COURSE 503: EM385-1-1 Safety & Health - Sections 20-26

Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier


Welcome to the course. This is the fourth course in the 40-Hour EM385-1-1 Construction Safety Hazard Awareness Course for Contractors series and is designed to help you understand EM 385-1-1, Safety and Health Requirements, Sections 20-26. Note: Completion of courses 500-504 is equivalent to the 40-Hour Construction Safety Hazard Awareness for Contractors Course.

The purpose of the training is to enhance the awareness of proposed and alternate Site Safety & Health Officers (SSHOs) performing awarded construction, service, and environmental contract work, and to provide all contractor on-site personnel an opportunity to obtain adequate knowledge to assess unsafe worksite conditions.

This course is designed primarily for contractors who work with federal government projects, but may be helpful for anyone. This basic training is designed to help those with little or no prior safety and health training.

Here's how it works:

  1. Study each course module. To start, click on the course "Modules" tab above. On average, it takes about 30 minutes to one hour to complete each module. The entire course will take about 40 Hours to read the material, answer quiz questions, and complete the final exam. The best strategy is to take your time and make sure you understand the course material.

  2. Answer the study questions. You can find the study questions within the "Study Questions" tab above or at the end of each study guide. Print the questions so that you can hunt for the answers as you read through the material.

  3. Complete and submit the course FINAL EXAM.

    • Final exams consist of 30 questions taken from the course.
    • The exam is OPEN BOOK. You can use your notes or the study guide to help answer questions you are unsure of.
    • You must pass the final exam with at least an 80% score.
    • If you do not pass the exam, you may retake the exam.
    • If you pass the exam, you may not retake the exam just to raise your score.
  4. Course 503 Certificate
    Frame not included.
  5. Order an Optional Certificate. If you want certification of your training, order a high quality certificate. Our training is free. We only charge a small fee to provide documentation of your training. To purchase certificates for the EM-385-1-1 program you must purchase the program certificates. To do so, make sure you are registered for the EM-385-1-1 program and click on the "purchase program" link next to the EM-385-1-1 program in your training dashboard.

  6. If you have questions about the course materials as you study, just send us an email. We are here to help!

OK, Let's go!

Have fun and study hard. To start, just click on "Introduction" above.



EM385-1-1 prescribes the safety and health requirements for all Corps of Engineers activities and operations. The "EM" in the manual's title means Engineers Manual.

The Department of Defense has mandated that EM385-1-1 Safety & Health Requirements be the "primary document" for the safety parameters on all construction projects. Contractors working at military bases must comply with the requirements of USACE EM-385-1-1. All managers, supervisors, contractors, or construction personnel working on military contracts and any worker needing to be compliant with EM 385-1-1 regulations and compliance standards.

The manual applies to Headquarters, US Army Corps of Engineers (HQUSACE) elements, major subordinate commands, districts, centers, laboratories, and field operating activities (FOA), as well as USACE contracts and those administered on behalf of USACE. Applicability extends to occupational exposure for missions under the command of the Chief of Engineers, whether accomplished by military, civilian, or contractor personnel.

The information in this course references EM 385-1-1, dated 30 November 2014.

Course Objectives

This course will cover the topics in Sections 20-26 and will inform and help you understand the following information related to each of these Sections:

  • Contractor responsibilities for designing, developing, and deploying an effective safety and health program that complies with the requirements of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

  • The required plans, programs, policies, processes, and procedures that help to ensure hazard free work on USACE facilities and projects.

  • The needed knowledge and skills to manage programs, recognize hazards, prevent accidents, inspect and enforce regulatory requirements.

  • Identify the skills required to identify, prevent, and correct potential and actual safety and health hazards on construction worksites.

  • The basic knowledge and skills needed to effectively review, analyze and evaluate contractor Accident Prevention Plans (APP) and Activity Hazard Analysis (AHA)

  • The Skills required to perform effective incident and accident mishap investigations, properly document the facts, and implement safety and health requirements of EM385-1-1.

