DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY  
DIRECTOR'S OFFICE  
CONSTRUCTION SAFETY AND HEALTH STANDARD  
(By authority conferred on the director of the department of labor and economic  
opportunity by sections 19 and 21 of the Michigan occupational safety and health act,  
1974 PA 154, MCL 408.1019 and 408.1021, and Executive Reorganization Order Nos.  
1996-2, 2003-1, 2008-4, 2011-4, and 2019-3, MCL 445.2001, 445.2011, 445.2025,  
445.2030, and 125.1998)  
PART 21. GUARDING OF WALKING AND WORKING AREAS  
R 408.42101 Scope.  
Rule 2101. This standard pertains to the construction and use of guardrails,  
stairways, ramps, and runways for the protection of employees during construction  
operations. It also applies to all stairways that are used in the construction, alteration,  
repair, including painting and decorating, and demolition of workplaces and when  
stairways are required to be provided.  
History: 1982 AACS; 1993 AACS; 1996 AACS; 2016 AACS.  
R 408.42110 MIOSHA referenced standard.  
Rule 2110. Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA)  
Construction Safety Standard Part 22. “Signals, Signs, Tags, and Barricades,” R  
408.42201 to R 408.42243, is referenced in these rules. Up to 5 copies of this standard  
may be obtained at no charge from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic  
Opportunity, MIOSHA, Standards and FOIA Section, 530 West Allegan Street, P.O. Box  
30643,  
Lansing,  
Michigan,  
48909-8143  
or  
via  
the  
internet  
at:  
www.michigan.gov/mioshastandards. For quantities greater than 5, the cost, at the time of  
adoption of these rules, is 4 cents per page.  
History: 2016 AACS; 2021 MR 6, Eff. Mar 29, 2021.  
R 408.42121 Definitions; H to N.  
Rule 2121. (1) "Handrail" means a lengthwise member which is supported by  
brackets and which is suspended from a wall or partition on a stairway or ramp to furnish  
a handhold.  
(2) "Lower levels" means those areas to which an employee can fall from a  
stairway, including any of the following:  
(a) Ground levels.  
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(b) Floors.  
(c) Roofs.  
(d) Ramps.  
(e) Runways.  
(f) Excavations.  
(g) Pits.  
(h) Tanks.  
(i) Material.  
(j) Water.  
(k) Equipment.  
(l) Similar surfaces.  
It does not include the surface from which the employee falls.  
(3) "Nosing" means that portion of a tread projecting beyond the face of the riser  
immediately below it.  
History: 1982 AACS; 1993 AACS; 1996 AACS.  
R 408.42122 Definitions; P, R.  
Rule 2122. (1) "Point of access" means all areas used by employees for work-  
related passage from one area or level to another, including all of the following:  
(a) Doorways.  
(b) Passageways.  
(c) Stairway openings.  
(d) Studded walls.  
(e) Other permanent or temporary openings used for work related passage from one  
area or level to another.  
(2) "Ramp" means an inclined runway used to allow employees to move, or allow  
equipment to be moved, from one level to another.  
(3) "Rise" means the vertical distance from the top of a tread to the top of the next  
higher tread.  
(4) "Runway," sometimes called a walkway, means a passageway that is above  
floor or ground level, such as a footwalk between 2 structures.  
History: 1982 AACS; 1983 AACS; 1989 AACS; 1993 AACS; 1996 AACS.  
R 408.42123 Definitions; S, T.  
Rule 2123. (1) "Spiral stairway" means a series of steps attached to a vertical pole  
and progressing upward in a winding fashion within a cylindrical space.  
(2) "Stair platform" means a landing that breaks a continuous run of stairs.  
(3) "Stair railing" means a vertical barrier that is erected on an exposed side of  
a stairway to prevent employees from falling to lower levels. The top surface of a stair  
rail system may also be a handrail.  
(4) "Tread depth" means the horizontal distance from the front to the back of a  
tread, excluding nosing, if any.  
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History: 1982 AACS; 1983 AACS; 1993 AACS; 1996 AACS.  
R 408.42127 Access to other elevations.  
Rule 2127. (1) A means of access, such as a stairway, ladder, or ramp, shall be  
provided at all personnel points of access where there is a break in elevation of 19 inches  
(48 cm) or more and a runway, sloped embankment, or personnel hoist is not provided.  
(2) When a building or structure has only 1 point of access between levels, that  
point of access shall be kept clear to permit the free passage of employees. When  
work must be performed or equipment must be used such that the free passage of  
employees at that point of access is restricted, a second point of access shall be  
provided and used.  
