitted to cross over excavations. Approved guardrails shall be provided where walkways are six feet or more above lower levels.

Protection from Hazards Associated with Water Accumulation

  1. Employees will not work in excavations that contain water unless precautions have been taken to protect them from hazards posed by water accumulation. The precautions taken could include special support or shield systems to protect from cave-ins, water removal, or use of safety harnesses and lifelines.
  2. If water is controlled with water removal equipment, the equipment shall be monitored by a competent person to ensure proper operation.
  3. If excavation work interrupts the natural drainage of surface water (such as streams), diversion ditches, dikes, or other suitable means shall be used to prevent surface water from entering the excavation. Precautions shall also be taken to provide adequate drainage in the area adjacent to the excavation. Excavations subject to runoff from heavy rains shall be inspected by a competent person to determine if precautions should be taken.

Protection of Employees from Falling Objects and Loose Rocks or Soil

  1. Adequate protection shall be provided to protect employees from loose rock or soil that could fall from an excavation face. Such protection shall consist of:
    1. Scaling to remove lose material.
    2. Installation of protective barricades, such as wire mesh or timber, at appropriate intervals on the face of the slope to stop and contain falling materials.
    3. Other means that provide equivalent protection.
  2. Employees shall be protected from materials that could fall into excavations. Protection shall be provided by keeping materials at least two feet from the edge of excavations or by restraining devices.
  3. Employees shall not work above other employees on the faces of sloped or benched systems unless employees at the lower levels are protected from the hazard of falling material or equipment.

Inspections

  1. A competent person shall conduct daily inspections of excavations, adjacent areas, and protective systems for evidence of a situation that could result in possible cave-ins, failure of protective systems, hazardous atmospheres, or other hazardous conditions. The inspection shall be conducted before the start of work and as needed through the shift. Inspections shall also be made after every rainstorm or other occurrence that may increase hazards.
  2. Where the competent person finds evidence that could result in a possible cave-in, failure of protective systems, hazardous atmosphere, or other hazardous conditions, exposed employees will be removed from the hazardous area until precautions have been taken to assure their safety.
  3. A written log of all inspections will be maintained by the competent person. The log shall include the date, work site location, results of the inspection, and corrective actions.

6.0  Requirements for Protective Systems

Sloping and Benching Systems

1. The slope and configuration of sloping and benching systems shall be selected and constructed using one of the following options:

Option 1 All slopes and configurations are designed assuming the most unstable soil conditions (type C soil). Excavations shall be sloped at an angle of one and one-half horizontal to one vertical (34 degrees measured from the horizontal). The slopes used shall be excavated according to the configurations shown for type C soil in Appendix B. Soil analysis is not needed.

Option 2 Slopes and configurations are determined using Appendix A and B of the OSHA regulations. Appendix A is used to classify the soil and appendix B to determine the allowable slope and configuration for the type of soil. Soil classification must be done by a competent person.

Option 3 The design of sloping or benching systems may be constructed according to other tabulated data such as tables and charts. The tabulated data must be in written form and include the following:

  • Identification of the factors that affect the selection of a sloping or benching system.
  • Identification of the limits of use of the data, including the magnitude and configuration of the slopes determined to be safe.
  • Other information needed by the user to make correct selection of a protective system.
  • One copy of the tabulated data that identifies the registered professional engineer who approved the data shall be maintained at the jobsite during construction of the protective system.

Option 4 Sloping and benching systems not utilizing one of the above options shall be approved by a registered professional engineer. Designs shall be in written form and include at least the following:

  • The magnitude and configurations of the slopes determined to be safe.
  • The identity of the registered professional engineer approving the design.
  • At least one copy of the design shall be maintained at the jobsite while the slope is being constructed.

Shoring, Shielding and Other Protective Systems

1. The design of shoring systems, shield systems, and other protective systems shall be constructed according to one of the following options:

Option 1 Systems may be designed using appendices A, C, and D of the OSHA regulations. Design of timber shoring in trenches shall be made according to appendix A and C. Appendix A is used to analyze the soil type and appendix C to select the proper timber shoring configuration. Design of aluminum hydraulic shoring in trenches not exceeding 20 feet shall be in accordance with option 2, but if manufacturers' tabulated data cannot be used, then designs shall conform with appendix D.

Option 2 Protective systems may be designed using tabulated data from the manufacturer. This option allows the use of manufactured protective systems such as metal hydraulic shoring or shields. Protective systems designed by this option shall be constructed and used according to the specifications and requirements of the manufacturer. Deviation from these requirements is allowed if written approval is obtained from the manufacturer. This approval must be kept at the jobsite during construction of the protective system.

Option 3 Systems may be designed using other tabulated data if the data has been approved by a registered professional engineer. The tabulated data shall be in written form and include the following:

  • Identification of the factors that affect the selection of a protective system drawn from such data.
  • Identification of the limits of use of the data.
  • Information needed by the user to make a correct selection of a protective system from the data.
  • At least one copy of the tabulated data, identifying the registered professional engineer who approved the data, shall be maintained at the jobsite during construction of the protective system.

Option 4 Protective systems can be designed by a registered professional engineer. Designs shall be in written form and include a plan indicating the sizes, types, and configurations of the materials used and the identity of the registered professional engineer. At least one copy of the design shall be maintained at the jobsite during construction of the protective system.

Materials and Equipment

  1. Materials and equipment used for protective systems shall be free from damage or defects that might affect their function.
  2. Manufactured materials and equipment used for protective systems shall be used and maintained according to recommendations of the manufacturer, and in a manner that will prevent employee exposure to hazards.
  3. When material or equipment used for protective systems are damaged, these systems must be examined by a competent person to evaluate its suitability for continued use. If the competent person cannot assure the safe use of the system, then the material or equipment shall be removed from service and evaluated by a registered professional engineer.

Installation and Removal of Support

  1. Members of support systems shall be securely connected to prevent sliding, falling, kickout, or other failure.
  2. Support systems shall be installed and removed in a way that protects employees from cave-ins, structural collapses, or from being struck by members of the support system.
  3. Individual members of support systems shall not be subjected to excessive loads.
  4. Before temporary removal of individual support members begins, additional precautions shall be taken to ensure the safety of employees. These precautions could include the installation of other structural members to carry the loads imposed on the support system.
  5. Removal of support systems shall begin at the bottom of the excavation. Members shall be released slowly. If there is any indication of possible failure of the remaining structure or possible cave-in the work shall be halted until it can be examined.
  6. Backfilling shall progress with the removal of support systems from excavations.
  7. The following additional requirements for support systems are specific for trench excavations:
  • Excavation of material to a level not more than two feet below the bottom of a support system is allowed, but only if the system is designed to resist the forces calculated for the full depth of the trench. There shall be no indications while the trench is open of a possible loss of soil from behind or below the bottom of the support system.
  • Installation of a support system shall be closely coordinated with the excavation of trenches.

Shield Systems

  1. Shield systems shall not be subjected to loads greater than their design capacity.
  2. Shields shall be installed to restrict lateral or other hazardous movement of the shield that could occur during cave-in or unexpected soil movement.
  3. Employees shall be protected from cave-ins when entering or exiting the shield.
  4. Employees shall not be allowed in shields when shields are being installed, removed, or moved vertically.
  5. Additional requirements for shields used in trenches:
  • Excavation of material to a level no greater than 2 feet below the bottom of the shield system is allowed, but only if the system is designed to resist the forces calculated for the full depth of the trench. There shall be no indications while the trench is open of a possible loss of soil from behind or below the bottom of the shield system.

Appendix A: Soil Classification

Appendix A describes a method of classifying soil and rock deposits based on site and environmental conditions, and on the structure and composition of the earth deposits. The appendix contains definitions, requirements, and describes acceptable visual and manual tests for use in classifying soils.

This appendix applies when a sloping or benching system is designed as a method of protection for employees from cave-ins. This appendix also applies when timber shoring is designed according to appendix C and aluminum hydraulic shoring is designed according to appendix D. Appendix A also applies if other protective systems are designed from data requiring that soil be classified.

Each soil and rock deposit must be classified by a competent person as stable rock, type A, type B, or type C soil. Type A soil is the strongest (e.g., clay) and Type C soil is the weakest and most unstable (e.g., sand). Classification is based on at least one visual and one manual analysis. Analysis may be done using the methods described in this appendix or any other recognized method of soil classification and testing such as those adopted by the American Society for Testing Materials.

Once the soil type has been determined the proper protective system can be selected. Each layer in a layered system must be classified. The protective system for the weakest layer must be chosen. Soils may have to be reclassified in case of a heavy rainstorm or other hazard-increasing occurrence.

Appendix B: Sloping and Benching

This appendix is mandatory if the employer decides to classify the soil and chooses a sloping or benching system. The slopes in the appendix are the maximum allowable slopes for each type of soil, i.e., the steepest incline allowed for the particular soil. Slopes are expressed as a ratio of horizontal distance to vertical rise. In Type C soil, for example, a trench 10 feet deep would require a horizontal distance of 15 feet on both sides of the trench (1 1/2:1). The only exception to the maximum allowable slopes is for short-term (less than 24 hours) excavations in Type A soil where the excavation is 12 feet or less in depth. The slope for such an excavation can be 1/2:1 rather than 3/4:1.

Following are the maximum allowable slopes for excavations less than 20 feet deep:

Soil Type Slope
Stable Rock Vertical
Type A 3/4:1
Type B 1:1
Type C 1 1/2:1

Appendix C: Timber Shoring

This appendix is mandatory when an employer uses timber shoring in a trench 20 feet or less in depth. The employer must first classify the soil using Appendix A, then select the proper configuration from the tables in appendix C.

Appendix D: Aluminum Hydraulic Shoring for Trenches

This appendix is mandatory when an employer uses aluminum hydraulic shoring in a trench 20 feet or less in depth. This option is only used when the employer cannot utilize manufacturers' tabulated data. The employer must first classify the soil using Appendix A, then select the proper configuration from the tables in this appendix.

Fall Protection

1.0 Introduction

In 1995, 1,048 construction workers died on the job. Thirty-two percent of these deaths resulted from falls. Each year, falls consistently account for the greatest number of fatalities in the construction industry, and are always a major concern in other industries. Events surrounding these types of accidents often involve a number of factors, including unstable working surfaces, misuse of fall protection equipment, and human error. Studies have shown that the use of guardrails, fall arrest systems, safety nets, covers, and travel restriction systems can prevent many deaths and injuries from falls.

2.0  Scope

1. This program describes requirements for fall protection in construction activities. The provisions of this program do not apply:

  • When employees are making an inspection, or assessment of workplace conditions prior to the start of construction work or after all construction work has been completed.
  • To fall protection for employees working on scaffolds, stairways and ladders.

3.0  Definitions

Anchorage - A secure point of attachment for lifelines, lanyards or deceleration devices.

Body belt (safety belt) - A strap that is secured around the waist and attached to a lanyard, lifeline, or deceleration device.

Body harness - Straps which are secured about the employee in a manner that will distribute the fall forces over the thighs, pelvis, waist, chest and shoulders with means for attaching it to other components of a personal fall arrest system.

Buckle - Any device for holding the body belt or body harness closed around the employee's body.

Connector - A device which is used to connect the personal fall arrest system or positioning device to other parts of the system. It may be an independent component of the system, such as a carabiner, or it may be an integral component of part of the system (such as a buckle or dee-ring sewn into a body belt or body harness, or a snap-hook spliced or sewn to a lanyard or self-retracting lanyard).

Controlled access zone - A controlled area in which certain work (e.g., overhand bricklaying) may take place without the use of guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, or safety net systems.

Dangerous equipment - Equipment (such as pickling or galvanizing tanks, degreasing units, machinery, electrical equipment, and other units) which may be hazardous to employees who fall onto or into such equipment.

Deceleration device - Any mechanism, such as a rope grab, rip-stitch lanyard, specially-woven lanyard, tearing or deforming lanyards, automatic self-retracting lifelines/lanyards, etc., which dissipates a substantial amount of energy during a fall.

Deceleration distance - The distance between the location of an employee's body belt or body harness attachment point at the moment of activation of the deceleration device, and the location of that attachment point after the employee comes to a full stop.

Failure - Breakage or separation of component parts.

Free fall - The act of falling before a personal fall arrest system begins to arrest the fall.

Free fall distance - The vertical distance between the onset of the fall and just before the system begins to apply force to arrest the fall.

Guardrail system - A barrier erected to prevent employees from falling to lower levels.

Hole - A gap 2 inches or more in a floor, roof, or other walking/working surface.

Lanyard - A flexible line of rope, wire rope, or strap which generally has a connector at each end for connecting the body belt or body harness to a deceleration device, lifeline, or anchorage.

Lifeline - A flexible line for connection to an anchorage at one end to hang vertically, or for connection to anchorages at both ends to stretch horizontally which serves as a means for connecting other components of a personal fall arrest system to the anchorage.