Getting Started

To begin your online training, just click on the "Modules" tab above and follow the simple instructions.


To continue your training, click on and download the first module study guide below. You'll receive a pdf copy of the chapter to study online or offline at your own pace. Tip: Copy and print the study questions (see tab) and hunt for the answers to the questions as your read the material.

Module 20 - Pressurized Equipment and Systems

Module 21 - Fall Protection

Module 22 - Work Platforms and Scaffolding

Module 23 - Demolition, Renovation and Re-Occupancy

Module 24 - Safe Access, Ladders, Floor & Wall Openings, Stairs and Railing Systems

Module 25 - Excavations and Trenching

Module 26 - Underground Construction (Tunnels), Shafts and Caissons

Course 503 Study Questions

As you read through each EM385-1-1 chapter, copy and print these Study Questions. Hunt for the answers to the questions as you read through the chapter. Doing this will make the training a little more interesting!

Chapter 20 - Pressurized Equipment and Systems

  1. Pressurized equipment and systems shall be inspected at intervals of not more than __________ and permanent installations shall be inspected at least __________.
  2. Except __________, safety lashings or suitable double action locking devices shall be used at connections to machines of high pressure hose lines and between high pressure hose lines.
  3. When a boiler is being placed in service after repairs, an operator must be in constant attendance until controls have functioned through several cycles or for a period of __________, whichever is greater.
  4. Cylinders containing __________ shall be stored in a segregated group.
  5. Cylinders containing oxygen and acetylene (or other fuel gas) may be taken into confined spaces. True or False.
  6. The temperature of compressed gas cylinders shall not be allowed to exceed __________ degree F.
  7. Cylinder valves shall be closed whenever cylinders are __________.
  8. Cylinder valve caps shall be in place when cylinders are __________, __________, or __________.
  9. All compressed gas cylinders in service shall be secured in __________.
  10. All boilers shall be equipped with water columns, gauge glass, and try cocks approved by __________.
  11. Cylinders containing different gases shall not be bled simultaneously in close proximity of each other. True or False

Chapter 21 - Fall Protection

  1. The first control measure (hierarchy of controls) to be used to abate fall hazards is __________.
  2. Passive or same-level barriers (such as guardrails, walls, covers and parapets) are examples of which "hierarchy of control" method?
  3. Introducing a new work practice to reduce the risk of injury is an example of a/an __________ control measure.
  4. Personnel performing safety inspections or accident investigations are NOT required to wear fall protection if exposed to fall hazards. True or False.
  5. Who can function as a fall protection QP, CP, competent person trainer, qualified person trainer and/or competent rescue trainer if so trained?
  6. Who is responsible for the technical support of the fall protection program?
  7. Who is responsible for the direct supervision, implementation and monitoring of the fall protection program?
  8. Who should have understanding of workplace activities and follow the policy and procedures and the instructions of the CP regarding the use of fall protection and rescue systems and equipment?
  9. Who is responsible for anticipating the potential for planned rescue and ensuring effective rescue plan/procedures and methods are in place before End Users start their work at heights?
  10. Who is responsible to perform or assist in workplace rescues for personnel suspended in, or attached to fall protection systems?
  11. Training for all persons involved in the Fall Protection Program must conform to ANSI/ASSE __________.
  12. Each worker who might be exposed to fall hazards from heights, shall be trained before using fall protection equipment by __________.
  13. If a Contractor will have personnel working at heights and/or exposed to fall hazards, a Fall Protection and Prevention Plan shall be developed and updated at least __________.
  14. The use of a controlled access zone as a __________ method is prohibited.
  15. A standard guardrail system shall be provided with toe boards __________.
  16. Guardrail toprails shall be capable of withstanding without failure a force of __________ of the top edge, in any outward or downward direction, at any point along the top edge.
  17. Hole covers should be capable of supporting, without failure, __________ weight of the worker, equipment and material combined.
  18. Safety nets shall be installed as close under the work surfaces as practical but in no case more than __________ below such work surface.
  19. Defective or damaged fall protection equipment shall be immediately __________.
  20. For workers with a body weight less than __________, a specially designed PFAS harness and also a specially designed energy absorbing lanyard shall be utilized which will properly deploy if this person were to fall.
  21. A personal fall arrest system shall be rigged such that a worker neither free fall more than __________ feet, nor contact any lower level or other physical hazard in the path of the fall.
  22. Ropes, straps, and webbing used in personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) lanyards shall be made from __________.
  23. The anchorage strength requirement for restraint systems shall be __________ or designed by a QP for two times the foreseeable force.
  24. A ladder climbing device is a sleeve or cable/rope attached to a fixed ladder over __________ feet.
  25. The free fall distance when using an Ladder-Climbing Device (LCD) shall not exceed __________ feet.
  26. A warning line system (WLS) shall consist of wires, rope or chains __________ high with supporting stanchions.
  27. For roofing work on flat roofs, the Warning Line System (WLS) shall be erected not less than __________ from the edge.
  28. The Fall Protection Rescue Plan shall contain provisions for __________ of any worker who falls including rescue equipment.
  29. The use of a Safety Monitoring System (SMS) as a fall protection method __________.
  30. When working over water, PFD, lifesaving equipment and __________ shall be used as required.

