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| OSHA, USF Safety Florida



Covers located in roadways and vehicular aisles shall be capable of supporting, without failure, at least twice the maximum axle load of the largest vehicle expected to cross over the cover.


All other covers shall be capable of supporting, without failure, at least twice the weight of employees, equipment, and materials that may be imposed on the cover at any one time.


All covers shall be secured when installed to prevent accidental displacement by the wind, equipment, or employees


All covers shall be color-coded or marked with “HOLE” or “COVER” to warn of the hazard.


Employees and or equipment could easily break the ¼” plywood and fall to the floor below, causing severe injuries, including lacerations, fractures, and even death.

Corrective Action:

To be safe, always predict or identify the heaviest load (whether it is vehicular, materials, or human traffic). Use boards that are not damaged and are capable of withstanding twice the weight of the heaviest vehicle, material/equipment, or human loads. Secure the board to the hole to prevent movement. If multiple panels are used, secure both to each other and then to the ground. Mark the hole cover in (preferably) a fluorescent or evident paint. Train all employees on the subject and how to recognize and correct the hazard.

OSHA’s On-site Consultation: 

Using a no-cost consultation service funded mainly by OSHA, employers can find out about potential hazards at their worksites, improve their safety and health programs, and even qualify for a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections. It’s confidential, too. Your name, your firm’s name, and any information you provide about your workplace, plus any unsafe or unhealthful working conditions that the consultant uncovers, will not be reported routinely to the OSHA inspection staff. Your only obligation will be to correct serious job safety and health hazards — a commitment that you are expected to make before the actual visit and carry out promptly.  For more information about protecting your workforce or to request a no-cost, confidential consultation, please visit our website at www.usfsafetyflorida.com or call us at (866) 273-1105.

Gabriel Garcia, PCG, PCC, PCM 
Safety Supervisor, USF SafetyFlorida Consultation Program