floor opening

Floors and Other Openings

Floors and Other Openings

Injuries in the workplace because of holes in walking and working surfaces are commonplace. Slips, trips and even falls from one level to the next can be as painful as a fall from a roof. The following items should be considered when dealing with floors and other types of openings.

Guide for Discussionfloor opening

Hazard Identification:

  • Floor Openings (2”x2” minimum at any depth)
  • Temporary openings
  • Plumbing
  • Ventilation (Vault Ceilings?)
  • Skylight wells Manholes
  • Holes in Ground (Trenches and Excavations) Wall/Window Openings
  • Temporary guardrail system Washington Fall Protection Standards Methods of Protection
  • Use of standard guardrails Use of covers
  • Able to support four times the intended load Nail down
  • Mark with “Cover”


When you create a safety hazard, you need to protect others against the hazard. The easiest method is to fix the problem when you create the problem.

Guardrail systems must be able to withstand a 200 pound load applied horizontally and vertically. All floor covers must be able to support at least twice the intended load and installed to prevent accidental shifting. Floor coverings should be so marked in a bright colored paint to communicate the danger.