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April 14, 2024 Rain | 56°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 18A: Sanitary and safety conditions; tools; longshore and waterfront operations

Section 18A. Employers shall provide a change room with adequate storage facilities for clothes, shower baths and lavatories having hot and cold water, in every place of employment where the lack of such facilities would be harmful to health.

Every place of employment (dock, wharf, etc.), shall be provided with a sufficient number of water closets for the use of employees. Toilets shall be kept clean and supplied with an adequate supply of toilet paper.

Working areas, docks, stairways, etc., shall be provided with illumination which is adequate and suitable to secure the safety of employees.

Whenever harmful dusts, fumes, mists, vapors or gases exist in quantities harmful to employees, and the elimination of such hazards is not practicable, such hazards shall be controlled by ventilation or other means.

When it is impracticable to comply with the above requirement, the employer shall provide, and the employee exposed to such hazards shall use, approved respiratory protective equipment. This equipment shall be kept in sanitary condition.

Permanent floors, platforms, dock working areas, aisles and passageways shall be kept reasonably clear and in good repair. Where, due to lack of proper marking, aisles and passageways become hazardous, they shall be clearly defined by painted lines, curbings or other methods of marking. Where there is danger of slipping on these working areas, they shall be protected by the use of mats, cleats, high-friction surfaces or other equivalent protection.

The maximum weight of materials stored on building floors, load-carrying platforms or dock areas shall not exceed their safe-carrying. Material, wherever stored, shall be piled, stacked or racked in a manner designed to prevent it from tipping, falling, collapsing, rolling or spreading.

Hand tools and hand trucks shall be maintained in a safe condition. Unsafe tools or trucks shall not be used. Where there is danger of a portable ladder slipping in use, provision shall be made to secure the ladder in position by use of hooks, ropes, scabs, spikes, cleats or by other antislip devices, or by stationing an employee at the base of the ladder to hold it in position during use.

Ladders shall be maintained in good condition.

Ladders shall be faced, and both hands used, while ascending or descending.

Platforms, runways, ramps or other working areas four feet or more above the floor, ground or other working areas shall be guarded by a standard railing on all open sides, with the exception of open sides of loading or storage platforms which are used primarily for loading or unloading railroad cars or trucks, and open sides of storage platforms less than four feet wide, or portions thereof, which are loaded and unloaded exclusively by means of stackers or lift trucks handling pallet-supported loads.

Adequate and substantial bull rails, stringer rails or curbs shall be installed at the water side of all flush aprons on wharves, docks or piers.

The employer shall require that tools, machinery, gear and other equipment subject to wear be inspected at regular intervals and unsafe conditions corrected. If found to be defective or otherwise unsafe, employees shall report same to the person in charge of work, who shall have it discarded, marked and so placed that it cannot be used again until made safe.