Chapter 22 Work Platforms and Scaffolding

  1. Prior to erection of a scaffold, __________ shall be prepared by the contractor performing the work and submitted to the GDA.
  2. Erection, moving, dismantling, or altering of scaffolding shall be under the supervision of a __________ for Scaffolding.
  3. When scaffolds are in use, they will be inspected daily by the __________ prior to each shift.
  4. Scaffolding that has been hoisted after configuration or assembly will be re-inspected by a CP __________.
  5. A scaffold tagging system will be used in which all scaffolds are tagged by the __________.
  6. Anyone involved in erecting, disassembling, moving, operating, using, repairing, maintaining or inspecting a scaffold shall __________.
  7. Scaffolds and their components shall be capable of supporting without failure at least __________.
  8. Direct connections to roofs and floors, and counterweights used to balance adjustable suspension scaffolds, shall be capable of resisting __________, or 1.5 times (minimum) the tipping moment imposed by the scaffold operating at the stall load of the hoist, whichever is greater.
  9. The design and construction or selection of solid wood scaffold planking and platform for means of access shall be based upon either __________ or the uniform load distribution to which they will be subjected, whichever is the more restrictive.
  10. When scaffold planking is lapped in a long run, each plank shall lap its supports at least __________.
  11. Tube and coupler scaffolds shall have posts, runners, and bracing of nominal __________ (outside diameter) steel tubing or pipe.
  12. Connection and anchorage systems of suspended scaffold shall be inspected __________.
  13. Outrigger beams shall be made of structural metal and shall be __________.
  14. Horse scaffolds shall not be constructed or arranged more than __________.
  15. If portable ladders are used to access adjustable scaffolds they will be repositioned to ensure that the __________ is maintained, and secured to prevent movement.
  16. Roofing brackets shall be secured by __________.
  17. Forklifts/PITs will be used to support work platforms __________.
  18. Saw horses may NOT be used as portable work platforms or stands. True or False.

