Project Advisory 57, April 2019

Chapter 74 Career/Vocational Technical Education Spaces (Revised March 19, 2019)

For those districts and their consultants constructing Chapter 74 career/vocational technical education spaces, the Massachusetts School Building Authority, in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, issues the following guidance:

  • Overhead doors must be equipped with safety reverse or stop devices. There should be an immediate-stop button (emergency stop) located adjacent to the door opening as well as an automated electric-eye sensor. The overhead doors must come to an immediate, full stop, without delay, and with no additional travel, when the stop button is pressed or the electric-eye sensor is triggered. All overhead doors in the school, including the safety reverse and stop devices, should be similarly designed, and should operate in the same manner. The overhead doors must have signage on the outside of the door which states, "CHECK THAT ALL OBJECTS ARE CLEAR FROM DOORS AND GATES BEFORE CLOSING."
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's ("OSHA") permissible exposure limit ("PEL") is 90 decibels (dBA) for all workers for an 8-hour day. The OSHA standard uses a 5 dBA exchange rate (i.e., for every increase of 5 decibels, one’s exposure to that level of noise should be reduced by half). The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health ("NIOSH") recommends stricter standards, limiting the 8-hour exposure to less than 85 dBA. At 100 dBA, NIOSH recommends less than 15 minutes of exposure per day. It is the designer’s responsibility to keep noise levels acceptably low to alleviate the need for hearing protection. Loud equipment, for example air compressors and dust collectors, is best located outside the school building to the extent possible.