A ramp, slope, or incline is defined as an angle that is over 10%, or about one foot rise for every foot of ramp. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has several rules regarding ramp standards. These rules are critical, as falling from ramps/platforms cause the majority of job site accidents.
Here is a summary of the guidelines for buildings under construction, during excavation, and general requirements:
- In buildings under construction, ramps must be well lit while the construction is occurring.
- At excavation sites where there is digging to depths of four feet or more, ramps must remain in place until the work is completed. The ramps must be made of slip-resistant material and extend from the surface to the bottom of the excavation site.
- If the ramp consists of more than one piece, the pieces must be connected to each other to prevent displacement and be identical in thickness.
- Ramps and walkways that are more than five feet above lower levels shall have compliant guardrail systems.
- Ramps cannot incline more than 1 vertical to 3 horizontal (20 degrees above the horizontal).
There are also several guidelines for workers in order to prevent workplace injuries in construction areas:
- Always look in the direction of travel.
- Never turn on ramps. Turn before the ramp to place forks in proper direction.
- Maintain a safe distance from the edges of a ramp.
- When traveling with a load, the load should point up the incline, regardless of direction of travel.
- A spotter should be used whenever a load blocks the driver’s view.
It is very easy to get injured in construction sites, whether you are working in them or around them. Hopefully these rules will help create a safer environment with your yard ramp!
For a more in-depth set of rules, click here.