California Slips and Falls: What you need to know

California’s general industry rules for slips and falls (walking and working surfaces) include the federal general industry walking and working surfaces rules, with additional requirements for aisles, passageways, covers, guardrails, floor openings, floor holes, roofs, wall openings, fixed industrial stairs, scaffolds, and ladders that are stricter than federal general industry rules.

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See the state Ladders analysis for information about ladder safety.

The California Department of Industrial Relations/Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) administers and enforces workplace safety and health rules for all private and public sector (except federal government operations) workplaces in the state.

Standard Guardrails
8 CCR 3209

A standard guardrail must consist of top rail, midrail (or equivalent protection), and posts, and must have a vertical height within the range of 42 inches (in.) to 45 in. from the upper surface of the top rail to the floor, platform, runway, or ramp level.

Guardrails at Elevated Locations
8 CCR 3210

Guardrails must be provided on all open sides of unenclosed elevated work locations, such as roof openings, open and glazed sides of landings, balconies or porches, platforms, runways, ramps, or working levels more than 30 in. above the floor, ground, or other working areas of a building. Where overhead clearance prohibits installation of a 42-inch guardrail, a lower rail or rails must be installed. (See 8 CCR 3210 for exceptions.)

Wall Openings
8 CCR 3211

An opening in a wall or partition not provided with a glazed sash, having a height of at least 30 in. and a width of at least 18 in., through which a person might fall to a level 30 in. or more below, ...

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