Are You Using the Right Fall Protection?
When is Fall Protection Required?
You may or may not already know the OSHA Fall Protection Standard says, fall protection is required at elevations of:
- Four feet in general industry (1910.28(b)(1)(i))
- Six feet for construction (1926.501(b)(1))
- Eight feet for longshoring operations.
Fall protection is also required whenever you’re working above dangerous equipment or machinery, no matter what the height is.
What Situations is Fall Protection Required in?
- Lead edges: Any employee constructing or working on a leading-edge 6 feet or above should be protected using guardrails, safety nets, or personal fall arrest systems.
- Unprotected sides and edges: Anyone working or walking on a surface either horizontal or vertical with unprotected sides or an edge above 6 feet will need fall protection.
- Open Holes: Any worksite with a hole in a walking or working surface must have fall protection like guard rails or a hole cover.
- Ramps: Any employee using a ramp, runway, or walkway above the required height must have fall protection.
- Any employee working around the edge of a pit, shaft, or excavation site must have fall protection.
- Roofing: Anyone working above the 6 feet max while working on a roof must have fall protection.
- Tree trimming: Anyone working above 4 feet when trimming trees must have fall protection.
These are just a few of the many examples of times when fall protection is required; there are many, many more!
Types of Fall Protection
There are many different forms of fall protection to protect workers, but they mainly fall into three categories.
First is the fall prevention system category, which keeps the user from reaching the fall hazard altogether.
Types of fall protection in the fall prevention category include:
- Guard Rails
- Man Hole Covers
- Skylight Screens
- Positioning (Holds workers in place while leaving hands free)
Next is the fall restraint system category, which stops the user from falling when fall prevention methods can’t be used. Types of fall protection in the fall restraint category include:
- A harness and lanyard that is at a specific length to prevent falling
- Suspension (being suspended on a safe platform, used in window washing or painting)
Last is the Fall Arrest system category, which is used to slow or stop the falling user to prevent injury. Types of fall protection in the fall arrest category include:
- A harness attached to a system that will slow the falling and eventually stop it without injury the worker
- Personal lifelines
- A net to catch falling working from hitting the ground
- Shock absorbers
- Rope grabs
Many of these systems are used together to make sure a worker is safe when working at dangerous heights.
Fall Protection Training
Fall Protection Training is a critical step for protecting workers from falling and getting injured or even dying. Many workers across the country work at dangerous heights much higher than the four to eight feet required from OSHA. Employers are required to provide employees a safe and healthy workplace so get your employees Fall Protection Training today!
In conclusion, the OSHA Fall Protection Standard says fall protection is required at 4 feet for the general industry, 6 feet for construction, 8 feet for longshoring, and any height when working above dangerous equipment.
There are many situations where fall protection is required, including when working around an open hole, tree trimming, roofing, the edge of a pit, unprotected sides, lead edges, and many other situations.
Fall protection systems will fall into three categories: fall arrest system, fall restraint system, and fall prevention system.
If you need Fall Protection Training, try:
OSHA Fall Protection Training
OSHA Fall Protection Training in Spanish
- Compliance Solutions