Chapter 23 - Demolition, Renovation and Re-Occupancy

  1. Prior to initiating demolition and renovation activities, which of the following actions must be accomplished by a Registered Professional Engineer?
  2. All electric, gas, water, steam, sewer, and other service lines shall be shut off, capped, or otherwise controlled outside the building line before demolition is started. True or False.
  3. What action must be taken if Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) are found on the project site or location after demolition has begun?
  4. When employees work within a structure to be demolished that has been damaged by fire, flood, explosion, or other cause, the walls or floor shall be __________.
  5. During demolition/renovation, potential hazards due to the __________ shall be considered and controlled for all persons inside and outside of the demolition site.
  6. During demolition, continuing inspections by __________ shall detect hazards resulting from weakened or deteriorated floors, walls, or loosened material.
  7. Any chute opening into which debris is dumped shall be protected by a guardrail __________ to dump the material.
  8. Floor openings within __________ of any wall being demolished shall be planked solid, except when employees are kept out of the area below.
  9. No personnel shall be working within the structure once the structural demolition process has begun. True or False.
  10. A substantial gate shall be installed in each chute __________.
  11. When operations are not in progress, the area surrounding the discharge end of a chute shall be __________.

Chapter 24 - Safe Access

  1. A stairway, ladder, ramp, or personnel hoist shall be provided where there is a break of __________ in a route of access.
  2. Open-sided floor or platforms __________ above adjacent floor or ground level shall be guarded by a guardrail system.
  3. Job-made means of access shall be designed to support, without failure, __________.
  4. Portable ladders, used as temporary access, shall extend at least __________.
  5. The length of portable stepladders shall not exceed __________.
  6. The minimum clear distance between the sides of individual-rung/step ladders shall be __________.
  7. Portable ladders shall be used at such a pitch that the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder will not be greater than __________.
  8. How many points-of-contact should be maintained at all times when ascending or descending ladders?
  9. The height of handrails shall be not more than __________ from upper surface of handrail to surface of tread.
  10. Floor and roof holes/openings are any that measure over __________ in any direction of a walking/working surface.
  11. Wall openings __________ from which a fall could occur shall be protected with a standard guardrail or equivalent.
  12. On all structures __________ or more in height, stairways shall be provided during construction.
  13. Every flight of stairs with __________ shall have standard stair railings (defined below) or standard handrails unless omitted by design.
  14. Ramps, runways, and platforms shall be as flat as conditions will permit. Where the slope exceeds __________, traverse cleats shall be applied to the working surface.
  15. Ropes used as working line and safety line shall be made of synthetic fiber with a nominal breaking strength of at least __________ when new.
  16. When using safety line, the maximum free fall distance shall not exceed __________.

Chapter 25 - Excavations and Trenching

  1. For excavations or trenches greater than __________ in depth, both an AHA and a written plan must be submitted.
  2. For excavations or trenches greater than 5 ft (1.5 m) in depth, both a/an __________ and __________ must be submitted.
  3. When workers will be in or around an excavation, a competent person shall inspect the excavation, the adjacent areas, and protective systems __________.
  4. What must the Competent Person be able to demonstrate?
  5. The sides of all excavations in which employees are exposed to danger from moving ground shall be guarded by a support system, __________, or other equivalent means.
  6. Excavations less than __________ (1.5 m) in depth and which a Competent Person examines and determines there to be no potential for cave-in do not require protective systems.
  7. Shoring shall be used for unstable soil or depths greater than __________ (>1.5 m) unless benching, sloping, or other acceptable plan is implemented.
  8. __________ shall be used to prevent surface water entering an excavation and to provide good drainage of the area adjacent to the excavation.
  9. Employees shall not work in excavations in which there is accumulated water or in which water is accumulating, __________.
  10. Which of the following methods may be used to protect employees from loose rock or soil that could create a hazard by falling from the excavation wall?
  11. Excavated material shall be placed at least __________ (0.6 m) from the edge of an excavation.
  12. If the excavation is exposed to members of the public or vehicles or equipment, which class of perimeter protection is required?
  13. If the excavation is exposed to employees, contains hazards and is deeper than 6 ft (1.8m), which class of perimeter protection is required?
  14. What action must first be performed when workers are working in excavations at depths of over 5 ft (1.5 m)?
  15. The plan shall contain provisions for __________ of any worker who is buried during a cave-in including rescue equipment.
  16. Walkways or bridges shall be provided with __________ where people or equipment are required or permitted to cross over excavations.
  17. Where personnel are required to enter excavations over __________ in depth, sufficient stairs, ramps, or ladders shall be provided to require no more than __________ of lateral travel.
  18. When access to excavations in excess of __________ in depth is required, ramps, stairs, or mechanical personnel hoists shall be provided.
  19. For excavations less than 20 ft (6 m) in depth, the maximum slope shall be __________ measured from the horizontal (1-1/2 horizontal to 1 vertical).
  20. From which point does removal of excavation support systems begin at and process from?
  21. For shield systems used in trench excavations: excavations of earth material to a level not greater than __________ below the bottom of the shield shall be permitted.
  22. Which of the following soil classifications indicated that the soil can NOT be benched?

