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Guru
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OSHA Requirements for Drainage Ditch Barricade?

06/21/2010 11:36 AM

I have looked and looked, and still I cannot find the OSHA requirement for barricading a small, permanent drainage ditch.

Our CivE guy is out sick for a while so I have been asked to work outside my comfort zone. I don't mind, he's a good guy and I appreciate the chance to help him out. I'm just a little out of sorts and I was hoping I could get some help from my favorite rant-room.

Here goes:

I have a 2' X 2' square concrete ditch, approximately 1600' long. The top of the ditch is level with grade (dirt). The ditch walls are 6" wide and do NOT have shoulders, so a grating top could become cost prohibitive. I need to erect a barricade that will pedestrian traffic, and possibly vehicle traffic. The standard method within the plant is to install a barricade consisting of 2" X 4' pipe on top of the wall, and 1/2" wire rope at 4' above grade, all painted high-visibility yellow.

I would like to site the OSHA requirement for this barricade in my Funding Request. However, I cannot find one. Also, I would like to know that this method of barricade is compliant with OSHA regs.

Thank you in advance for your help and criticism.

-A-

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#1

Re: OSHA requirements for barricading around small, permanent drainage ditch?

06/21/2010 12:06 PM

You can call OSHA and ask.

They are very friendly and willing to help.

OSHA Regional Office
525 Griffin Street, Suite 602
Dallas, Texas 75202
(972) 850-4145
(972) 850-4149 FAX
(972) 850-4150 FSO FAX

http://www.osha.gov/oshdir/tx.html

In eastern Oregon, there are MANY concrete irrigation ditches that match your description.

The larger farms and ranches like to cover them with plate steel held in place by pins welded to the plate that fit into holes in the concrete ditch lip.

From what I found in the LOCAL OSHA regs, is that the barricade or cover depends on the type and amount of traffic in that area.

However Farms tend to get away with a lot more than other industries so dont rely on this info for your industry and area as it could be wrong.

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Guru
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#2
In reply to #1

Re: OSHA requirements for barricading around small, permanent drainage ditch?

06/21/2010 12:26 PM

Thanks. I have called them and left a message.

The person who initially answered the phone simply picked it up and a said, "Hello?" I had to ask if I had in fact called OSHA. The fellow confirmed that I had indeed called the correct number with a slight slur. I then told him I was calling from (My Town), Texas, and that I was attempting to contact my regional OSHA office. "Where's that?" he asked. Never mind, I told him I had a question about a particular OSHA standard. Click. I was transfered to someone else's voice mail without a word.

Ah, Government. They should be in charge of EVERYTHING!

-A-

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: OSHA requirements for barricading around small, permanent drainage ditch?

06/21/2010 12:27 PM

the link I sent you might get you through to a better office

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Guru
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#4
In reply to #3

Re: OSHA requirements for barricading around small, permanent drainage ditch?

06/21/2010 12:32 PM

Please don't think that I don't appreciate it. I DO. Thank you for the prompt suggestion.

However, the number I called WAS the number in your post.

I am sure the voice-mail I left will result in a competent return call.

I will post when I get a call-back.

Thanks,

-A-

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: OSHA requirements for barricading around small, permanent drainage ditch?

06/21/2010 1:32 PM

I understand your frustration.

The other link was a few other offices that may be a way to re-route around the office you tried.

When dealing with OSHA, remember the old saying "the squeaky wheel gets the grease"

Sometimes you have to "ding" them a couple of times.

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#5

Re: OSHA requirements for barricading around small, permanent drainage ditch?

06/21/2010 1:02 PM

The ICC might have a dog in this fight too. http://www.iccsafe.org/Pages/default.aspx

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Guru
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#7

Re: OSHA Requirements for Drainage Ditch Barricade?

06/22/2010 8:24 AM

Thanks folks. I did get a call back a few hours later by a fellow who was very nice and helpful. He told me that the only rule close to being applicable was Fall Protection, which only applies to 4' drops. As it turns out, in a non-traffic area, covering/barricading a small ditch is not required by OSHA regs. It is, of course, up to the Owner's discretion, (who is still responsible if someone gets hurt). Therefore, we will be barricading our ditch.

-A-

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Anonymous Poster
#8

Re: OSHA Requirements for Drainage Ditch Barricade?

06/22/2010 11:36 AM

If I were you, I would erect a 48 inch high barrier, safety yellow, to keep someone from falling into the hole. The reason is that if you step into a 2 foot deep ditch you can easily break something.

A good way to look at it is to ask the question, "If someone had fallen into the unprotected ditch and been hurt and an investigation resulted in a recommendation to prevent the incident, what would the recommendation be?" If you are doing anything different to keep the incident from happening in the first place, then you are doing the wrong thing.

In this case you are trying to keep some unsuspecting person from falling into the ditch and being hurt. Taking the least expensive option to accomplish the objective is OK so long as it meets legal and regulatory requirements. What you propose is OK.

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Guru

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#9

Re: OSHA Requirements for Drainage Ditch Barricade?

06/22/2010 12:26 PM

The State of Texas will have its own OSHA that may have requirements that slightly differ or exceed the federal requirements. You should check with the State. Also, the State may require that such permanent safety features be design by a licensed Professional Engineer particularly in some traffic safety situations, agricultural applications are usually exempted from many state and federal safety requirements.

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#10

Re: OSHA Requirements for Drainage Ditch Barricade?

06/22/2010 8:57 PM

CR4 Admin Deleted Post #10

Please review the rules for posting on CR4

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Anonymous Poster
#11

Re: OSHA Requirements for Drainage Ditch Barricade?

10/30/2010 10:04 PM

looking for code on drain covering being removed by employer

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