Low-slope roof - A roof having a slope less than or equal to 4 in 12 (vertical to horizontal).

Lower levels - Surfaces to which an employee could fall. Such surfaces include ground levels, floors, platforms, ramps, runways, excavations, pits, tanks, material, water, equipment, and structures.

Mechanical equipment - All motor or human propelled wheeled equipment used for roofing work, except wheelbarrows and mopcarts.

Opening - A gap 30 inches or more high and 18 inches or more wide, in a wall or partition, through which employees can fall to a lower level.

Personal fall arrest system - A system used to stop an employee in a fall. It consists of an anchorage, connectors, a body belt or body harness and may include a lanyard, deceleration device, or lifeline. The use of a body belt for fall arrest is prohibited.

Positioning device system - A body belt or body harness system which allows an employee to be supported on an elevated vertical surface, such as a wall or pole , and work with both hands free while leaning.

Rope grab - A deceleration device which travels on a lifeline and automatically, by friction, engages the lifeline and locks so as to stop the fall of an employee.

Roof - The exterior surface on the top of a building. This does not include floors or formwork which, temporarily become the top surface of a building.

Roofing work - The hoisting, storage, application, and removal of roofing materials and equipment, including related insulation, sheet metal, and vapor barrier work, but not including the construction of the roof deck.

Safety-monitoring system - A safety system in which a competent person is responsible for recognizing and warning employees of fall hazards.

Self-retracting lifeline/lanyard - A deceleration device containing a line which can be slowly extracted or retracted into the device under slight tension during normal employee movement, and which automatically locks to stop a fall.

Snaphook - A connector comprised of a hook-shaped member with a normally closed keeper which may be opened to permit the hook to receive an object and, when released, automatically closes to retain the object. Snaphooks are generally one of two types:

  • The locking type with a self-closing, self-locking keeper which remains closed and locked until unlocked and pressed open for connection or disconnection.
  • The non-locking type with a self-closing keeper which remains closed until pressed open for connection or disconnection. The use of a non-locking snaphook as part of personal fall arrest systems and positioning device systems is prohibited.

Steep roof - A roof having a slope greater than 4 in 12 (vertical to horizontal).

Toeboard - A low protective barrier that will prevent the fall of materials and equipment to lower levels and provide protection from falls for personnel.

Unprotected sides and edges - Any side or edge (except at entrances to points of access) of a walking/working surface, e.g., floor, roof, ramp, or runway where there is no wall or guardrail system at least 39 inches high.

Walking/working surface - Any surface, whether horizontal or vertical on which an employee walks or works, including, floors, roofs, ramps, bridges, runways, formwork and concrete reinforcing steel but not including ladders, vehicles, or trailers, on which employees must be located in order to perform their job duties.

Warning line system - A barrier erected on a roof to warn employees that they are approaching an unprotected roof edge, and which designates an area in which roofing work may take place without the use of guardrail, body belt, or safety net systems to protect employees in the area.

Work area - That portion of a walking/working surface where job duties are being performed.

4.0 Situations Requiring Fall Protection Systems

  1. Unprotected sides and edges - Each employee on a walking/working surface with an unprotected side which is 6 feet or more above a lower level shall be protected from falling by the use of guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems.
  2. Holes - Each employee on walking/working surfaces shall be protected from falling through holes (including skylights) more than 6 feet above lower levels, by personal fall arrest systems, covers, or guardrail systems erected around the holes.
    1. Each employee on a walking/working surface shall be protected from tripping in or stepping into or through holes (including skylights) by covers.
    2. Each employee on a walking/working surface shall be protected from objects falling through holes (including skylights) by covers.
  3. Ramps, runways, and other walkways- Each employee on ramps, runways, and other walkways shall be protected from falling 6 feet or more to lower levels by guardrail systems.
  4. Excavations - Each employee at the edge of an excavation 6 feet or more in depth shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems, fences, or barricades when the excavations are not readily seen because of plant growth or other visual barrier.
    1. Each employee at the edge of a well, pit, shaft, and similar excavation 6 feet or more in depth shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems, fences, barricades, or covers.
  5. Dangerous equipment - Each employee less than 6 feet above dangerous equipment shall be protected from falling into or onto the dangerous equipment by guardrail systems or by equipment guards. Each employee 6 feet or more above dangerous equipment shall be protected from fall hazards by guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, or safety net systems.
  6. Roofing work on low-slope roofs - Each employee engaged in roofing activities on low-slope roofs, with unprotected sides and edges 6 feet or more above lower levels shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, or a combination of warning line system and guardrail system, warning line system and safety net system, or warning line system and personal fall arrest system, or warning line system and safety monitoring system. Or, on roofs 50-feet or less in width, the use of a safety monitoring system alone (i.e. without the warning line system) is permitted.
  7. Steep roofs - Each employee on a steep roof with unprotected sides and edges 6 feet or more above lower levels shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems with toeboards, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems.
  8. Wall openings - Each employee working on, at, above, or near wall openings (including those with chutes attached) where the outside bottom edge of the wall opening is 6 feet or more above lower levels and the inside bottom edge of the wall opening is less than 39 inches above the walking/working surface, shall be protected from falling by the use of a guardrail system, a safety net system, or a personal fall arrest system.

5.0  Fall Protection Systems

Guardrail systems

  1. The height of top rails shall be 39-45 inches above the walking/working level.
  2. Midrails, screens, mesh, and intermediate members shall be installed between the top edge of the guardrail system and the walking/working surface if there is no wall at least 21 inches high
    1. Midrails shall be installed at a height midway between the top edge of the guardrail system and the walking/working level.
    2. Screens and mesh shall extend from the top rail to the walking/working level and along the entire opening between top rail supports.
    3. Intermediate members (such as balusters), when used between posts, shall be not more than 19 inches apart.
    4. Other structural members (such as additional midrails and architectural panels) shall be installed such that there are no openings in the guardrail system that are more than 19 inches wide.
  3. Guardrail systems shall be capable of withstanding a force of at least 200 pounds applied within 2 inches of the top edge, in any outward or downward direction, at any point along the top edge.
  4. When the 200 pound test load is applied in a downward direction, the top edge of the guardrail shall not deflect to a height less than 39 inches above the walking/working level. Guardrail system components selected and constructed in accordance with Appendix B of the OSHA regulations will be deemed to meet this requirement.
  5. Midrails, screens, mesh, intermediate vertical members, solid panels, and equivalent structural members shall be capable of withstanding a force of at least 150 pounds applied in any downward or outward direction at any point along the midrail or other member.
  6. Guardrail systems shall be designed to prevent injury to an employee from punctures or lacerations, and to prevent snagging of clothing.
  7. The ends of all top rails and midrails shall not overhang the terminal posts, except where such overhang does not constitute a projection hazard.
  8. Steel banding and plastic banding shall not be used as top rails or midrails.
  9. Top rails and midrails shall be at least one-quarter inch nominal diameter or thickness to prevent cuts and lacerations. If wire rope is used for top rails, it shall be flagged at 6-foot intervals with high-visibility material.
  10. When guardrail systems are used at holes, they shall be erected on all unprotected sides or edges of the hole.
  11. When guardrail systems are used around holes which are used as points of access (such as ladderways), they shall be provided with a gate, or be so offset that a person cannot walk directly into the hole.
  12. Guardrail systems used on ramps and runways shall be erected along each unprotected side or edge.
  13. Manila, plastic or synthetic rope used for top rails or midrails shall be inspected as frequently as necessary to ensure that it continues to meet the necessary strength requirements.

Safety Net Systems

1. Safety nets shall be installed as close as practicable under the walking/working surface on which employees are working, but in no case more than 30 feet below such level.

2. Safety nets shall extend outward from the outermost projection of the work surface as follows:

Vertical distance from working level to net Minimum distance of outer edge of net to the edge of the working surface
Up to 5 feet 8 feet
More than 5 feet up to 10 feet 10 feet
More than 10 feet 13 feet

3. Safety nets and safety net installations shall be drop-tested at the jobsite after initial installation and before being used as a fall protection system, whenever relocated, after major repair, and at 6-month intervals if left in one place. Safety nets shall be installed with sufficient clearance under them to prevent contact with the surface or structures below when subjected to the drop test.

4. The drop-test shall consist of a 400 pound bag of sand, 28-32 inches in diameter dropped into the net from the highest walking/working surface at which employees are exposed to fall hazards.

5. If it is unreasonable to perform the drop-test, the university shall certify that the net installation is in compliance with the provisions of this section by preparing a certification record prior to the net being used. The certification record must include an identification of the net installation for which the certification record is being prepared; the date that it was determined that the net installation was in compliance with this section and the signature of the person making the determination and certification. The most recent certification record for each net installation shall be available at the jobsite for inspection.

6. Safety nets shall be inspected at least once a week for wear, damage, and other deterioration. Defective components shall be removed from service. Safety nets shall also be inspected after any occurrence which could affect the integrity of the safety net system.

7. Materials, scrap pieces, equipment, and tools which have fallen into the safety net shall be removed as soon as possible from the net and at least before the next work shift.

8. The maximum size of the mesh openings shall not exceed 36 square inches nor be longer than 6 inches on any side, and the openings, measured center-to-center of mesh ropes or webbing, shall not be longer than 6 inches. All mesh crossings shall be secured to prevent enlargement of the mesh opening.

9. Each safety net shall have a border rope for webbing with a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 pounds.

10. Connections between safety net panels shall be as strong as integral net components and shall be spaced not more than 6 inches apart.

Personal Fall Arrest Systems

  1. Body belts are not acceptable as part of a personal fall arrest system. The use of a body belt as a positioning device is acceptable.
  2. Connectors shall be drop forged, pressed or formed steel, or made of equivalent materials.
  3. Connectors shall have a corrosion-resistant finish, and all surfaces and edges shall be smooth to prevent damage to interfacing parts of the system.
  4. Dee-rings and snaphooks shall have a minimum tensile strength of 5,000 pounds.
  5. Dee-rings and snaphooks shall be proof-tested to a minimum tensile load of 3,600 pounds without cracking, breaking, or taking permanent deformation.
  6. Only locking type snaphooks shall be used.
  7. Unless the snaphook is designed for the following connections, snaphooks shall not be connected:
    1. Directly to webbing, rope or wire rope.
    2. To each other.
    3. To a dee-ring to which another snaphook or other connector is attached.
    4. To a horizontal lifeline.
  8. On work platforms with horizontal lifelines which may become vertical lifelines, the devices used to connect to a horizontal lifeline shall be capable of locking in both directions on the lifeline.
  9. Horizontal lifelines shall be designed, installed, and used, under the supervision of a qualified person, as part of a complete personal fall arrest system, which maintains a safety factor of at least two.
  10. Lanyards and vertical lifelines shall have a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 pounds.
  11. When vertical lifelines are used, each employee shall be attached to a separate lifeline.
  12. Lifelines shall be protected against being cut or abraded.
  13. Self-retracting lifelines and lanyards which automatically limit free fall distance to 2 feet or less shall be capable of sustaining a minimum tensile load of 3,000 pounds applied to the device with the lifeline or lanyard in the fully extended position.
  14. Self-retracting lifelines and lanyards which do not limit free fall distance to 2 feet or less, ripstitch lanyards, and tearing and deforming lanyards shall be capable of sustaining a minimum tensile load of 5,000 pounds applied to the device with the lifeline or lanyard in the fully extended position.
  15. Ropes and straps (webbing) used in lanyards, lifelines, and strength components of body belts and body harnesses shall be made from synthetic fibers.
  16. Anchorages used for attachment of personal fall arrest equipment shall be independent of any anchorage being used to support or suspend platforms and capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds per employee attached, or shall be designed, installed, and used as follows:
    1. As part of a complete personal fall arrest system which maintains a safety factor of at least two
    2. Under the supervision of a qualified person.
  17. Personal fall arrest systems, when stopping a fall, shall:
    1. Limit maximum arresting force on an employee to 900 pounds when used with a body belt.
    2. Limit maximum arresting force on an employee to 1,800 pounds when used with a body harness.
    3. Be rigged such that an employee can neither free fall more than 6 feet, nor contact any lower level.
    4. Bring an employee to a complete stop and limit maximum deceleration distance an employee travels to 3.5 feet.
    5. Have sufficient strength to withstand twice the potential impact energy of an employee free falling a distance of 6 feet, or the free fall distance permitted by the system, whichever is less.
    6. Note: If the personal fall arrest system meets the criteria and protocols contained in Appendix C of the OSHA regulations and if the system is being used by an employee having a combined person and tool weight of less than 310 pounds the system will be considered to be in compliance with the provisions of this section. If the system is used by an employee having a combined tool and body weight of 310 pounds or more, then Appendix C must be appropriately modified to provide proper protection for such heavier weights.
  18. The attachment point of the body harness shall be located in the center of the wearer's back near shoulder level, or above the wearer's head.
  19. Body harnesses and components shall be used only for employee protection and not to hoist materials.
  20. Personal fall arrest systems subjected to impact loading shall be immediately removed from service and not used again for employee protection until inspected and determined by a competent person to be undamaged and suitable for reuse.
  21. Personal fall arrest systems will be inspected by the user prior to each use for wear, damage and other deterioration. Defective components shall be removed from service.
  22. Personal fall arrest systems shall not be attached to guardrail systems.