Chapter 26 - Underground Construction (Tunnels), Shafts and Caissons

  1. Every location of underground construction shall have a check-in/check-out system that will ensure that above-ground personnel can determine the identification of all underground personnel. True or False.
  2. Oncoming shifts for construction work of underground tunnels shall be informed of any __________.
  3. At least __________ shall be provided in all underground shafts that are being developed or used either for personnel access or for hoisting.
  4. Communication systems shall be tested __________ to the underground and as often as necessary thereafter to ensure proper operation.
  5. Employees working alone underground shall be required to check in with their supervisor at least once __________.
  6. Emergency equipment specified in the emergency plan shall be provided within __________ minutes of each portal or shaft entry.
  7. On job sites where 25 or more persons are underground at one time, provisions shall be made for at least __________.
  8. A CP shall inspect the roof, face and walls of the work area __________ to determine the stability of the tunnel.
  9. Where tunnels are excavated by conventional methods, the excavation shall not be extended more than __________ ahead of ground supports.
  10. All vehicles and mobile equipment required to move in and out of underground construction areas shall have a revolving, flashing amber light, mounted so as to be visible __________.
  11. Underground construction operations shall be classified as potentially gassy operations if air monitoring discloses __________ for methane or other flammable gases measured.
  12. Underground construction gassy operations may be downgraded to potentially gassy operations when the LEL for methane or other flammable gases is __________.
  13. What is the requirement when hot work is performed for gassy operations in underground operations?
  14. When air monitoring is required "as often as necessary," the __________ shall determine which substances to monitor and how frequently to monitor.
  15. The atmosphere in all underground work areas shall be tested as often as necessary to assure that the atmosphere at normal atmospheric pressure contains at least __________ oxygen and no more than __________ oxygen.
  16. The continuous sampling in underground operations must provide a visual and aural alarm when the hydrogen sulfide concentration reaches __________.
  17. The supply of fresh air shall not be less than __________ each employee underground plus that necessary to operate the equipment.
  18. Fire extinguishers (or equivalent protection) shall be provided and maintained at each portal and shaft entry, within __________ of the advancing face of each tunnel.
  19. Accessible areas within the swing radius of the rear of the drilling equipment's rotating superstructure shall __________.
  20. All wells or shafts over __________ in depth that employees must enter shall be supported by lagging, piling, or casing.
  21. Hoistways __________ used to hoist materials or personnel simultaneously.
  22. A __________ must be developed and submitted for underground blasting operations.

Course 503 Final Exam

Congratulations on finishing the coursework! To pass the exam, you must achieve a minimum score of 70%. It is OSHAcademy's policy to protect the integrity of our exams and, as a result, we do not provide missed questions to students. We do provide missed-question module section references for study should you wish to retake the exam.

After you have studied all of the course material and reviewed the "Study Questions" tab, you can take the final exam. The study questions are optional, but we highly recommend you review them, as the questions are similar to those on the final exam.

This is an open book exam. As you are taking the exam, if you find a question you are unsure of, you should use the course study guide or course web pages to research the correct answer. Don't worry if you fail the exam. You can study and retake the exam when you are ready.

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Course 501 Study Guide. You can save this study guide to your computer for offline studying, or print the study guide if you prefer.