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Fall Protection Categories & Information

There are three basic fall protection categories outlined by OSHA that can prevent the risk of falling.  Otherwise known as the “three lines of defense.”

  1. Eliminate the risk or engineer fall protection equipment to eliminate the risk.  The first step should always be if possible to work around the risk either by modifying the task or the area in which the task is performed.  When this is not possible, using equipment to safeguard employees passively is the best option.  This can be done by utilizing guardrail, platforms and toeboards.
  2. Administrative controls via employee training and programs or policies in place to protect workers.
  3. Personal protective equipment.  The use of this equipment can restrict a worker from coming close to a fall hazard while performing job tasks, or it can be designed to catch a worker in the event of a fall.  There are three types of PPE coverage:
    1. Positioning, which will hold the worker in place for hand free work.  They will limit the fall to less than two feet.
    2. Restraint, which will limit the worker from reaching the fall hazard.
    3. Personal Fall Arrest System, which will both absorb the energy in a fall and catch a worker in the event of a free fall.

Fall Protection Categories

For further information, download the OSHA Fall Prevention Training Guide.



OSHA Safe + Sound Week

OSHA Safe + Sound Week is scheduled for August 13-19th 2018.  This is a nationwide event that is meant to raise awareness and understanding the value of health and safety programs.  This is done with a systematic approach to finding and fixing workplace hazards that includes management leadership and worker participation.

OSHA Safe + Sound Week

To participate in OSHA Safe + Sound Week you first need to select which activities you would like to do at your workplace.  It can be a private or public event that engages the community.  You can register through the OSHA website.

Showing a Commitment to Safety


Fall Protection 3rd Quarter Newsletter 2018

Fall Protection 3rd Quarter Newsletter 2018


Construction Fall Protection Q&A

The continuing need for fall protection and construction fall protection Q&A information provided by OSHA.

construction fall protection Q&A

Why does OSHA Have a Standard for Fall Protection?

Historically, falls are the leading cause of fatalities in construction, accounting for about one-third of all fatalities in the industry. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were 291 fatal falls to a lower level in construction in 2013, out of 828 total fatalities.

OSHA recognizes that incidents involving falls are generally complex events, frequently involving a variety of factors.  Consequently, the standard for fall protection deals with both the human and equipment-related issues in protecting workers from fall hazards. This publication is intended to help workers and employers better understand the Fall Protection in Construction standard’s requirements and the reasons behind them.

What is Subpart M?

Subpart M lays out the requirements and criteria for fall protection in construction workplaces. For example, it applies when workers are working at heights of 6 feet or more above a lower level. It also covers protection from falling objects, falls from tripping over or falling through holes, and protection when walking and working around dangerous equipment without regard to height. Subpart M provisions do not apply, however, to workers inspecting, investigating, or assessing workplace conditions prior to the actual start of work or after all construction work has been completed. The provisions of Subpart M can be found in Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Subpart M – Fall Protection, 29 CFR 1926.500, 29 CFR
1926.501, 29 CFR 1926.502, and 29 CFR 1926.503.

What are Employer’s Responsibilities to Provide Fall Protection?

Initially, employers must assess the workplace to determine if walking or working surfaces have the necessary strength and structural integrity to safely support the workers. Once it is determined that the work surfaces will safely support the work activity, the employer must determine whether fall protection is required (using the requirements set forth in 29 CFR 1926.501) and, if so, select and provide workers with fall protection systems that comply with the criteria found in 29 CFR 1926.502.

When Must Employers Provide Fall Protection?

The 6-foot rule.  Subpart M requires the use of fall protection when construction workers are working at heights of 6 feet or greater above a lower level. It applies at heights of less than 6 feet when working near dangerous equipment, for example, working over machinery with open drive belts, pulleys or gears or open vats of degreasing agents or acid.


What Construction Areas and Activities Does Subpart M Cover?

The standard identifies certain areas and activities where fall protection or falling object protection may be needed. For example, it might require fall protection for a worker who is: on a ramp, runway, or another walkway; at the edge of an excavation; in a hoist area; on a steep roof; on, at, above, or near wall openings; on a walking or working surface with holes (including skylights) or unprotected sides or edges; above dangerous equipment; above a lower level where leading edges are under construction; on the face of formwork and reinforcing steel; or otherwise on a walking or working surface 6 feet or more above a lower level. The standard may also require fall protection where a worker is: constructing a leading edge; performing overhand bricklaying and related work; or engaged in roofing work on low-slope roofs, precast concrete erection, or residential construction. In addition, the standard requires falling object protection when a worker is exposed to falling objects.

What Kinds of Fall Protection Should Employers Use?

Generally, fall protection can be provided through the use of guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems. OSHA refers to these systems as conventional fall protection. Other systems and methods of fall protection may be used when performing certain activities. For example, when working on formwork, a positioning device system could be used. OSHA encourages employers to select systems that prevent falls of any kind, such as guardrails designed to keep workers from falling over the edge of a building.