Positioning device systems (body belts)

  1. Body belts shall be at least one and five-eighths (1 5/8) inches wide.
  2. Positioning devices shall be rigged such that an employee cannot free fall more than 2 feet.
  3. Positioning devices shall be secured to an anchorage capable of supporting at least twice the potential impact load of an employee's fall or 3,000 pounds, whichever is greater.
  4. Connectors shall be drop forged, pressed or formed steel, or made of equivalent materials.
  5. Connectors shall have a corrosion-resistant finish, and all surfaces and edges shall be smooth to prevent damage to interfacing parts of this system.
  6. Connecting assemblies shall have a minimum tensile strength of 5,000 pounds.
  7. Dee-rings and snaphooks shall be proof-tested to a minimum tensile load of 3,600 pounds without cracking, breaking, or taking permanent deformation.
  8. Only locking type snaphooks shall be used.
  9. Unless the snaphook is designed for the following connections, snaphooks shall not be connected:
    1. Directly to webbing, rope or wire rope.
    2. To each other.
    3. To a dee-ring to which another snaphook or other connector is attached.
    4. To a horizontal lifeline.
  10. Positioning device systems shall be inspected prior to each use for wear, damage, and other deterioration, and defective components shall be removed from service.
  11. Body belts shall be used only for employee protection and not to hoist materials.

Warning line systems

  1. The warning line shall be erected around all sides of the roof work area.
  2. When mechanical equipment is not being used, the warning line shall be erected at least 6 feet from the roof edge.
  3. When mechanical equipment is being used, the warning line shall be erected at least 6 feet from the roof edge which is parallel to the direction of mechanical equipment operation, and at least 10 feet from the roof edge which is perpendicular to the direction of mechanical equipment operation.
  4. Points of access, materials handling areas, storage areas, and hoisting areas shall be connected to the work area by an access path formed by two warning lines.
  5. When the path to a point of access is not in use, a rope, wire, chain, or other barricade, equivalent in strength and height to the warning line, shall be placed across the path at the point where the path intersects the warning line erected around the work area, or the path shall be offset such that a person cannot walk directly into the work area.
  6. Warning lines shall consist of ropes, wires, or chains, and supporting stanchions erected as follows:
    1. The rope, wire, or chain shall be flagged at 6-foot intervals with high-visibility material.
    2. The rope, wire, or chain shall be rigged and supported in such a way that its lowest point is no less than 34 inches from the walking/working surface and its highest point is no more than 39 inches from the walking/working surface.
    3. After being erected, with the rope, wire, or chain attached, stanchions shall be capable of resisting, without tipping over, a force of at least 16 pounds applied horizontally against the stanchion, 30 inches above the walking/working surface, perpendicular to the warning line, and in the direction of the floor, roof, or platform edge.
    4. The rope, wire, or chain shall have a minimum tensile strength of 500 pounds, and after being attached to the stanchions, shall be capable of supporting the loads applied to the stanchions as prescribed in this section.
    5. The line shall be attached at each stanchion in such a way that pulling on one section of the line between stanchions will not result in slack being taken up in adjacent sections before the stanchion tips over.
  7. No employee shall be allowed in the area between a roof edge and a warning line unless the employee is performing roofing work in that area.
  8. Mechanical equipment on roofs shall be used or stored only in areas where employees are protected by a warning line system, guardrail system, or personal fall arrest system.

6.0  Controlled Access Zones

  1. When used to control access to areas where leading edge and other operations are taking place the controlled access zone shall be defined by a control line or by any other means that restricts access.
  2.  When control lines are used, they shall be erected at least 6 feet but no more than 25 feet from the unprotected or leading edge.
  3. The control line shall extend along the entire length of the unprotected or leading edge and shall be approximately parallel to the unprotected or leading edge.
  4. The control line shall be connected on each side to a guardrail system or wall.
  5. Control lines shall consist of ropes, wires, tapes, or equivalent materials, and supporting stanchions as follows:
    1. Each line shall be flagged or otherwise marked at 6-foot intervals with high-visibility material.
    2. Each line shall be rigged and supported in such a way that its lowest point (including sag) is not less than 39 inches from the walking/working surface and its highest point is not more than 45 inches from the walking/working surface.
    3. Each line shall have a minimum breaking strength of 200 pounds.

7.0  Safety Monitoring Systems

  1. A competent person will be designated to monitor the safety of other employees. The safety monitor shall complies with the following requirements:
    1. The safety monitor shall be competent to recognize fall hazards.
    2. The safety monitor shall warn the employee when it appears that the employee is unaware of a fall hazard or is acting in an unsafe manner.
    3. The safety monitor shall be on the same walking/working surface and within visual sighting distance of the employee being monitored.
    4. The safety monitor shall be close enough to communicate orally with the employee.
    5. The safety monitor shall not have other responsibilities which could take the monitor's attention from the monitoring function.
  2. Mechanical equipment shall not be used or stored in areas where safety monitoring systems are being used to monitor employees engaged in roofing operations on low-slope roofs.
  3. No employee, other than an employee engaged in roofing work [on low-sloped roofs] or an employee covered by a fall protection plan, shall be allowed in an area where an employee is being protected by a safety monitoring system.
  4. Each employee working in a controlled access zone shall be directed to comply promptly with fall hazard warnings from safety monitors.

8.0  Covers

  1. Covers located in roadways and vehicular aisles shall be capable of supporting at least twice the maximum axle load of the largest vehicle expected to cross over the cover.
  2. All other covers shall be capable of supporting at least twice the weight of employees, equipment, and materials that may be imposed on the cover at any one time.
  3. All covers shall be secured when installed so as to prevent accidental displacement by the wind, equipment, or employees.
  4. All covers shall be color coded or they shall be marked with the word "HOLE" or "COVER" to provide warning of the hazard.


Note: This provision does not apply to cast iron manhole covers or steel grates used on streets or roadways.

9.0  Walking Surfaces

  1. The university will determine if the walking/working surfaces on which its employees work have the strength and structural integrity to support them safely. Employees shall be allowed to work on those surfaces only when the surfaces have the required strength and structural integrity.

10.0  Protection from falling objects

  1. When an employee is exposed to falling objects, the employee shall wear a hard hat. One of the following measures will be implemented:
    1. Erect toeboards, screens, or guardrail systems to prevent objects from falling from higher levels.
    2. Barricade the area to which objects could fall, prohibit employees from entering the barricaded area, and keep objects away from the edge of a higher level.
  2. Toeboards, when used as falling object protection, shall be erected along the edge of the overhead walking/working surface for a distance sufficient to protect employees below.
  3. Toeboards shall be capable of withstanding a force of at least 50 pounds applied in any downward or outward direction at any point along the toeboard.
  4. Toeboards shall be a minimum of 3 ½ inches in vertical height from their top edge to the level of the walking/working surface. They shall have not more than 1/4 inch clearance above the walking/working surface. They shall be solid or have openings not over 1 inch in greatest dimension.
  5. Where tools, equipment, or materials are piled higher than the top edge of a toeboard, paneling or screening shall be erected from the walking/working surface or toeboard to the top of a guardrail system's top rail or midrail, for a distance sufficient to protect employees below.
  6. Guardrail systems, when used as falling object protection, shall have all openings small enough to prevent passage of potential falling objects.
  7. During the performance of roofing work:
    1. Materials and equipment shall not be stored within 6 feet of a roof edge unless guardrails are erected at the edge.
    2. Materials which are piled, grouped, or stacked near a roof edge shall be stable and self-supporting.

11.0  Training Program

  1. The Safety Office will provide a training program for each employee who could be exposed to fall hazards. The program shall enable each employee to recognize the hazards of falling and train each employee in the procedures to be followed in order to minimize these hazards.
  2. The Safety Office shall assure that each employee has been trained in the following areas:
    1. The nature of fall hazards in the work area.
    2. The correct procedures for erecting, maintaining, disassembling, and inspecting the fall protection systems used.
    3. The use and operation of guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, safety net systems, warning line systems, safety monitoring systems, controlled access zones, and other protection used.
    4. The role of each employee in the safety monitoring system when this system is used.
    5. The limitations on the use of mechanical equipment during the performance of roofing work on low-sloped roofs.
    6. The correct procedures for the handling and storage of equipment and materials and the erection of overhead protection.
    7. The role of employees in fall protection plans.
    8. The standards contained in this program.
  3. The Safety Office will verify compliance with the requirements of this program by preparing a written certification record. The written record shall contain the name of the employee trained, the date of the training, and the signature of the person who conducted the training. The latest training certification shall be maintained.
  4. If an affected employee who has already been trained does not have the understanding and skill required by this section, the Safety Office shall retrain the employee. Circumstances where retraining is required include, but are not limited to, situations where:
    1. Changes in the workplace render previous training obsolete.
    2. Changes in the types of fall protection systems or equipment to be used render previous training obsolete.
    3. Inadequacies in an affected employee's knowledge or use of fall protection systems or equipment indicate that the employee has not retained the requisite understanding or skill.

Welding, Cutting and Brazing general requirements

1.0 Introduction

Welding, cutting, and brazing are hazardous activities that pose a unique combination of both safety and health risks to more than 500,000 workers in a wide variety of industries. The risk from fatal injuries alone is more than four deaths per thousand workers over a working lifetime.

2.0  Fire Prevention and Protection

  1. When practical, objects welded or cut will be moved to a designated safe location. If the object cannot readily be moved, all movable fire hazards in the vicinity will be taken to a safe place. If possible, combustibles will be relocated at least 35 feet from the work site.
  2. If the object welded or cut cannot be moved and if the fire hazards cannot be removed, then guards will be used to confine heat, sparks, and slag, and to protect immovable fire hazards.
  3. If there are floor openings that cannot be closed, precautions will be taken to prevent combustible materials on the floor below from being exposed to sparks which might drop through the floor. The same precautions will be observed with cracks or holes in walls, open doorways and open or broken windows.
  4. Suitable fire extinguishing equipment will be readily available.
  5. Fire watchers are required whenever welding or cutting is performed in locations where any of the following conditions exist:
    1. Appreciable combustible materials are closer than 35 feet to the point of operation.
    2. Appreciable combustibles are more than 35 feet away but are easily ignited by sparks.
    3. Wall or floor openings within a 35-foot radius expose combustible material in adjacent areas including concealed spaces in walls or floors.
    4. Combustible materials are adjacent to the opposite side of metal partitions, walls, ceilings, or roofs and are likely to be ignited by conduction or radiation.
  6. 6. Fire watchers will have fire extinguishing equipment readily available and be trained in its use. They will be familiar with the procedures for sounding an alarm in the event of a fire.
  7. The fire watch will be maintained for at least a half hour after completion of welding or cutting operations to detect and extinguish possible smoldering fires.
  8. Where combustible materials such as paper clippings, wood shavings, or textile fibers are on the floor, the floor will be swept clean for a radius of 35 feet. Combustible floors will be kept wet, covered with damp sand, or protected by fire-resistant shields. Where floors have been wet down, personnel operating arc welding or cutting equipment will be protected from possible shock.
  9. Cutting or welding will not be permitted in the following situations:
    1. In areas not authorized by management.
    2. In sprinkled buildings when such protection is shutdown.
    3. In the presence of potentially explosive atmospheres.
    4. In areas near the storage of large quantities of exposed, readily ignitable materials such as bulk sulfur, baled paper, or cotton.
  10. Ducts and conveyor systems that might carry sparks to distant combustibles will be suitably protected or shut down.
  11. Where cutting or welding is done near walls, partitions, ceiling or roof of combustible construction, fire-resistant shields or guards will be provided to prevent ignition.
  12. If welding is done on a metal wall, partition, ceiling or roof, precautions will be taken to prevent ignition of combustibles on the other side, due to conduction or radiation, preferably by relocating combustibles. Where combustibles are not relocated, a fire watch on the opposite side from the work will be provided.
  13. Welding will not be attempted on a metal partition, wall, ceiling or roof having a combustible covering nor on walls or partitions of combustible sandwich-type panel construction.
  14. Cutting or welding on pipes or other metal in contact with combustible walls, partitions, ceilings or roofs will not be undertaken if the work is close enough to cause ignition by conduction.
  15. Before cutting or welding is permitted, the area will be inspected by an authorized individual. This person will designate precautions to follow and will grant authorization to proceed, preferably in the form of a written permit.
  16. Cutters or welders and their supervisors will be trained by the Safety Office in the safe operation of their equipment and the safe use of the process.
  17. Project Managers will advise contractors about flammable materials or hazardous conditions at the university.

