Fall Protection Regulation General Requirements

05 / 23 / 2014 | Safety Articles | Ryan Michels

OSHA’s fall protection regulations require that fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, five feet in shipyards, and six feet in construction areas. Employers must also provide protection when employees are working over any dangerous equipment or machinery, whether at height or not.

Here are some general industry workplace requirements and some fall protection system options:

  • Guard every hole into which a worker could accidentally step. Don’t forget a roof hatch is a hole as is a skylight. We recommend the use of a hatch guard protection system around holes and skylight protection options like skylight screens.
  • Provide a guardrail and toe-board around every elevated open sided platform, floor, or runway. Remember, when dangerous machinery or equipment is present, height is not a consideration, guardrails (even temporary guardrails) and toe-boards are required.
  • There are several other types of fall protection that may be required on certain jobs and can include include safety harnesses and lines, industrial netting, warning lines and handrails.

In addition to these specifics, OSHA requires that employers inspect all areas so that they have structural integrity and enough strength for employees to work on before being allowed on the work area. Remember it must be determined then which fall protection regulations must be followed based on potential fall distance and environment.

Approaching safety with your employees doesn’t have to be daunting. Creating a lively and encouraging classroom environment is a great way to include everyone in their own safety practices. Using our fall protection training trailer is a great way to involve all of your workers.  Make thinking safety a part of every worker’s day.

About the author

Ryan Michels Ryan has been involved in the design and installation of custom fall protection systems with W.S. Safety Technologies since 2005. Ryan is a specialist in the different types of products, applications, and regulatory codes governing proper design and use of fall protection systems.

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