Manufacturing Industry Fall Safety Tips

Fall protection is growing increasingly important for workers across all industries.  It is the number one cited OSHA standard and can have catastrophic consequences when not addressed.  Working in manufacturing plants, warehouses, and factories presents safety risks for workers including falls.  Here are a few manufacturing industry fall safety tips provided by EHS today.

Manufacturing Industry Fall Safety Tips

  1. Good Housekeeping.  Keep work areas clear of debris and tools, this can cause a trip hazard to workers in any area.
  2. Proper Lighting.  Poor lighting can lead to accidents and falls.  This should also include backup lighting that would be needed in the event of a power outage.
  3. Proper Fall Protection Systems.  Eliminating fall hazards with the use of barriers or guardrails or by providing workers with personal fall protection systems is necessary to anyone working at heights or in an area that poses a fall risk.
  4. Adequate Training.  All fall precautions should be communicated with workers and training on proper procedures and use of equipment should be provided by the employer.  Communication is key to safety in the workplace.  Encourage workers to have open dialogue with management on all things related to their safety.

4th Safety Tips

Fall Protection Systems wishes everyone a healthy and Happy Independence Day!  Here are some 4th safety tips to keep in mind tomorrow!

4th safety tips


Florida Roofer Cited by OSHA

Florida roofer cited by OSHA again.  Crown Roofing LLC, out of Sarasota, Florida was cited for exposing employees to fall hazards at a Jupiter work site.  In addition to the citation, OSHA has proposed $149,662 in fines.

Florida Roofer Cited

The investigation occurred as part of the OSHA Regional Emphasis Program for Falls in Construction.  One of the citations issued was for a repeat violation for failure to use a guardrail, safety net, or personal fall arrest system while working at a height greater than 6 feet.  Additionally, there was not a competent person regularly scheduled to inspect the job site, materials and equipment.  There were no maintained written certification records for any training provided.

“This employer is risking the safety of workers by failing to comply with fall protection requirements,” said Condell Eastmond, OSHA’s Fort Lauderdale Area Office director. “Fall hazards are well known, but they can be eliminated when workers are trained and protective equipment is properly used.”


Aluminum Ladder Recall

Lowe’s and Home Depot stores have announced an aluminum ladder recall of about 78,000 aluminum ladders sold.  There is a fall hazard associated with the use of five models of Werner Aluminum Ladders.  These ladders have been found to break while in use according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

aluminum ladder recall

These ladders were sold between April and May of 2018 across the United States.  Each of the recalled ladders has a load capacity of 375 pounds with varying heights from 13 to 26 feet.

If you purchased one of these ladders you can look at the model number printed on a label inside the ladder rail.  The affected model numbers are:

  • MIT-IAA-13A
  • MIT-IAA-17A
  • MIT-IAA-22A
  • MIT-IAA-26
  • MIT-IAA-26A

More details can be found from the manufacturer here.  Learn more about ladder safety here.


Warning Line Fall Protection

There are times when sections of roof do not require rooftop guardrail fall protection.  In those instances these areas should be marked off with warning line fall protection to warn workers of the edge beyond the work area.

Warning Line Fall Protection

Warning Line Fall Protection

Free-Standing warning lines are sturdy, durable, portable and cost effective.  The components are galvanized that stay upright with a hidden set screw.  The heavy-duty nylon mesh flags are available in orange or safety yellow and secured to a stainless steel wire cable that is vinyl coated to withstand prolonged outdoor use.

Product Features:

  • Quick set-up, modular, free-standing
  • Cost effective systems for interior or exterior demarcation
  • Durable galvanized components and uprights
  • Heavy-duty rubber bases for ease of installation
  • Vinyl coated stainless steel cable for long lasting protection

Construction Hazards

Provided by OSHA these V-Tools (Prevention Videos) address construction hazards in the workplace specifically related to falls in construction.  Please note that some of the videos may contain graphics that are disturbing.

Every year in the U.S. more than 800 construction workers die and nearly 137,000 are seriously injured while on the job. Construction workers engage in many activities that may expose them to serious hazards, such as falling from rooftops, unguarded machinery, being struck by heavy construction equipment, electrocutions, silica dust, and asbestos.

The videos below show how quickly workers can be injured or killed on the job and are intended to assist those in the industry to identify, reduce, and eliminate construction-related hazards. Most of the videos are 2 to 4 minutes long, presented in clear, easily accessible vocabulary, and show common construction worksite activities. The videos may be used for employer and worker training. Each video presents:

  • A worksite incident based on true stories that resulted in worker injury or death.
  • Corrective actions for preventing these types of incidents.

Falls in Construction/Floor Openings

Falls in Construction/Skylights

Falls in Construction/Bridge Decking

Falls in Construction/Reroofing

Falls in Construction/Leading Edge Work