3.0  Welding or Cutting Containers

  1. Welding, cutting, or other hot work will not be performed on used drums, barrels, tanks or other containers until they have been cleaned thoroughly to make certain there are no flammable or toxic materials present. Any pipe lines or connections to the drum or vessel will be disconnected or blanked.
  2. All hollow spaces, cavities or containers will be vented to permit the escape of air or gases before preheating, cutting or welding. Purging with inert gas is recommended.

4.0  Confined Spaces

  1. Appropriate mechanical ventilation will be provided for welders in a confined space.
  2. When welding or cutting is performed in a confined space, gas cylinders and welding machines will be left on the outside. Before operations are started, heavy portable equipment mounted on wheels will be securely blocked to prevent accidental movement
  3. Where a welder must enter a confined space, means will be provided for quickly removing the worker in case of emergency. An attendant will be stationed outside to observe the welder at all times and be capable of putting rescue operations into effect.
  4. After welding operations are completed, the welder will mark the hot metal or provide some other means of warning other workers.
  5. When arc welding is suspended for any substantial period of time, such as during lunch or overnight, all electrodes will be removed from the holders and the holders carefully located so that accidental contact cannot occur. The machine will be disconnected from the power source.
  6. In order to eliminate the possibility of gas escaping through leaks or improperly closed valves, torch valves will be closed and the gas supply to the torch shut off outside the confined area whenever the torch is not used for a substantial period of time, such as during lunch hour or overnight. Where practicable, the torch and hose will also be removed from the confined space.

5.0  Protection of Personnel

General

  1. A welder working on platforms, scaffolds, or runways will be protected against falling. This may be accomplished by the use of railings, safety harnesses, life lines, or other equally effective safeguards.
  2. Welders will place welding cable and other equipment so that it is clear of passageways, ladders, and stairways.

Eye protection

  1. Helmets or hand shields will be used during all arc welding or arc cutting operations. Helpers or attendants will be provided with proper eye protection.
  2. Goggles or other suitable eye protection will be used during all gas welding or oxygen cutting operations. Spectacles without side shields sand with suitable filter lenses can be used for gas welding operations on light work, torch brazing or for inspection.
  3. All operators and attendants of resistance welding or resistance brazing equipment will use transparent face shields or goggles to protect their faces or eyes.
  4. Eye protection will meet the following specifications:
    1. Helmets and hand shields will be made of a material which is an insulator for heat and electricity.
    2. Helmets, shields and goggles will not be readily flammable and will be capable of withstanding sterilization.
    3. Helmets and hand shields will be arranged to protect the face, neck and ears from direct radiant energy from the arc.
    4. Helmets will be provided with filter plates and cover plates designed for easy removal.
    5. All parts will be constructed of a material which will not readily corrode or discolor the skin.
    6. Goggles will be ventilated to prevent fogging of the lenses as much as practicable.
    7. All glass for lenses will be tempered, substantially free from striae, air bubbles, waves and other flaws.
    8. Lenses will bear a permanent distinctive marking by which the source and shade may be readily identified.
  5. The following is a guide for the selection of the proper shade numbers. All filter lenses and plates will meet the test for transmission of radiant energy described in ANSI Z87.1.
Welding Operation Shade Number
Gas-shielded arc welding (nonferrous) 1/16, 3/32, 1/8, 5/32-inch electrodes 11
Gas-shielded arc welding (ferrous) 1/16, 3/32, 1/8, 5/32-inch electrodes 12
Shielded metal-arc welding: 3/16, 7/32, 1/4 inch electrodes 12
Shielded metal-arc welding:  5/16, 3/8-inch electrodes 14
Carbon arc welding 14
Soldering 2
Torch brazing 3,4
Light cutting, up to 1 inch 3,4
Medium cutting, 1 inch to 6 inches 4,5
Heavy cutting, 6 inches and over 5,6
Gas welding (light) up to 1/8 inch 4,5
Gas welding (medium) 1/8 inch to 1/2 inch 5,6
Gas welding (heavy) 1/2 inch and over 6,8

NOTE: In gas welding or oxygen cutting where the torch produces a high yellow light, the operator should use a filter or lens that absorbs this light.

Protection From Arc Welding Rays

  1. If possible, the welder should be enclosed in an individual booth painted with a finish of low reflectivity or enclosed with noncombustible screens similarly painted. Booths and screens will permit circulation of air at floor level.
  2. Workers adjacent to the welding areas will be protected from the rays by noncombustible screens or shields or will be required to wear appropriate goggles.


Protective Clothing

  1. Employees exposed to the hazards created by welding, cutting, or brazing operations will be protected by appropriate protective clothing depending on the size, nature and location of the work performed.

6.0  Ventilation for General Welding and Cutting

General

1. Mechanical ventilation will be provided:

  • In a space of less than 10,000 cubic feet per welder.
  • In a room having a ceiling height of less than 16 feet.
  • In confined spaces or where the welding space contains partitions, balconies, or other structural barriers to the extent that they significantly obstruct cross ventilation.

2. The ventilation will be at the minimum rate of 2,000 cubic feet per minute per welder, except where local exhaust hoods and booths are provided.

Local Exhaust Hoods and Booths

  1. Local exhaust or general ventilating systems will be provided and arranged to keep the amount of toxic fumes, gases, or dusts below the permissible exposure limit.
  2. Mechanical local exhaust ventilation may be by means of either of the following:

a. Freely movable hoods placed by the welder as near as practical to the work and provided with a rate of 100 linear feet per minute in the zone of welding when the hood is at its most remote distance from the point of welding. The rates of ventilation required to accomplish this control velocity using a 3-inch wide flanged suction opening are shown in the following table:

Welding Zone Minimum air flow -cfm  Duct Diameter - Inches
4 to 6 inches 150 3
6 to 8 inches 275 3 1/2
8 to 10 inches 425 4 1/2
10 to 12 inches 600 5 1/2

b. A fixed enclosure with a top and at least two sides which surround the welding or cutting operations and with a rate of airflow of at least 100 linear feet per minute.

Ventilation in Confined Spaces

  1. All welding and cutting operations carried on in confined spaces will be mechanically ventilated to prevent the accumulation of toxic materials or possible oxygen deficiency.
  2. In areas immediately hazardous to life, a full-facepiece, pressure-demand, self-contained breathing apparatus or a combination full-facepiece, pressure-demand supplied-air respirator with an auxiliary, self-contained air supply approved by NIOSH will be used.
  3. Oxygen will not be used for ventilation.

Specific Compounds

Zinc - Indoors, welding or cutting involving zinc-bearing base or filler metals coated with zinc-bearing materials will be done in a local exhaust hood or booth.

Lead - Indoors, welding involving lead-base metals will be done in a local exhaust hood or booth. In confined spaces or indoors, welding or cutting operations involving lead, other than as an impurity, or metals coated with lead-bearing materials, including paint, must be done using local exhaust ventilation. Such operations, when done outdoors, must be done using respirators.

Beryllium - Welding or cutting indoors, outdoors, or in confined spaces involving beryllium-containing base or filler metals will be done using local exhaust ventilation unless atmospheric tests established that the workers' exposure is within acceptable concentrations.

Cadmium - In confined spaces or indoors, welding or cutting operations involving cadmium-bearing or cadmium-coated base metals must be done using local exhaust ventilation unless atmospheric tests show that employee exposure is within acceptable concentrations. Such operations, when done outdoors, must be done using respirators.

Mercury - In confined spaces or indoors, welding or cutting operations involving metals coated with mercury-bearing materials, including paint, must be done using local exhaust ventilation unless atmospheric tests show that employee exposure is within acceptable concentrations. Such operations, when done outdoors, must be done using respirators.

Cleaning compounds - Because of their possible toxicity or flammability, appropriate precautions such as manufacturers instructions will be followed. Operations involving chlorinated hydrocarbons will be located so that vapors from these operations will not be drawn into the atmosphere surrounding the welding operation. In addition, trichloroethylene and perchlorethylene should be kept out of atmospheres penetrated by the ultraviolet radiation of gas-shielded welding operations.

Stainless Steels - Oxygen cutting, using either a chemical flux or iron powder or gas-shielded arc cutting of stainless steel, will be done using mechanical ventilation adequate to remove the fumes.

First-aid equipment

  1. First-aid equipment will be available at all times. All injuries will be reported as soon as possible for medical attention. First aid will be rendered until medical attention can be provided.

Personal Protective Equipment

1.0  Introduction

Employers are required to correct conditions that endanger the health and safety of workers. The most reliable method is to reduce or eliminate hazards through engineering controls. This includes enclosing the operation, using less toxic materials, and providing proper ventilation. Administrative controls may also be used, such as limiting the amount of time an employee works in a hazardous area. However, when hazards cannot be controlled by these means, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) may be required to protect employees from workplace hazards and contaminants. PPE can also provide added protection to employees even if the hazard has been controlled by other means.

Several types of personal protective equipment are available to protect workers from hazards they may encounter on the job. These include eye protection, gloves, protective clothing, respirators, hard hats, harnesses, safety shoes, and hearing protection. PPE is only effective if the equipment is selected based on its intended use, employees are trained in its use, and the equipment is properly tested, maintained, and worn.

