OSHA clarifies standards requirements

OSHA recently released several standard letters of interpretation covering topics such as fall protection exemption and fall protection requirements for working on an elevator shaft, fully planked and decked scaffolds, operating trucks in reverse on construction sites, testing requirements for "lifting blinds" or "lifting covers" on pressure vessels, drilling near a hole loaded with explosives, and controlled access during curtain wall construction.

In a March 5 letter, Acting Director of the Directorate of Construction Richard Fairfax said 1926.905 permits activities required for loading holes in a blast area, such as using a drill to clear out a previously drilled hole so the hole can be loaded with explosives.

In another letter issued March 2, Fairfax said the space between scaffold planks or between scaffold planks and uprights should be as narrow as possible and may only exceed 1 inch in width if reducing the space would require modifying the planks used to construct the platform. He added that in no situation can the width between scaffold planks exceed 9.5 inches.

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