1910.28(b)(3) – the ruling requires employers to protect workers from falling into or through any hole, including skylights, stairway holes, ladderway floor holes, hatchway and chute-floor holes, and other holes on roofs.  A “hole” is defined as an open space or gap in the floor, roof, or a horizontal walking-working surface, that is at least 12-inches in its smallest dimension.

The hazard can be addressed with a:

  • Cover over the hole
  • Guardrail system around the hole
  • Travel restraint system, or
  • Personal fall arrest system

Openings pose similar hazards and may be addressed by the above (except a cover), and additionally by the use of a safety net system.  1910.28(b)(7)


1910.28(b)(5) – employers must protect workers on runways or similar walkways, from falling four or more feet to a lower level, by a guardrail.  Employers are no longer required to have toeboards on both sides of runways.

  • If not feasible to have a guardrail on both sides of special purpose runways, the employer may omit guardrail on one side, provided the runway is at least 18-inches wide, and the worker uses a personal fall arrest or travel system.

Provided by Ken Kempa