2.0  Procedures

  1. General. Personal protective equipment shall be used whenever chemical, biological, or physical hazards are encountered in a manner capable of causing injury through absorption, inhalation, or physical contact. PPE does not eliminate the hazard and if the equipment fails exposure to the hazard will occur. To reduce the possibility of failure, PPE must be properly fitted and maintained in a clean and serviceable condition.
  2. Hazard Assessment. The Safety Office, in cooperation with management and employees, will assess the workplace and determine if hazards are present that may require the use of PPE. If hazards are found, properly fitted PPE will be used by employees. The hazard assessment will be certified in writing and kept in the Safety Office.
  3. Training. Before doing work that requires the use of PPE, the Safety Office will train personnel in the proper use and maintenance of the equipment. Training records will be maintained in the Safety Office. Training will include the following: when PPE is necessary, what type of PPE is required, how it is to be worn, what its limitations are, and the proper care, maintenance, and disposal of PPE. Retraining will be performed if the employee does not understand how to use PPE properly or if the need for PPE changes.
  4. Approval. All PPE must be approved by the Safety Office to ensure that it meets OSHA requirements. Management may determine specific types of safety equipment based on price, comfort, and style.
  5. Supply. Personal safety equipment, except safety shoes and prescription safety glasses, will be supplied by individual departments at no cost to employees and remain the property of Radford University.
  6. Responsibilities. Employees are responsible for wearing and properly maintaining PPE. Supervision shall ensure that all regulations regarding the use of personal safety equipment are enforced.
  7. Hazard reduction. Providing personal safety equipment should not deter efforts by management to eliminate hazards at the source through engineering design, administrative controls or the substitution of less hazardous materials.
  8. Maintenance. All PPE should be inspected for tears, leaks, punctures, breaks, contamination, or signs of wear before use. Damaged or defective equipment should not be used. PPE should be stored carefully to prevent damage and kept clean. Contaminated PPE that cannot be decontaminated should be disposed of properly.
Department/Occupation Potential Hazards PPE
Art Annex Kiln, chemicals, welding, clay Safety glasses (IR, chemicals, welding), safety glasses, heat resistant gloves, respirator
Athletic Trainers Blood spills, CPR Disposable gloves, safety glasses, booties, gown, head protection, surgical masks, face shield
Biology Chemicals (toxic, corrosive, flammable) Goggles, chemical resistant gloves, apron
Boiler Plant Noise, carbon dust, VOCs, chemical splash (toxic, corrosive, flammable), falling objects Ear plugs, safety glasses, respirator, work gloves, safety shoes
Bowling Alley Chemicals (combustible)  , noise Ear plugs, gloves, safety glasses
Brain Center None None
Capital Outlay Construction sites, hard hat, falling objects, dust, noise Hardhat, safety shoes, ear plugs, safety glasses
Carpenters Noise Noise, fiberglass, dust, falls, falling  objects, sawdust, glues, thinners Ear plugs, safety glasses, respirator, work gloves, hard hat, harness, safety shoes
Chemistry/Physics Chemicals (toxic, corrosive, flammable, reactive) Safety goggles, chemical resistant gloves, apron
Communication Sciences Patients Latex gloves
Darkroom Chemicals (toxic, corrosive) Safety glasses, rubber gloves
Day Care Blood, urine, feces Latex gloves, safety glasses, gown, mask
Dedmon Pool Chlorine tanks, pool chemicals Respirator, eye protection
Dining Falling objects, chemicals (cleaners), noise (dishwasher) Safety shoes, safety glasses, gloves, ear plugs
Electricians High voltage, fiberglass, dust, falling objects, noise, grinding Electrical gloves, safety glasses, respirator, ear plugs, work gloves, safety shoes, hard hats
Energy Management Noise, dust, falling objects Ear plugs, safety glasses, safety shoes, hard hat
Food & Nutrition Blood latex gloves, safety glasses, mask
Garage Noise, chemical splash (mineral spirits), dust, falling objects, grinder, welding Ear plugs, safety glasses, rubber gloves, work gloves, respirator, safety shoes
Geology Rock saw, chemicals (corrosive, combustible) Ear plugs, safety glasses, dust mask
Grounds Noise, chemical splash (pesticides), falls, grinding,  falling objects, chain saws Ear plugs, safety glasses, harness, respirator, safety shoes, work gloves, hard hat, tyvek suit, chaps
Housekeepers Chemical splash (cleaners), blood, noise, slips Ear plugs, safety glasses, slip resistant shoes, disposable gloves, tyvek suits, booties, surgical masks, rubber gloves
HVAC Noise, fiberglass, dust, falling objects, chemical splash (acids), drills Ear plugs, safety glasses, respirator, work gloves, safety shoes, hard hat, rubber gloves
Jeweltry Chemical splash (acids, toxic), heat Safety glasses, gloves
Lifeguards CPR/first aid, blood spills Disposable gloves, safety glasses, booties, gown, head protection, surgical masks, face shield
Masons Noise, grinding, jack hammers, construction, fiberglass, gypsum, falls Ear plugs, safety glasses, hard hat, safety shoes with metatarsal guard, respirator, leather gloves, harness
Moving Falling objects, chemicals (toxic, corrosive, flammable), dust Safety shoes with metatarsal guard, work gloves, hard hat, safety glasses, dust mask
Network Services Dust, fiberglass, falls, debris, noise, falling objects Safety glasses, ear plugs, respirator, harnesses, hard hat, work gloves
Nurses CPR/first aid, blood spills, TB Disposable gloves, safety glasses, booties, gown, head protection, surgical masks, face shield, respirators
Painters Chemical splash (mineral spirits), spray paint, falls, dust & debris, noise, falling objects, VOCs Safety glasses, respirators, ear plugs, safety shoes, hard hat, harness
Plumbers Chemical splash (drain cleaners), blood, noise, falling objects, grinders, jack hammer Ear plugs, safety glasses, work gloves, rubber gloves, hard hat, safety shoes with metatarsal guard
Police CPR/first aid, blood spills Disposable gloves, safety glasses, booties, gown, head protection, surgical masks, face shield, respirators
Printing Chemicals (toxic, corrosive, combustible), noise Safety glasses, ear muffs, rubber gloves, aprons
Psychology Chemicals (corrosive, toxic, flammable), animal beds Safety glasses, gloves, dust masks
Safety Chemical spills (toxic, corrosive, flammable, reactive), asbestos, construction sites, noise, falling objects, blood spills Respirator, hearing protections, safety glasses, hard hat, work gloves, tyvek suits, chemical resistant suits, safety shoes, chemical resistant gloves, harnesses, booties, surgical masks, gowns, disposable gloves
Secretaries Toner Disposable gloves
Storeroom Falling objects Safety shoes, work gloves
Telephone Services None None
Theater Falling objects, noise, spray paint, falls,  sawdust, grinding Ear plugs, safety glasses, dust masks, cartridge respirator, harness, hard hat, safety shoes
Warehouse Falling objects, charging batteries for forklifts Safety shoes, hard hats, safety glasses, rubber gloves

Lockout/Tagout Program

1.0  Introduction

Several types of energy sources are used to power machines, equipment, processes, and operations in the workplace. These energy sources include electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, chemical, and thermal. Failure to recognize and control energy sources can cause serious injuries and death. It is vital to employee safety that effective procedures are followed when servicing and repairing machinery and equipment.

Industrial accidents are often caused by the accidental start-up or uncontrolled release of hazardous energy from equipment and machines. Approximately 10% of serious industrial accidents result from failure to adequately control energy sources. OSHA's Lockout/Tagout Standard is designed to reduce deaths and injuries by establishing procedures to prevent hazardous energy releases while maintenance and servicing activities are being performed. OSHA believes the new standard will prevent approximately 120 deaths and 60,000 injuries per year.

2.0  General Procedures

  1. Radford University will establish a program to ensure that machinery or equipment is isolated from potentially hazardous energy, and locked or tagged out before employees perform any service or maintenance activities that could cause injury due to unexpected start-up or release of stored energy.
  2. The program will include procedures for shutdown, equipment isolation, lockout/tagout applications, release of stored energy, verification of isolation, and training for authorized and affected employees.
  3. Written procedures will be developed and utilized to control potential hazardous energy from individual pieces of equipment and from groups of equipment that have similar types of controls.
  4. The program will be maintained in Facilities Management and the Safety Office. A copy of the program is kept in the Facilities Management Library for inspection by employees. The program will be reviewed yearly by the Safety Manager and updated as needed.
  5. Failure to follow these procedures may subject the employee to disciplinary procedures under the university's Standards for Conduct. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that workers follow these rules.

3.0  Exceptions

  1. These rules do not apply in the following situations:
  • When servicing cord and plug connected equipment if the plug is under the direct control of the authorized employee.
  • When performing service on equipment that does not expose workers to an unexpected release of hazardous energy.
  • During "hot tap" operations on transmission and distribution systems for gas, steam, water, or petroleum products when they are performed on pressurized pipelines, when continuity of service is essential and shutdown of the system is impractical, and employees are provided with an alternative type of protection that is equally effective.

4.0  Training

1. Training will be provided to employees by the Safety Manager to ensure that the purpose and function of the energy control program are understood. Training shall include the following:

a. Authorized employees will receive training in the recognition of applicable hazardous energy sources, the type and magnitude of the energy available in the workplace, and the methods and means necessary for energy isolation and control.

b. Affected employees that operate equipment being worked on, or who are in the immediate area will be instructed in the purpose and use of energy control procedures.

c. All other employees who work where energy control procedures are used will be instructed about prohibitions relating to attempts to restart machines locked or tagged out.

2. Training records containing the employee's name and date of training will be maintained by the Safety Manager.

5.0  Retraining

  1. Retraining will be provided for all authorized and affected employees whenever there is a change in job assignments, a change in machines, equipment, or processes that present a new hazard, or when there is a change in the energy control procedures.
  2. Retraining will also be conducted whenever supervision or the Safety Manager believes the employee's knowledge of the use of energy control procedures may be inadequate.

6.0  Energy Control Procedures

  1. Procedures shall be developed for the control of potentially hazardous energy when employees are engaged in the activities covered by this program
  2. Procedures for a particular machine do not have to be developed if all of the following are present:
    1. The machine has no potential for stored or residual energy or reaccumulation of stored energy after shut down which could endanger employees.
    2. The machine has a single energy source which can be readily identified and isolated.
    3. The isolation and locking out of that energy source will completely deenergize and deactivate the machine or equipment.
    4. The machine is isolated from that energy source and locked out during servicing or maintenance.
    5. A single lockout device will achieve a locked-out condition.
    6. The lockout device is under the exclusive control of the authorized employee performing the servicing or maintenance.
    7. The servicing or maintenance does not create hazards for other employees.
    8. The employer, in utilizing this exception, has had no accidents involving the unexpected activation or reenergization of the machine or equipment during servicing or maintenance.
  3. The procedures shall clearly and specifically outline the scope, purpose, authorization, rules, and techniques to be utilized for the control of hazardous energy, and the means to enforce compliance including, but not limited to, the following:
    1. A specific statement of the intended use of the procedure.
    2. Specific procedural steps for shutting down, isolating, blocking and securing machines or equipment to control hazardous energy.
    3. Specific procedural steps for the placement, removal and transfer of lockout devices or tagout devices and the responsibility for them.
    4. Specific requirements for testing a machine or equipment to determine and verify the effectiveness of lockout devices, tagout devices, and other energy control measures.

7.0  Lockout Devices

  1. Lockout is the safest method of ensuring that workers are not injured. Lockout devices shall be used if the machine is capable of being locked out.
  2. Only authorized employees shall use lockout devices. The lock will only be removed by the individual applying it, except under emergency conditions.
  3. Lockout devices shall operate either by key or combination and will be standardized within the facility and not used for other purposes.
  4. Lockout devices will be strong enough to prevent removal except by excessive force or tools, such as bolt cutters.
  5. Lockout devices will be issued to individual employees and indicate the name or number of the employee applying the device. Employees will always use their own lock.
  6. Lockout devices will be durable enough to withstand the environment to which they are exposed.
  7. Employees in the immediate area shall be notified of the application and removal of lockout devices.
  8. Whenever major replacement, repair, renovation, or modifications of machines or equipment is performed, and whenever new machines or equipment is installed, energy isolation devices will be designed to accept a lockout device.
  9. Lockout devices will hold the energy isolating devices in the safe or off positions.
  10. Tags should be used with a lock to provide a visible warning and supply additional information about the procedure, if necessary.
  11. Locks are not to be taken home. Employees may be charged for locks that are lost.

8.0  Tagout Devices

  1. Tagout devices will be used only when it is not possible to lockout the equipment.
  2. Tagout devices shall be constructed and printed so that exposure to weather conditions, wet locations, or corrosive environments will not cause the tag to deteriorate or the message to become illegible. Tags should be laminated and have a reinforced eyelet.
  3. Tags will be standardized within the facility and only used for lockout/tagout purposes.
  4. Tags must be securely attached to the energy isolating device. Tags, and their means of attachment, shall be substantial enough to prevent inadvertent or accidental removal. Attachment devices shall be non-reusable, attachable by hand, self-locking and require a minimum unlocking strength of greater than 50 pounds.
  5. Tags will show the name of the employee applying the device, date and time work began.
  6. Tags will warn against hazardous conditions if the machine or equipment is energized and shall include a legend such as: Do Not Start, Do Not Open, Do Not Close, Do Not Energize, or Do Not Operate.
  7. Tagout devices will only be used by authorized personnel. Tags shall not be removed without permission from the individual responsible for applying the tag.
  8. Employees in the area will be notified of the application and removal of tagout devices.
  9. Tags are never to be bypassed, ignored, or otherwise defeated.
  10. If a tag cannot be affixed to the energy isolating device, it shall be located as close as possible to the device, in a place that can be easily seen by the operator of the machine.

9.0  Protective Materials and Hardware

  1. Locks, tags, chains, ganglocks, valve protectors, self locking fasteners, or other hardware will be provided by supervision for isolating, securing, or blocking of machines or equipment from energy sources.


10.0 Application of Lockout/Tagout Devices

  1. Lockout/tagout devices shall be used when the worker is servicing, cleaning, or providing maintenance on any equipment or machine that could cause injury if it unexpectedly started or released stored energy. The established procedures for the application of lockout/tagout devices shall cover the following and be done in the following order:
    1. Preparation for shutdown: Before employees turn off a machine to lock or tag it, they must know the type, magnitude, hazards, and the method to control the energy. All switches, valves, and other devices that may inadvertently release energy must be identified to be certain which energy isolating devices must be locked or tagged out.
    2. Notification: Affected employees in the immediate area will be notified that a lockout/tagout is beginning and the reason for the procedure.
    3. Equipment shutdown: The machine will be shutdown by disconnecting the circuit (depress stop button, open toggle switch, etc.)
    4. Isolation: All energy isolating devices needed to control the energy will be turned off. This includes secondary and main energy sources. Electrical switches will not be pulled while under load nor will fuses be removed instead of disconnecting.
    5. Lockout/tagout: All switches or other energy isolating devices will be locked or tagged out in the "off" or "safe" position by authorized employees. Only individually assigned and standardized devices shall be used.
    6. Stored energy: All potentially stored energy that could harm an individual (such as in springs, elevated machine members, rotating flywheels, hydraulic systems, and air, gas, steam, or water pressure, etc.) shall be relieved, disconnected, restrained, or otherwise made safe. If it is possible for the stored energy to reaccumulate to a hazardous level, isolation shall be verified and continued until the work is completed or until the hazard no longer exists.
    7. Verification of isolation: Prior to working on machines that have been locked or tagged out the authorized employee will verify that isolation and de-energization has been accomplished. This will be accomplished by pressing all start buttons, verifying that the main disconnect switch or circuit breaker cannot be turned on, or using a voltmeter to check the switch.
    8. Perform the work: Always anticipate potential problems. Avoid doing something that will reenergize the equipment. Do not bypass the lockout/tagout device.

