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Guard or cover floor openings and floor holes.

Definition:
A floor opening is an opening in any floor, platform, pavement, or yard that measures at least twelve inches in its smallest dimension and through which a person can fall.
 
Examples of floor openings are:
 
• Hatchways
 
• Stair or ladder openings
 
• Pits
 
• Large manholes.
 
The following are not considered floor openings:
 
• Openings occupied by elevators
 
• Dumbwaiters
 
• Conveyors
 
• Machinery
 
• Containers
 
A floor hole is an opening in any floor, platform, pavement, or yard that measures at least one inch but less than twelve inches at its smallest dimension and through which materials and tools (but not people) can fall.
 
Examples of floor holes are:
 
• Belt holes
 
• Pipe openings
 
• Slot openings
You must:
(1) Guard stairway floor openings, temporary floor openings and floor holes.
• Protect all stairway floor openings with a railing. The railing must protect all open sides except the stairway entrance side.
 
• Use a hinged cover and a removable railing where traffic across an infrequently used stairway floor opening prevents the installation of a fixed railing. This removable railing must protect all open sides except the stairway entrance side.
• Protect temporary floor openings by either a railing or by a person who constantly attends the opening.
• Protect exposed floor holes into which a person can accidentally walk by either:
– A railing with a toeboard on all open sides or
– A floor hole cover of standard strength and construction that can be hinged in place. When a floor hole cover is not in place, the hole must be protected by a removable railing or constantly attended by someone.
• Provide covers for floor openings. Floor opening covers may be of any material that has a safety factor of four, or is strong enough to hold up to four times the intended load. Covers that do not project more than one inch above the floor level may be used providing all edges are beveled (slanted) to prevent tripping. All hinges, handles, bolts, or other parts of a cover must set flush with the floor or cover surface.
 
(2) Prevent tools and materials from falling through a floor hole. The floor hole must be protected by a cover that leaves an opening no more than one inch wide and is securely held in place. This applies only to floor holes that persons cannot accidentally walk into on account of fixed machinery, equipment, or walls.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.010, [49.17].040, and [49.17].050. WSR 01-11-038, § 296-800-26005, filed 5/9/01, effective 9/1/01.]
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