Oregon OSHA Health and Safety

RESOURCE

April-May 2015

Ask Technical

Q:

I do maintenance work on an open-sided platform that is five feet above a lower level. I do this work, which takes about one hour, maybe once a month and I am the only person who is authorized to work there. Are guardrails required on the platform?

A:

Guardrails are not required for the work that you do. However, if you do not have a guardrail, you need to be protected from falls using other means.

A platform is an elevated surface used primarily as a walking or working surface where employees walk or work on a "predictable and regular basis," which Oregon OSHA Program Directive A-197 defines as "at least one instance of exposure every two weeks or a combined total of four hours or more of exposure during any sequential four-week period by one or more persons."

Guardrails are not required because your maintenance work is not done on a predictable and regular basis. However, because your working surface is more than four feet above the ground, you still must be protected from a possible fall. You will need to use fall protection system such as a personal fall restraint system when you are doing the work.  ▉

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