11.0  Release From Lockout/Tagout

  1. The work area will be inspected to ensure that nonessential items such as tools have been removed, machine components are fully assembled, and guards are in place.
  2. The work area will be checked to ensure that all employees have been safely positioned or removed.
  3. All affected employees will be notified that the lockout/tagout devices are being removed.
  4. Lockout/tagout devices will be removed by the employee who applied the device, except in emergencies.
  5. If the employee is not available to remove the lockout/tagout device the device will be removed according to the following procedures:
    1. Verify that the employee is not at the facility.
    2. Make all reasonable efforts to contact the employee to inform him/her that the lockout/tagout device will be removed.
    3. Ensure that the employee knows the device was removed before he/she resumes work.

12.0  Temporary Release

  1. The following sequence will be followed if a lockout/tagout is temporarily removed from the energy isolating device to test or reposition the machine:
    1. Clear the machine or equipment of tools and materials and ensure that components are operationally intact.
    2. Remove employees from the machine area.
    3. Remove the lockout/tagout device by the employee who applied it.
    4. Energize and proceed with testing.
    5. De-energize all systems and reapply energy control measures.

13.0  Group Lockout/Tagout

  1. A crew shall use a procedure which affords a level of protection equivalent to that provided by a personal lockout/tagout device.
  2. Group lockout/tagout shall be in compliance with the rest of the standard and include the following specific requirements:
    1. An authorized employee will have primary responsibility for lockout/tagout control over the group of workers.
    2. The authorized employee shall be able to determine the exposure status of individual members of the group regarding lockout/tagout.
    3. Each authorized employee will affix a personal lockout/tagout device to the group lockout device and shall remove these devices when the work has been completed. A single lock may be used to lockout the device if the key is placed in a lockout box which allows the use of multiple locks to secure it.

14.0  Inspections

  1. A periodic inspection of the energy control procedures will be conducted at least annually by the Safety Manager to ensure that the procedures and the requirements of this standard are being followed.
  2. The periodic inspection will be designed to correct any deviations or inadequacies observed.
  3. The inspection shall include a review between the Safety Manager and each authorized employee, of that employee's responsibilities under the energy control procedure being inspected.
  4. The Safety Manager will certify that the inspections have been performed. The certification shall identify the machine or equipment on which the energy control procedure was used, date of inspection, employee included in the inspection, and the person performing the inspection.

15.0  Contractors

  1. The on-site employer and the contractor shall inform each other of their respective lockout/tagout procedures.
  2. The on-site employer shall ensure that his/her personnel understand and comply with restrictions of the contractor's energy control procedures.

16.0  Shift or Personnel Changes

  1. Specific procedures will be used to ensure the continuity of lockout/tagout protection including the orderly transfer of devices between workers. Employees coming in will put their locks in place before departing employees remove their locks.

-Back to top-

Materials Handling and Storage

1.0  Introduction

Material handling accounts for approximately 25% of all occupational injuries. Common injuries include strains, sprains, fractures, and bruises. The largest number of injuries occur to the fingers, hands, and back. These injuries are caused by poor equipment design, unsafe work practices, and failure to wear personal protective equipment. To reduce injuries associated with material handling, and to increase efficiency, manual material handling should be minimized and ergonomic principles should be introduced into the job design. In addition, safety procedures must be developed and workers must receive training in safe work habits.

2.0  Handling Materials

General

  1. Before an employee is assigned to a job requiring heavy and/or frequent lifting supervisors should ensure that the employee is physical suited for the job.
  2. If the load is more than one person can handle, two employees should be assigned to the operation or mechanical handling equipment should be used.
  3. The route over which the object is moved should be inspected to reduce slip and trip hazards.

The following procedures will be used when moving objects:

a.  Inspect materials for slivers, jagged edges, burrs, rough or slippery edges.
b.  Keep hands free of oil and grease. Wear gloves if necessary. Grasp the object firmly.
c. Keep fingers away from pinch points, especially when setting objects down.
d. When handling long objects such as pipes or lumber, keep hands away from the ends to prevent them from being pinched.

Lifting Techniques

  1. Keep feet parted with one foot alongside the object and one behind.
  2. Squat down keeping the back straight and nearly vertical.
  3. Grip the object with the whole hand not just the fingers.
  4. Draw the load close to the body. Keep elbows and arms in. Tuck chin in to maintain a straight back line.
  5. Keep body weight directly over feet. Start upward thrust from the rear foot. Keep back reasonably straight. Let the arms and thighs take the strain, not the back.
  6. Do not twist your body. Turn your entire body including the feet as you turn with the load.

Hand trucks

  1. If the load is to heavy to move or pick up, use a hand truck.
  2. Hand trucks should not be overloaded or stacked above eye level. To ensure safety and reduce strain on the back, hand trucks should be pushed not pulled.
  3. Feet should be kept away from the wheels, and hands should be kept inside the handle.

Powered Industrial Trucks

  1. Employees operating powered industrial trucks, which include forklift trucks, pallet trucks, and motorized hand trucks, must be trained and authorized by the Safety Office. Training programs shall include safe operating practices, OSHA regulations, and a driving test. All new operators, regardless of previous experience, will be trained.

3.0  Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  1. All personal involved in materials handling and storage shall wear appropriate personnel protective equipment when performing tasks where the possibility of injury could be reduced by the use of PPE. The need for PPE will be determined by the Safety Manager and supervision.
  2. Hard hats shall be worn if there is a possibility of a head injury from falling objects.
  3. Safety gloves shall be worn to protect the hands from jagged edges and strapping wire and other material handling accidents. In most cases gloves should be worn to protect the hand from injuries when moving materials.
  4. Safety glasses or goggles must be worn if there is a possibility of injury to the eyes. To protect the eyes, workers should wear eye protection when opening wire-bound bales and boxes.
  5. To protect hearing, earplugs or earmuffs should be worn in areas of high noise.
  6. Injuries to the feet are common when moving materials. Workers shall wear safety shoes with steel toe protection if there is a possibility of injury to the toes from a falling object.
  7. Respiratory protection must be worn in areas of excessive dust or to protect workers from solvent vapors.

4.0  Storage

Warehouse Storage

  1. Storage areas will contain adequate clearance for aisles, loading docks, and doorways. Signs should be posted to warn of clearance limits.
  2. Storage of materials will not create a hazard. Bags, containers, bundles, etc, stored in tiers shall be stacked, blocked, interlocked and limited in height so that they are stable and secure against sliding or collapse. In no case will piles exceed 20 feet.
  3. Storage areas will be kept free from the accumulation of materials that constitute hazards from tripping, fire, explosion or pests. Vegetation will be controlled  around buildings and in open storage areas.
  4. Covers and or guard rails will be provided for open pits, tanks, vats, ditches, etc.
  5. Sprinkler systems should be provided in warehouses with combustible roofs or floors. Small fire hose water systems sufficient to reach every part of the storage area shall be provided.
  6. Heating, lighting, refrigeration equipment, steam lines, and service equipment will be protected from contact with stored items.
  7. Smoking will be strictly prohibited in storage areas. No Smoking signs shall be prominently posted.
  8. Materials shall not obstruct fire alarm boxes, sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, first-aid equipment, lights, and electrical switches. All exits and aisles must be kept clear at all times and shall be appropriately marked.
  9. Maximum safe load limits of floors within buildings and structures, in pounds per square foot, shall be conspicuously posted in all storage areas, except for floors or slabs on grade. Maximum safe load limits shall not be exceeded.

Signs

  1. Red color coded signs will be used to warn of dangers and to indicate the location of fire equipment.
  2. Yellow signs will indicate areas and procedures where caution should be used.
  3. White, and green signs will convey general safety information.

Open Yard Storage

  1. Open yard storage should have driveways between and around combustible storage piles at least 15 feet wide and maintained free from accumulated rubbish, equipment, or other materials. Combustible materials must be piled with due regard to the stability of piles and in no case higher than 20 feet.

Bagged Materials

  1. Bagged materials should be cross-tied with the mouths of the bags toward the inside of the pile. When the pile is 5 feet high, it should be stepped back one row for each additional 3 feet height. A pile of sacks must never be undermined by the removal of sacks from lower rows.

Brick and Masonry Blocks

  1. Brick stacks should not be more than 7 feet in height. When a loose brick stack reaches a height of 4 feet, it should be tapered back 2 inches in every foot of height above the 4 foot level.
  2. Bricks must never be stacked for storage purposes on scaffolds or runways. This does not prohibit normal supplies on scaffolds during actual bricklaying operations.
  3. Masonry blocks should be limited to a stacked pile height of 6 feet. If blocks are stacked higher than 6 feet, the stack shall be tapered back one-half block per tier above the 6-foot level.

OSHA - Job Safety and Health Protection

The Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) law, By the authority of title 40.1 of the labor laws of Virginia, provides job safety and health protection for workers. The purpose of the law is to assure safe and healthful working conditions throughout the state. The Virginia safety and health codes board promulgates and adopts job safety and health standards, and employers and employees are required to comply with these standards.

Employers:  Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious harm to his employees; and shall comply with occupational safety and health standards issued under the Law.

Employees:  Each employee shall comply with all occupational safety and health standards, rules, regulations and orders issued under the law that apply to his own actions and conduct on the job.

Inspections:  The Law requires that a representative of the employer and a representative authorized by the employees be given an opportunity to accompany the VOSH inspector for the purpose of aiding the inspection. Where there is no authorized employee representative, the VOSH inspector must consult with a reasonable number of employees concerning safety and health conditions in the workplace.

Citations:  If upon inspection VOSH believes an employer has violated the law, a citation alleging such violations will be issued to the employer. Each citation will specify a time period within which the alleged violation must be corrected. The VOSH citation must be prominently displayed at or near the place of alleged violation for three days or until the violation is corrected, whichever is later, to warn employees of dangers that may exist there.

Proposed Penalty:  The Law provides for mandatory penalties against private sector employers of up to $1,000 for each serious violation and for optional penalties of up to $1,000 for each other-than-serious violation. Penalties of up to $1,000 per day may be proposed for failure to correct violations within the proposed time period. Also, any employer who willfully or repeatedly violates the Law may be assessed penalties of up to $10,000 for each such violation.

Public Sector employers, all departments, agencies, institutions or other political subdivisions of the Commonwealth, are exempt from the penalty provisions of this Law.

Criminal penalties are also provided for in the Law. Any willful violation resulting in the death of an employee is punishable, upon conviction, by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than six months, or by both. Conviction of an employer after a first conviction doubles these maximum penalties.

Complaint:  Employees or their representatives have the right to file a complaint with the nearest VOSH office requesting an inspection if they believe unsafe or unhealthful conditions exist in their workplace. VOSH will withhold, on request, names of employees complaining. Complaints may be made at the Department of Labor and Industry regional offices or the State office as shown below.

Discrimination:  The Law provides that employees may not be discharged or discriminated against in any way for filing safety and health complaints or otherwise exercising their rights under the Law. An employee who believes he has been discriminated against may file a complaint with the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry and/or the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Regional Office within 30 days of the alleged discrimination.

Caspa:  Complaints Against State Plan Administration: any person may complain to the Regional Administrator of OSHA (address below) concerning the Administration of the State Safety and Health program.

State Coverage:  The VOSH program shall apply to all public and private sector businesses the State except for Federal agencies, businesses under the Atomic Energy Act, railroad rolling stock and tracks, certain federal enclaves, and businesses covered by the Federal Maritime jurisdiction.

Voluntary Activity:  Voluntary efforts by the employer to assure his workplace is in compliance with the Law are encouraged. Voluntary Safety and Health Compliance and Training Programs exist to assist employers. These services may be obtained by contacting the Main State Office or any Regional Office.

Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Offices

Main State Office
Virginia Occupational Safety and Health
Va. Dept of Labor and Industry
Powers-Taylor Building
13 South Thirteenth Street
Richmond, VA 23219
804-786-2383

Roanoke Office
Department of Labor and Industry
Brammer Village
3013 Peters Creek Road
Roanoke, VA 24477
540-562-3580

Powered Industrial Trucks

1.0  Introduction

A powered industrial truck is a mobile, power propelled truck used to carry, push, pull, lift, or stack materials. Forklift trucks, pallet trucks, and motorized hand trucks are included. Vehicles that are used for earth moving and over-the-road hauling are excluded from this definition. Tens of thousands of injuries occur in U.S. workplaces each year from accidents involving powered industrial trucks. Ten percent of all serious industrial accidents are due to powered industrial trucks. Injuries usually involve employees being struck by lift trucks or falling while standing or working from elevated pallets and tines. Many employees are injured when lift trucks are driven off loading docks or when the lift falls between a dock and an unchocked trailer. Most incidents also involve property damage, including damage to overhead sprinklers, racking, pipes, walls, machinery, and other equipment.

