OSHA Handbook for Small Businesses

Elevated Surfaces

Elevated Surfaces

  • Are signs posted, when appropriate, showing the elevated surface load capacity?
  • Are surfaces elevated more than 30 inches (76.20 centimeters) above the floor or ground provided with standard guardrails?
  • Are all elevated surfaces (beneath which people or machinery could be exposed to falling objects) provided with standard 4-inch (10.16 centimeters) toeboards?
  • Is a permanent means of access and egress provided to elevated storage and work surfaces?
  • Is required headroom provided where necessary?
  • Is material on elevated surfaces piled, stacked or racked in a manner to prevent it from tipping, falling, collapsing, rolling or spreading?
  • Are dock boards or bridge plates used when transferring materials between docks and trucks or rail cars?
  • EXITING OR EGRESS
  • Are all exits marked with an exit sign and illuminated by a reliable light source?
  • Are the directions to exits, when not immediately apparent, marked with visible signs?
  • Are doors, passageways or stairways, that are neither exits nor access to exits, and which could be mistaken for exits, appropriately marked "NOT AN EXIT," "TO BASEMENT," "STOREROOM," etc.?
  • Are exit signs provided with the word "EXIT" in lettering at least 5 inches (12.70 centimeters) high and the stroke of the lettering at least l/2-inch (1.2700 centimeters) wide?
  • Are exit doors side-hinged?
  • Are all exits kept free of obstructions?
  • Are at least two means of egress provided from elevated platforms, pits or rooms where the absence of a second exit would increase the risk of injury from hot, poisonous, corrosive, suffocating, flammable, or explosive substances?
  • Are there sufficient exits to permit prompt escape in case of emergency?
  • Are special precautions taken to protect employees during construction and repair operations?
  • Is the number of exits from each floor of a building and the number of exits from the building itself, appropriate for the building occupancy load?
  • Are exit stairways that are required to be separated from other parts of a building enclosed by at least 2-hour fire-resistive construction in buildings more than four stories in height, and not less than 1-hour fire-resistive constructive elsewhere?
  • Where ramps are used as part of required exiting from a building, is the ramp slope limited to 1 foot (0.3048 meters) vertical and 12 feet (3.6576 meters) horizontal?
  • Where exiting will be through frameless glass doors, glass exit doors, or storm doors are the doors fully tempered and meet the safety requirements for human impact?