(3) When a building or structure has 2 or more points of access between levels, at  
least 1 point of access shall be kept clear to permit the free passage of employees.  
(4) Employees shall not use any spiral stairways that will not be a permanent  
part of the structure on which construction work is being performed.  
History: 1982 AACS; 1993 AACS.  
R 408.42128 Stairway protection systems.  
Rule 2128. Employers shall provide and install all stairway fall protection systems  
required by this standard and shall comply with all other pertinent requirements of this  
standard before employees begin the work that necessitates the installation and use of  
stairways and their fall protection systems.  
History: 1993 AACS; 2016 AACS.  
R 408.42129 Stairways; landings; installation; rise height and tread depth;  
metal pan landings and metal pan treads; guardrail systems required.  
Rule 2129. (1) Stairways that will not be a permanent part of the structure on  
which construction work is being performed shall have landings that are not less than  
30 inches (76 cm) in the direction of travel and extend not less than 22 inches (56 cm)  
in width at every 12 feet (3.7 m) or less of vertical rise.  
(2) Stairs shall be installed between 30 degrees and 50 degrees from horizontal.  
(3) Riser height and tread depth shall be uniform within each flight of stairs,  
including any foundation structure used as 1 or more treads of the stairs. Variations in  
riser height or tread depth shall not be more than 1/4 of an inch (0.6 cm) in any stairway  
system.  
(4) Metal pan landings and metal pan treads, when used, shall be secured in place  
before filling with concrete or other material.  
(5) Unprotected sides and edges of stairway landings shall be provided with  
guardrail systems.  
History: 1993 AACS.  
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R 408.42130 Training requirements.  
Rule 2130. (1) An employer shall provide a training program for each employee  
who uses stairways, as necessary. The program shall enable each employee to recognize  
hazards related to stairways and shall train each employee in the procedures to be  
followed to minimize these hazards.  
(2) An employer shall ensure that each employee has been trained by a competent  
person in the following areas, as applicable:  
(a) The nature of fall hazards in the work area.  
(b) The rules contained in this part.  
(3) Retraining shall be provided for each employee as necessary so that the  
employee maintains the understanding and knowledge acquired through compliance  
with the provisions of this rule.  
History: 1993 AACS.  
R 408.42131 Rescinded.  
History: 1996 AACS; 2013 AACS.  
R 408.42145 Rescinded.  
History: 1982 AACS; 1996 AACS; 2013 AACS.  
R 408.42149 Stairways.  
Rule 2149. (1) A stairway shall be equipped with a stair railing or handrail as follows:  
(a) A stairway which is not more than 44 inches (112 cm) wide and which has enclosed  
sides shall have a handrail on the right descending side.  
(b) A stairway which is not more than 44 inches (112 cm) wide and which has 1 open  
side shall have a stair railing on the open side.  
(c) A stairway which is not more than 44 inches (112 cm) wide and which has 2 open  
sides shall have a stair railing on each side.  
(d) A stairway that is more than 44 inches (112 cm) wide shall have 1 handrail on each  
enclosed side and 1 stair rail on each open side.  
(e) A stairway that is 88 or more inches (224 cm) wide shall have 1 handrail on each  
enclosed side, 1 stair rail on each open side, and 1 intermediate stair rail located in the  
middle of the stairway.  
(2) Where a door or gate opens directly on a stairway more than 6 feet (1.8 m) in height  
and is used as a required means of egress, a stair landing shall be provided. The swing of  
the door shall not reduce the landing which leads to the stairway to less than 20 inches  
(51 cm) unless specified in another code.  
History: 1982 AACS; 1989 AACS; 2013 AACS; 2021 MR 6, Eff. Mar 29, 2021.  
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R 408.42150 Guardrail specifications for scaffolding and catch platforms.  
Rule 2150. (1) A guardrail for scaffolding and catch platforms shall consist of a top  
rail, intermediate rail, and supporting posts. The top rail shall have a smooth surface and  
shall be installed between 38 inches (97 cm) and 45 inches (114 cm) above the floor,  
ramp, platform, or runway. When conditions warrant, the height of the top edge may  
exceed the 45-inch (114 cm) height, provided the guardrail system meets all other criteria  
of this rule. The intermediate rail shall be located halfway between the top rail and the  
floor, ramp, platform, or runway. The top rail shall not overrun the terminal posts unless  
such a projection does not constitute a hazard.  