2.0  Training

1. Operators must be trained and authorized by the Safety Office before operating powered industrial trucks. Training programs shall include safe operating practices, OSHA regulations, and a driving test. All new operators, regardless of previous experience, will be trained.

2. Training in general safety practices and OSHA regulations will be provided by the Safety Manager. The Safety Manager will also maintain all training records. An experienced and knowledgeable operator will conduct the driving test and evaluate the competence of drivers. Departments using powered industrial trucks must provide a knowledgeable and experienced driver to conduct the driving test.

3. Training will include the following topics:

  • Operating instructions, warnings, and precautions.
  • Differences between a powered industrial truck and an automobile.
  • Controls and instrumentation.
  • Engine operation.
  • Steering, maneuvering, and visibility.
  • Fork and attachment operation.
  • Vehicle capacity and stability.
  • Inspection and maintenance procedures.
  • Refueling or charging of batteries.
  • Operating limitations.
  • Surface conditions where the vehicle will be operated.
  • Composition of loads and load stability.
  • Load manipulation and stacking.
  • Pedestrian traffic.
  • Narrow aisles and ramps.
  • Hazardous locations and environments that could cause a buildup of carbon monoxide or exhaust fumes.
  • OSHA regulations.

4. Appropriate retraining will be provided by the Safety Office or supervision when a:

  • Driver operates the truck in an unsafe manner.
  • Driver is involved in an accident or near-miss incident.
  • Driver is assigned to drive a different type of powered industrial truck.
  • Condition in the workplace changes in a manner that could affect the safe operation of the truck.

5. Operators will be certified to drive a powered industrial truck. The certification will include the name of the operator, the date of testing, the date of the evaluation, and the name of the person(s) conducting the training and evaluation. Authorized drivers will be issued a license to operate powered industrial trucks and must have the license with them when operating the truck.

6. Retraining in safety procedures and OSHA regulations will be conducted every three years by the Safety Office.

7. An evaluation of driver performance will be conducted every three years by an experienced and knowledgeable driver.

3.0  Inspections

1. Lift trucks will be inspected daily by the driver before it is placed into operation. Items to be noted include:

  • Maladjustment and excessive wear of components that may interfere with proper operation of control mechanisms.
  • Contamination of control mechanisms by lubricants or other foreign matter.
  • Proper operation of safety devices.
  • Deterioration or leakage of air into hydraulic systems.
  • Malfunctioning, excessive deterioration, dirt, or moisture in electrical system.
  • Steering, braking, and locking devices.
  • Excessively worn or damaged tires.

2. Trucks will be thoroughly inspected by maintenance personnel on a regular schedule recommended by the manufacturer.

4.0  Equipment

  1. Forklifts shall have horns or other warning devices that are loud enough to be heard above other noises in the area. Flashing lights shall be placed on the overhead guard if noise is excessive. Forklifts should have automatic backup alarms.
  2. Auxiliary lighting shall be provided on the truck in areas where general lighting is less than two lumens per square foot.
  3. A load backrest extension shall be used whenever necessary to minimize the possibility of the load falling backwards. The load should not exceed the top of the backrest. Placing extra weight on the rear of the lift truck to counterbalance the front load is not permitted.
  4. Trucks capable of lifting loads higher than the operator's head or where there is a hazard from falling objects, must be equipped with an overhead guard. The guard is not designed to protect the operator from a full capacity load.
  5. Hazardous moving parts such as gears, chains, and sprockets shall be guarded.
  6. Seat belts are required to be worn, if installed on the vehicle.

5.0  Battery-Operated Units

  1. Battery-charging installations shall be located in areas designated for that purpose. Equipment shall be present to flush and neutralize spilled electrolytes. Facilities must have adequate fire protection and ventilation for disposal of fumes from gassing batteries. An approved emergency shower and eyewash station must be readily available.
  2. An overhead hoist, or equivalent equipment, must be used for handling batteries. Reinstalled batteries shall be properly positioned and secured in the truck.
  3. A carboy or siphon shall be use for handling electrolytes. Acid must always be poured into water; water must never be poured into acid.
  4. During charging operations, vent caps will be removed to avoid electrolyte spray. Care shall be taken to ensure that vent caps are operating properly. Battery or compartment cover or covers must be open to dissipate heat.
  5. Precautions shall be taken to prevent open flames, sparks, or electric arcs in battery-charging areas. Tools and other metallic objects will be kept away from the tops of uncovered batteries. Smoking is prohibited in the charging area. "No Smoking" signs must be posted.
  6. Employees charging and changing batteries shall be authorized to do the work, trained in the proper handling, and required to wear protective clothing, including eye protection, long sleeves, aprons, and gloves.

6.0  Service & Maintenance

  1. Engines must be turned off before fuel tanks are filled. Refueling should be in open or in specifically designated areas, where ventilation is adequate to carry fuel vapors away. The storage and handling of fuel must be in compliance with NFPA 30 for gasoline and diesel fuel; and NFPA 58 for liquefied petroleum fuel. "No Smoking" signs must be posted in areas where fuel is stored or handled.
  2. A truck in need of repair, or in any way unsafe, shall be taken out of service until it has been restored to a safe operating condition. Repairs shall be made by authorized personnel.
  3. Modifications and additions which effect capacity and safe operation must not be performed without written approval from the manufacturer.

7.0  Hazardous Atmospheres

  1. When fuel powered trucks are used in enclosed areas, concentrations of carbon monoxide and other hazardous gases shall not exceed OSHA permissible exposure limits. Operators should not follow fuel powered trucks to idle for long periods in enclosed areas.
  2. Only approved trucks shall be used in locations containing hazardous atmospheres such as flammable vapors, dusts, and easily ignitable fibers.

8.0  Loading

  1. Only stable or safely arranged loads shall be handled and caution must be exercised when handling off-center loads. Objects should be neatly piled. Irregularly shaped objects should be loaded so they cannot roll or fall off. Heavy objects should be placed with the weight as low as possible. Round objects should be blocked or tied so they cannot roll. Loading should not be done to a height that blocks the view ahead or makes it likely the load may fall.
  2. Forks must be placed under the load as far as possible and the mast shall be carefully tilted backward to stabilize the load. Operators must never operate a truck with an overload. The rated capacity should be marked on the truck. Loads should not be lowered or raised en route.
  3. Extreme care must be used when tilting the load forward or backward, particularly when high tiering. Tilting forward with forks elevated is not permitted except to pick up a load. Elevated loads must not be tilted forward unless the load is in a deposit position over a rack or stack. When stacking or tiering, only enough backward tilt to stabilize the load shall be used.
  4. Forklifts shall not be driven up to anyone standing in front of a fixed object. No person shall stand or pass under the elevated portion of a truck, whether loaded or empty.
  5. When standard forks are used to pick up round objects, such as drums, care must be used to ensure that the tips do not puncture the object or push it into other workers.
  6. While loading or unloading trucks and trailers, brakes shall be set and wheel blocks shall be in place to prevent movement. Fixed jacks will be used when necessary to support an uncoupled trailer.
  7. Powered industrial trucks should only be used for the purpose for which it is designed. Trucks should not be used to bump skids, push piles, move other trucks, or used as a hoist.

9.0  Traveling

  1. Operating powered industrial trucks carries considerable responsibility. Reckless or careless driving will not be tolerated. All traffic regulations must be observed, including facility speed limits. Trucks must be kept under control at all times. Operators shall always look in the direction of travel.
  2. Safe distances must be maintained. Approximately three truck lengths from the truck ahead must be maintained. Other trucks traveling in the same direction must not be passed at intersections, blind spots, or other dangerous locations.
  3. Drivers are required to slow down and sound horns at cross aisles and other locations where vision is obstructed. Large convex mirrors should be installed at blind corners. The operator should lightly tap the horn to warn pedestrians when approaching from behind. If the load obstructs the driver's forward view, the driver shall travel with the load trailing.
  4. Grades must be ascended or descended slowly. Loaded trucks must be driven with the load upgrade when ascending or descending grades in excess of 10%. On all grades, forks shall be tilted back and raised only as far as necessary to clear the road surface. Low gear or the slowest speed should be used when descending a grade.
  5. Under all travel conditions, forklifts must be operated at a speed that will permit it to be brought to a stop in a safe manner. The driver shall slow down for wet or slippery floors. Never run over loose objects on the roadway surface.
  6. Dockboards or bridgeplates are to be driven over carefully and slowly and only after they have been properly secured. Never exceed their rated weight capacity.
  7. Elevators should be approached slowly. Check to make sure the weight of the truck, load, and driver do not exceed the capacity of the elevator. Once on the elevator, the controls should be put in neutral, the brakes set, and the engine shut off.
  8. While negotiating turns, speed must be reduced to a safe level by turning the steering wheel in a smooth, sweeping motion. Except when maneuvering at a very low speed, the steering wheel shall be turned at a moderate, even rate.
  9. Operators should not make quick starts, jerky stops, or turns at excessive speeds. Extreme caution should be used on turns, ramps, grades, or inclines. A safe distance shall be maintained from the edges of elevated ramps or platforms.
  10. The operator should be particularly careful to avoid striking overhead objects such as lights, conduits, and sprinkler heads. Loads should not be raised or lowered while traveling. Forks should be carried as low as possible whether loaded or empty.
  11. Unauthorized personnel shall not ride on trucks. It is the responsibility of the operator to keep unauthorized individuals off the truck. A safe place to ride must be provided for authorized passengers.
  12. When operating in close quarters, hands must be placed where they cannot be pinched between steering controls and projecting stationary objects. Legs and feet must be kept inside the guard or the operating stations of the truck.

10.0  Parking

  1. Trucks shall only be parked in designated areas- never in an aisle or doorway, or obstructing equipment or material. When a truck is left unattended, forks shall be fully lowered, controls put in neutral, power shut off, key removed, and the brakes set. Unattended means the operator is greater than 25 feet from the vehicle, or the vehicle is not in view, regardless of the distance. Wheels shall be blocked if the truck is parked on an incline.
  2. When the operator is dismounted and within 25 feet of the truck still in his view, the forks shall be fully lowered, controls neutralized, and the brakes set.
  3. Fire aisles, access to stairways, doorways, and fire equipment shall be kept clear.

Scaffolds

1.0 Introduction

Of the 500,000 injuries and illnesses that occur in the construction industry annually, 10,000 are related to scaffolds. In addition, of the estimated 900 occupational fatalities occurring annually, at least 80 are associated with work on scaffolds. Seventy-two percent of the workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident either to the planking or support giving way, or to the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object.

2.0  Scope

These rules apply to all scaffolds used in construction, alteration, repair (including painting and decorating) or demolition activities. These rules do not apply to aerial lifts.

3.0  Definitions

Competent Person - one who is capable of identifying hazards and has the authorization to make prompt corrective actions.

Maximum Intended Load - the total load of all persons, equipment, tools, and materials.

Open Sides and Ends - the edges of a platform that are more than 14 inches away from a wall.

Qualified Person - one who has a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing or who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience has successfully demonstrated his/her ability to solve problems related to scaffolding work.

Platform - a work surface elevated above lower levels. Platforms can be constructed using individual wood planks, fabricated planks, fabricated decks, and fabricated platforms.

Scaffold - any temporary elevated platform used for supporting employees and materials.

Rated Load - the maximum load specified by the manufacturer to be lifted by a hoist or to be applied to a scaffold or scaffold component.

Supported Scaffolds - one or more platforms supported by outrigger beams, brackets, poles, pegs, uprights, posts, frames, or similar rigid support.

Stairtower - a tower which contains internal stairway units and rest platforms. These towers are used to provide access to platforms and other elevated points such as floors and roofs.

Mobile Scaffold - powered or unpowered, portable, caster or wheel-mounted support scaffold.

4.0  Construction

  1. Scaffolds shall be capable of supporting their own weight and at least four times the maximum intended load.
  2. Scaffolds shall be designed by a qualified person and constructed and loaded according to that design.
  3. Platforms shall be fully planked between the front uprights and the guardrail supports.
  4. Platform units shall be installed so that the space between adjacent units and the space between the platform and the uprights is less than 1 inch wide. If a wider space is necessary, the opening cannot exceed 9 1/2 inches.
  5. Scaffold platforms shall be at least 18 inches wide unless the work area is too narrow.
  6. The front edge of all platforms shall be less than 14 inches from the face of the work unless guardrails are erected along the front edge or personal fall arrest systems are used.
    1. Exception- the maximum distance from the face for plastering and lathing operations shall be 18 inches.
  7. Each end of a platform, unless cleated or restrained by hooks, shall extend over the support rod by at least 6 inches.
  8. Each end of a platform less than 10 feet in length shall not extend over its support more than 12 inches unless the platform is designed to support employees without tipping or has guardrails which block employee access to the ends.
  9. A platform longer than 10 feet cannot extend more than 18 inches beyond a support unless the platform is designed to support employees without tipping or has guardrails which block employee access to the ends.
  10. Scaffold components from different manufactures shall not be intermixed unless the components fit together easily and the structural integrity is maintained. This shall be determined by a competent person.

