Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1926.501; 1926.501(b)(7)(ii)

OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at

March 10, 2004

Mr. Richard Marshall
Safety Director
Richard Goettle, Inc.
9696 Skillman Street, Suite 280
Dallas, Texas 75243

Re: When personal fall protection is used at a drill shaft, is a warning line also required?

Dear Mr. Marshall:

This is in response to your letter dated December 23, 2003, to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). You ask for guidance with respect to the use of fall protection during drilling operations. We apologize for the delay in responding.

We have paraphrased your question as follows:

Question: When drill shaft employees are all using personal fall arrest systems to protect them from falling into the drill shaft, is a warning line positioned 15 feet away from the edge of the hole also required?

29 CFR 1926.501(b)(7)(ii) states:
Each employee at the edge of a well, pit, shaft, and similar excavation 6 feet or more in depth shall be protected from falling by