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OSHA Regulations

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is the main federal agency that enforces safety and health legislation in the workplace. OSHA has established an extensive set of laws regarding fall protection. All Fall Protection System Corp products are built to meet the OSHA requirements and regulations to ensure employee safety.

Why is fall protection important?

Falls are one of the most common causes of work related injuries and deaths. Employers must provide a safe work place and fall protection equipment to prevent employees from falling. Fall hazards include overhead platforms, elevated work stations, holes in the floors and walls, dangerous equipment and machinery, and others.

OSHA requires fall protection at specific elevations for different industries:

  • Four feet for general industry workplaces
  • Five feet for shipyards
  • Six feet for the construction industry
  • Eight feet for longshoring operations
  • Any fall distance for work over dangerous equipment and machinery

To prevent employees from falling, employers must:

  • Guard every floor hole that a worker can accidentally fall into (using a railing and toe-board or a floor hole cover)
  • Provide a guard rail and toe-board around every elevated open sided platform (floor or runway)
  • Regardless of height, if a worker can fall into or onto dangerous equipment or machinery (such as a vat, acid, or conveyor belt), employers must provide guardrails and toe-boards
  • Other fall protection equipment that is required for specific jobs include harnesses, safety lines, safety nets, stair railings, and hand rails

OSHA requires employers to:

  • Provide working conditions that are free of known dangers
  • Keep work area floors clean and as dry as possible
  • Provide required fall protection equipment at no cost to workers
  • Train workers on job hazards in a language they can understand

How do I find out about employer responsibilities and worker rights?

Workers have the right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. OSHA can help answer questions or concerns from employers and employees. To reach your regional or area OSHA office, go to the OSHA regional & area offices web page or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

Small Business employers may contact OSHA's free and confidential on-site consultation service to determine potential fall hazards and work with OSHA to correct these hazards. On-site consultations services are separate from enforcement activities and do not result in penalties or citations. To contact OSHA's free consultation service, go to the OSHA on-site consultation web page or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and press number 4.

Workers may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect their workplace if they believe there are fall hazards or if their employer is not following OSHA standards. Employees can file a complaint with OSHA by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or by printing out the complaint form and mailing or faxing it to the local OSHA area office. Employee signed complainants are more likely to result in an inspection.