5.0  Supported Scaffolds

  1. Supported scaffolds with a height to base ratio (including outriggers) of more than 4:1 shall be restrained from tipping.
  2. Support scaffold posts and frames shall rest on base plates, mud sills, or other firm foundations. Mud sills should be 2" x 10" lumber between 12 and 18 inches long.
  3. Footings shall be level, rigid, and capable of supporting the loaded scaffold without settling or displacement.
  4. Unstable objects shall not be used to support scaffolds.
  5. Support scaffold posts and frames shall be plumb and braced to prevent swaying.

6.0  Stairtowers

  1. Stairtowers shall be positioned so that their bottom step is less than 24 inches high.
  2. A stairrail consisting of a toprail and a midrail shall be provided on each side of each scaffold stairway.
  3. Stairrails shall be at least 28 inches but no more than 37 inches from the surface of the tread, in line with the face of the riser at the forward edge of the tread.
  4. A landing platform at least 18 inches wide by 18 inches long shall be provided at each level.
  5. Stairways shall be at least 18 inches wide.
  6. Treads and landings shall have slip-resistant surfaces.
  7. Guardrails shall be provided on the open sides and ends of each landing. 

7.0  Mobile Scaffolds

  1. Scaffolds shall be braced by cross, horizontal, or diagonal braces to prevent collapse.
  2. Scaffold shall be plumb, level, and squared.
  3. All brace connections shall be secured.
  4. Casters and wheels shall be locked to prevent movement while the scaffold is used in a stationary manner.
  5. Scaffolds shall be stabilized to prevent tipping during movement.
  6. Employees shall not ride on scaffolds unless:
    1. The surface is within 3 degrees of level and free of pits, holes, and obstructions.
    2. The height to base width ratio of the scaffold during movement is two to one or less.
    3. Outrigger frames, if used, are installed on both sides of the scaffold.
    4. No employee is on any part of the scaffold which extends outward beyond the wheels, casters, or other supports.
  7. Platforms shall not extend beyond the base supports unless outrigger frames are used.
  8. Caster stems and wheel stems shall be secured in scaffold legs.
  9. Before a scaffold is moved, each employee on the scaffold shall be told of the move.
  10. When moving the scaffold manual force shall be applied as close to the base as practical but no higher than 5 feet.
  11. Employees shall not move a scaffold by themselves while they are on it.

8.0  Access

  1. When scaffold platforms are more than 2 feet above or below a point of access, ladders, stairways or ramps shall be used.
  2. Cross bracing shall not be used as a means of access.
  3. Portable, hook-on, and attachable ladders shall be positioned so as not to tip the scaffold.
  4. Direct access to or from another surface shall be used only when the scaffold is less than 14 inches horizontally or 24 inches vertically from the other surface.
  5. Safe means of access for employees erecting or dismantling a scaffold shall be provided. This shall be determined by a competent person. Cross braces shall not be used as a means of access or egress.

9.0  Use

  1. Scaffolds shall not be loaded in excess of their rated capacity.
  2. Scaffolds shall be inspected by a competent person for visible defects before each work shift, and after any occurrence which could affect the structural integrity of the scaffold. Any damaged part must be removed from service.
  3. Scaffolds shall not be moved while employees are on them, unless the scaffold is a mobile scaffold.
  4. The minimum clearance between scaffolds and power lines shall be as follows:

Insulated Line

  • Less than 300 volts - 3 ft.
  • 300 volts to 50kv - 10 ft.
  • Greater than 50kv - 10 ft. + 0.4 inches for each 1 kv over 50kv

Uninsulated Line

  • Less than 50kv - 10 ft.
  • Greater than 50kv - 10 ft. + 0.4 inches for each 1kv over 50 kv5. Scaffolds shall be erected, moved, dismantled, or altered only under the supervision of a competent person.

5. Such activities shall be performed only by experienced and trained employees selected by the competent person.
6. Employees shall not work on scaffolds covered with snow, ice, or other slippery material except to remove the materials.
7. Work on scaffolds is prohibited during storms or high winds unless a competent person determines that it is safe.
8. Debris shall not be allowed to accumulate on platforms.
9. Make-shift devices such as boxes, barrels, shall not be used to increase the working level of the platform.
10. Ladders shall not be used on scaffolds except on large area type scaffolds that cover an entire work area.

10.0  Fall Protection

  1. Employees on a scaffold higher than 10 feet shall be protected from falling by the use of personal fall arrest systems or guardrail systems.
  2. Employees shall wear fall protection during the erecting or dismantling of scaffolds if the use of such protection is feasible and does not create a greater hazard. A competent person shall make this determination.
  3. Personal fall arrest systems shall be attached by a lanyard to a vertical lifeline, horizontal lifeline, or scaffold structural member. Vertical lifelines shall be independent of the scaffold. Horizontal lifelines shall be secured to two or more structural members of the scaffold.
  4. Guardrail systems shall be installed along all open sides and ends of platforms and shall consist of a toprail and a midrail.
  5. The top edge of toprails shall be between 38 and 45 inches high.
  6. Midrails shall be installed midway between the top edge and the platform surface.
  7. Toprails shall be equivalent in strength to 2x4 inch lumber or 1.990 inch x .058 inch wall aluminum tubing.
  8. Midrails shall be equivalent in strength to 1x6 inch lumber or 1.990 inch x .058 inch wall aluminum tubing.
  9. Posts shall be equivalent in strength to 2x4 inch lumber or 1.990 inch x .058 inch wall aluminum tubing.
  10. Distance between posts shall not exceed 8 feet.
  11. Toprails shall be capable of withstanding a force of at least 200 pounds in any downward or horizontal direction. The top edge shall not drop below 38 inches.
  12. Midrails shall be capable of withstanding a force of at least 150 pounds in any downward or horizontal direction.
  13. Guardrails shall be designed to prevent injury to employees and to prevent snagging of clothing.
  14. Steel or plastic banding shall not be used as a toprail or midrail.
  15. Manila or synthetic rope used for toprails or midrails shall be inspected by a competent person as frequently as necessary to ensure that it meets the strength requirements of this section.
  16. Cross bracing is acceptable in place of midrails if the crossing point of two braces is between 20 inches and 30 inches above the work platform or as a toprail when the crossing point is between 38 and 48 inches. The end points at each upright shall be less than 4 feet apart.

11.0 Falling Object Protection

  1. Employees working on scaffolds must wear hardhats.
  2. Where there is a danger of tools, materials, or equipment falling and striking employees, the following applies:
    1. The area below the scaffold which objects could fall shall be barricaded and employees shall be prevented from entering the area or;
    2. A toeboard shall be erected along the edge of platforms for a sufficient distance to protect employees.
  3. Where materials are piled higher than the toeboard, paneling or screening extending from the toeboard to the top of the guardrail shall be erected.
  4. Toeboards shall be equivalent in strength to 1x4 inch lumber or 1.990 x .058 inch wall aluminum tubing. Toeboards shall be at least 3 1/2 inches high.
  5. 5. Screens shall consist of No. 18 gauge U.S. standard wire one inch mesh.

12.0  Training

  1. 1. Employees who work on a scaffold must be trained by the Safety Office to recognize hazards and to understand the procedure to control or minimize those hazards. Training shall include the following:
    1. OSHA requirements on scaffolding.
    2. Electrical hazards.
    3. Fall hazards.
    4. Falling object hazards.
    5. The proper use of fall protection equipment if needed.
  2. Employees who are involved in erecting and disassembling scaffolds must be trained by a competent person to recognize:
    1. Hazards associated with the work in question.
    2. Correct procedures for erecting and disassembling the scaffold.
    3. Design criteria, maximum intended load carrying capacity and intended use of the scaffold.
  3. Retraining will be done when a supervisor or the Safety Office has reason to believe that an employee lacks the skills or understanding needed to work safely with scaffolding.

13.0  Duties of the Competent Person

A competent person is one who is capable of identifying hazards and who has the authority to take prompt corrective measures. Competent persons shall perform the following duties:

  1. Select and direct employees who erect, dismantle, move or alter scaffolds.
  2. Determine if it is safe for employee to work on scaffolds during storms or high winds.
  3. Train employees involved in erecting, disassembling, moving, operating, preparing, maintaining or inspecting scaffolds.
  4. Inspect scaffolds (PDF) for visible defects before each work shift and after any occurrence which could affect the structural integrity and to authorize prompt corrective actions.
  5. Inspect manila or synthetic rope being used for toprails or midrails.
  6. Inspect ropes on suspended scaffolds prior to each work shift and after every occurrence which could affect the structural integrity and to authorize prompt corrective actions.
  7. Determine the feasibility and safety of providing fall protection and access.
  8. Determine if a scaffold is structurally sound when intermixing components from different manufactures.

14.0  Duties of Qualified Persons

A qualified person is one who has a degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who has knowledge, training, and experience to solve problems relating to scaffolding work. Qualified persons will perform the following duties:

1. Train employees working on scaffolds to recognize the hazards and procedures to control those hazards.

Passenger Vans - Frequently Asked Questions

1.  How do I schedule a defensive driving class and road test?

Consult the safety training schedule for times. Classes are held in the conference room in Facilities Management.  The Facilities Management Building is the large building on your left after you cross the bridge heading towards the Dedmon Center. Come in the front door, turn to your right, tell the assistant, at the desk, you are there for the van class. No need to register, just show up. Any questions, 831-7790.

2.  Will I have to repeat the defensive driving class and road test again in a few years?

No, you only have to take the class and road test once.

3.   How long is the defensive driving class and road test?

The defensive driving class is two hours long and the road test is one-half hour long.

4.  Can I be exempted from the defensive driving class and road test if  I have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL).

Yes, please send a copy of your CDL and regular driver's license to Safety Manager, PO  Box 6909.

5.  Do I have to take the defensive driving class and road test if I only pick up an empty van and take it to another location on campus.

Yes, anyone issued a key must take the defensive driving course and road test.

6.  Where can I get a list of  authorized drivers?

View the list of authorized drivers online.

7.  What is the university's policy for passenger vans?

View the policy online.

8.  Does the prohibition for cell phone use by drivers apply to portable radios?

Yes. Passengers must use portable radios if communication between moving vans is necessary.  

9.  I have to transport 11 people (10 passengers + driver). Can I use one van since putting another van on the road for one passenger is not cost effective?

For safety and liability reasons exemptions to the 10 passenger limit cannot be granted except for emergency breakdowns.

10.  If I have two vans on the road and one breaks down can I put more than 10 passengers in one van?

During emergencies it's OK to put up to 15 passengers in a van and drive to the nearest rest stop or exit for help

11.  If a van breaks down while I'm on a trip how do I get it repaired?

To get approval for repairs during normal working hours contact Nathan Mills at 540-831-7800. After hours call the campus police at 540-831-5500 and ask them to contact Nathan. It's OK to pay for small items (e.g., belt, hose) without getting permission.

12.  How do I get gasoline for the van while I'm on the road?

You can use your own credit card or get a Texaco credit card when you pick up the van. The university will reimburse you if you use your own card.

13. Does the university policy for passenger vans apply to leased vans also?

Yes

14.  What kind of insurance coverage do drivers have?

Collision and personal liability insurance are provided to drivers (faculty, staff, and students) of state and leased vehicles as long as you are on university business.  You may not be covered if you take a side trip to see a tourist attraction along the way. Also, you may not receive liability coverage if you are willfully or grossly negligent.  Workers are covered by Workers Compensation Insurance. Students driving state vehicles are covered for medical but are not covered when driving leased vehicles.

15. What kind of insurance do passengers have ?

Passengers in state vehicles have $5,000 incidental medical coverage in a motor vehicle accident. Passengers can file a liability claim against the Commonwealth if our driver was at fault or against the other drivers' insurance if he/she was at fault. Employees of the university are also covered by Worker's Compensation Insurance.

16.  Do I have to take the class and driving test if  I drive a 7-passenger van (mini van)?

No. The university policy for passenger vans only applies to 12 and 15 passenger vans.

Passenger Vans - Policy

All drivers (faculty, students, staff) of university owned or leased 12-15 passenger vans must meet the following requirements to operate these vehicles:

  1. Limit the number of passengers to ten, including the driver.
  2. Possess a valid driver's license.
  3. Have a minimum of two years driving experience.
  4. Complete a defensive driving course and road test administered by the Safety Manager.
  5. Ensure that all passengers wear a seat belt.
  6. Not use a cell phone while driving.
  7. Obey all traffic regulations, including posted speed limits.
  8. Not drive for more than two hours without a break.
  9. Not drive between midnight and 6 a.m. without permission from the Department Head.
  10. Never place loads on top of the roof.