permissible to use a metal ramp to unload parts from a semi-trailer

June 27, 2012

Dear Mr. Mann:

Thank you for your April 5, 2012 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  Since it involves construction issues, it has been forwarded to the Directorate of Construction for response.  You have a specific question regarding access to a semi-trailer used to store parts on a job site.  This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of only the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any question not delineated in your original correspondence.

Question:  Is it permissible to use a metal ramp to unload parts from a semi-trailer when needed?

Response:  Yes, the OSHA standards do not have specific requirements for accessing a portable storage trailer on a job site.  A ramp could be a suitable means of access.  However, where the height of the trailer floor exceeds 6 feet, guard rails or other fall protection will be required.

29 CFR 1926.501(b)(6): requires that "Each employee on ramps, runways, and other walkways shall be protected from falling 6 feet (1.8m) or more to the lower level by guardrail systems."

Sincerely,

James G. Maddux, Director
Directorate of Construction

To ensure your employees have been trained properly, visit National Safety Compliance.

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