(2) A top rail and its supporting posts shall be constructed of wood that is not less  
than 2- by 4-inch nominal size with a 1- by 6-inch or 2- by 4-inch nominal size  
intermediate rail. The construction and fastenings shall produce a guardrail capable of  
withstanding a 200-pound side thrust applied at the top rail. Other material may be used if  
the finished product has the 200-pound capability. A guardrail that is subject to additional  
loads shall be constructed of heavier stock and the supporting post shall be more closely  
spaced.  
(3) Vertical supporting posts shall be placed not more than 8 feet (2.4 m) apart.  
(4) Banding steel shall not be used for guardrail construction.  
(5) Welded re-steel members shall not be used for guardrail construction.  
History: 1982 AACS; 1989 AACS; 1996 AACS; 2016 AACS; 2021 MR 6, Eff. Mar 29, 2021.  
R 408.42154 Runway and ramp specifications.  
Rule 2154. (1) A ramp or runway that is used exclusively by employees as a means  
of access to or egress from a walking or working surface shall comply with all of the  
following provisions:  
(a) Be capable of supporting not less than 2 times the maximum intended load.  
(b) Consist of a minimum of two 2-inch by 10-inch nominal size planks placed side  
by side or other material of equal width that provides equivalent strength if guardrails are  
not required.  
(c) Consist of a minimum of three 2-inch by 10-inch nominal size planks placed side  
by side or other material of equal width that provides equivalent strength if guardrails are  
required.  
(d) Not be constructed steeper than the ratio of 1 foot of vertical rise to 2 feet (0.6  
m) of horizontal run.  
(e) Have a slip-resistant surface or have cleats that are not more than 2 inches by 4  
inches nominal size and which are uniformly spaced not more than 24 inches (61 cm)  
apart.  
(f) Be constructed to avoid excessive deflection and springing action.  
(g) Be secured at each end to prevent displacement.  
(h) Not be used for the storage of materials or equipment.  
(i) Be maintained free of debris, other loose materials, and slip or trip hazards.  
(2) A ramp or runway used by employees with wheelbarrows shall comply with both  
of the following provisions:  
Page 5  
(a) Be constructed and used as prescribed in subrule (1)(a), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), and  
(i) of this rule.  
(b) Consist of three 2-inch by 10-inch nominal size planks placed side by side or  
other material of equal width that provides equivalent strength.  
(3) A ramp or runway used by concrete buggies, forklift trucks, or other motorized  
material handling equipment shall comply with all of the following provisions:  
(a) Be capable of supporting not less than 4 times the maximum intended load.  
(b) Be not less than 5 feet (1.5 m) wide.  
(c) Be constructed and used as prescribed in subrule (1)(a), (d), (f), (g), (h), and (i)  
of this rule.  
(4) A ramp or runway constructed of 2 or more planks placed side by side shall have  
the planks securely fastened together.  
History: 1982 AACS; 1989 AACS; 2016 AACS; 2021 MR 6, Eff. Mar 29, 2021.  
R 408.42155 Specifications for stair rail.  
Rule 2155. (1) A stair railing shall consist of a stair rail, a vertical support, and an  
intermediate rail or its equivalent to prevent an employee from falling through the  
opening between the stair rail and the stairs. The stair rail shall parallel the slope of the  
stairway.  
(2) A stair rail shall be smooth, made of 2- by 4-inch nominal-sized lumber, and  
constructed in a manner to withstand a side thrust of not less than 200 pounds. The height  
of a stair rail shall be as follows:  
(a) A stair rail that is installed after March 15, 1991, shall be not less than 36 inches  
(91.5 cm) from the upper surface of the stair rail system to the surface of the tread and in  
line with the face of the riser at the forward edge of the tread.  
(b) A stair rail that is installed before March 15, 1991, shall be not less than 30  
inches (76 cm) nor more than 34 inches (86 cm) from the upper surface of the stair rail  
system to the surface of the tread and in line with the face of the riser at the forward edge  
of the tread.  
(3) The vertical post shall be constructed of not less than 2- by 4-inch nominal-sized  
lumber and shall be spaced not more than 6 feet (1.8 m) apart.  
(4) An intermediate rail or midrail shall be constructed of not less than 1- by 6-inch  
or 2- by 4-inch nominal-sized lumber and shall be installed midway between the stair rail  
and the treads.  
(5) Screens, mesh, intermediate vertical members, or equivalent intermediate  
structural members shall be provided between the top rail of the stair rail system and the  
stairway steps.  
(6) Screens or mesh, when used, shall extend from the top rail to the stairway step  
and along the entire opening between the top rail supports.  
(7) When intermediate vertical members, such as balusters, are used between posts,  
they shall be not more than 19 inches (48 cm) apart.  
