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Fall Protection Learning Center

The purpose of our learning center is to provide industry data and information as well as links to other sites that contain critical guidelines and information on fall protection.

Common Application Data

Given that OSHA requires fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet or more in general industry applications, it is critical for businesses utilizing rail cars and trucks in their operations to understand that most equipment in these industries greatly exceed these heights. The following two charts highlight the typical dimensions for different types of rail cars and truck trailers.

Rail Cars - Approx Dimensions L (ft) W (ft) H (ft)
Hopper 65 10 15
Tanker 40-70 10 10-15
Spine - Center Beam 60-73 10 6
Locomotive 20-80 10-12 18-20

Learn more about our Rail Car Fall Protection Solutions.

Truck Trailer - Approx Dimensions L (ft) W (ft) H (ft)
Tanker 40-53 9 12
Flat Bed 48,53 9 5
Hopper 40 9 12
Bulk 45-48 9 12

Learn more about our Truck Trailer Fall Protection Solutions.


Government Statistics on Fatal Falls

bureau labor statistics

Bureau Of Labor Statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is the principal fact-finding agency for the Federal Government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics. The BLS is an independent national statistical agency that collects, processes, analyzes, and disseminates essential statistical data to the American public, the U.S. Congress, other Federal agencies, State and local governments, business, and labor. The BLS also serves as a statistical resource to the Department of Labor.

Fatal falls declined 2 percent in 2010 (from 645 in 2009 to 635 in 2010). Overall, fatal falls are down 25 percent from the series high of 847 fatal falls reported in 2007. Since 2007, fatal falls in the private construction industry have decreased by 42 percent. Fatal injuries resulting from being struck by objects or equipment were also lower, down 4 percent in 2010 to 402. Fatal work injuries involving exposure to harmful substances or environments were up slightly, but electrocutions declined.

Fatal Injuries - Year 2009 2010
Falls 645 635
Fall to lower level 538 515
- Fall from ladder 127 129
- Fall from roof 109 117
- Fall from scaffold 54 44
Fall on same level 93 93

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Fatal occupational injuries by event or exposure, 2009-2010


North American Regulatory Agencies & Standards

Osha logo large

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration is the primary agency responsible for fall protection enforcement in the United States and they provide the following general guidance on the subject.

Employers must set up the work place to prevent employees from falling off of overhead platforms, elevated work stations or into holes in the floor and walls. OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, five feet in shipyards, six feet in the construction industry and eight feet in longshoring operations. In addition, OSHA requires that fall protection be provided when working over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of the fall distance.

Learn more about OSHA Fall Protection Standards.


The "American National Standards Institute" to develop certain standard practices and procedures for American Industry. When ANSI agrees to produce a National Consensus Policy, it typically issues a public invitation to form a committee consisting of several members of affected interest. Those members typically consist of representatives from those specific industries which may be affected by the standards they shall develop and author. Committee members generally are recruited from general industry, government (e.g. representatives from OSHA), labor unions, liability insurance carriers, and legal advisors. The Independent Committee, once approved by ANSI, is chartered to develop and author a specific set of practical policy guidelines for the engineering, manufacture, testing, and usage procedures of the products in question.

ANSI does not regulate or enforce any laws or regulations. ANSI merely recommends policies to general industry as well as governmental regulatory agencies. ANSI policies are commonly known as Consensus Policies, although the committee's members do not have to be in unanimous agreement. A consensus agreement of a substantial majority is the only requirement to reach a recommendation. Once an ANSI committee issues it's recommendations, ANSI must review the recommendation prior to issuing its standard. The ramifications of implementation of the standards issued by ANSI are typically weighed by those industries and governmental regulatory agencies which are affected by the standards. With regard to ANSI standards involving significant safety issues, new laws are typically written soon after the introduction of revised ANSI Standards.


During the years 2000 through 2008, there were an average of over 2100 slip and fall accidents per year in the mining industry. Through its Safety Targets Program, MSHA is working to reduce this number significantly.

Fall Protection Systems offers a number of solutions to help mining operations and mining equipment suppliers improve worker safety in this area.

Learn more about MSHA Fall Protection Standards.