(8) Other structural members, when used, shall be installed such that there are no  
openings in the stair rail system that are more than 19 inches (48 cm) wide.  
(9) A stair rail shall not have protruding nails or rough or sharp corners and shall not  
constitute a projection hazard.  
Page 6  
(10) Other material may be used if the stair railing meets the 200-pound side thrust  
requirement.  
(11) A stairway that has 4 or more risers or rises more than 30 inches (76 cm),  
whichever is less, shall be equipped with at least 1 handrail and at least 1 stair rail system  
along each unprotected side or edge. When the top edge of a stair rail system also serves  
as a handrail, R 408.42156(3) applies.  
(12) Winding and spiral stairways shall be equipped with a handrail that is  
sufficiently offset to prevent walking on those portions of the stairways where the tread  
width is less than 6 inches (15 cm).  
History: 1982 AACS; 1993 AACS; 2021 MR 6, Eff. Mar 29, 2021.  
R 408.42156 Handrail specifications.  
Rule 2156. (1) A handrail shall be of a configuration that provides a handhold when  
grasped to avoid a fall and shall follow the slope of the stairway.  
(2) A handrail shall be vertically installed not more than 37 inches (94 cm), nor less  
than 30 inches (76 cm), above the front edge of the treads.  
(3) When the top edge of a stair rail system also serves as a handrail, the height of  
the top edge shall be not more than 37 inches (94 cm) nor less than 36 inches (91.5 cm)  
from the upper surface of the stair rail system to the surface of the tread and in line with  
the face of the riser at the forward edge of the tread.  
(4) A handrail shall have a smooth surface along the top and sides and the ends shall  
not present a projection hazard.  
(5) Handrails that will not be a permanent part of the structure being built shall have  
a minimum clearance of 3 inches (8 cm) between the handrail and walls, stair rail  
systems, and other objects.  
(6) The ends of stair rail systems and handrails shall be constructed so as not to  
constitute a projection hazard.  
History: 1982 AACS; 1993 AACS; 2013 AACS; 2016 AACS; 2021 MR 6, Eff. Mar 29, 2021.  
R 408.42157 Temporary stairways.  
Rule 2157. (1) All wooden components that are necessary to construct and guard a  
temporary stairway shall be of construction-grade lumber.  
(2) The minimum width of a temporary stairway shall be 22 inches (56 cm).  
(3) The total vertical rise of a temporary stairway shall not be more than 12 feet (3.7  
m), unless stair platforms are provided.  
(4) The rise shall be not less than 6 inches (15 cm) nor more than 8 inches (20 cm).  
(5) The ratio of rise to tread width shall be uniform for all sets of stairs.  
(6) The sides of a temporary stairway shall be guarded as required by R 408.42155  
and R 408.42156, except that a stairway used as access to material storage trailers is  
required to be guarded on only 1 side.  
(7) If used during construction, permanent steel or other metal stairways and  
landings with hollow pan-type treads that are to be filled with concrete or other materials  
shall be filled to the level of the nosing with solid material. This requirement shall not  
Page 7  
apply during the period of actual construction of the stairways. Metal landings shall be  
secured in place before filling. Such temporary treads and landings shall be replaced  
when worn below the level of the top edge of the pan.  
(8) A stairway shall be free of hazardous projections, such as nails, sharp top rails,  
and handrail projections.  
(9) A stairway shall have a minimum vertical clearance of 7 feet (2.1 m) from any  
overhead object, unless the overhead object is padded and caution signs or paint is used  
on the object, as prescribed in Construction Safety Standard Part 22. “Signals, Signs,  
Tags, and Barricades,” as referenced in R 408.42110.  
(10) Except during stairway construction, foot traffic is prohibited on skeleton metal  
stairs where permanent treads or landings are to be installed at a later date, unless the  
stairs are fitted with secured temporary treads and landings long enough to cover the  
entire tread or landing area.  
(11) Treads for temporary service shall be made of wood or other solid material and  
shall be installed the full width and depth of the stair.  
History: 1982 AACS; 1989 AACS; 1993 AACS; 2013 AACS; 2016 AACS; 2021 MR 6, Eff. Mar  
29, 2021.  
R 408.42159 Maintenance.  
Rule 2159. (1) A floor, platform, stair tread, or landing shall be maintained free of  
tripping or slipping hazards.  
(2) A floor, platform, stair, runway, or ramp shall be free of hazardous projections.  
History: 1982 AACS; 1989 AACS; 2013 AACS.  
R 408.42160 Rescinded.  
History: 1989 AACS; 1996 AACS; 2013 AACS.  
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