toll free: 888-596-5367

Ladder Fall Protection System Requirements

Are you ready to purchase a ladder fall protection system?  Take a moment to review the ladder fall protection system requirements.  This information is required when placing an order for ladder fall protection with FPS. Ladder Fall Protection System Requirements

  1. Type of material the ladder is made of?
  2. Rung spacing? Center to Center
  3. Shape of rung? Round, Square
  4. Diameter of round rung, width and height if rung is tubular?
  5. Is rung Hollow?
  6. Width of Ladder (center of stringer to center of stringer)? Are the Stringers welded to the tank? Take pics (video) of how stringers are attached.
  7. Does current ladder extend above elevated walk surface? If so, how much above the surface of surface?
  8. Is the top of the ladder walk through, walkover, or walk around?
  9. Does the rope grab need to be detachable?
  10. How many users will need to access the system at one given time? Additional shuttle for each user will be needed.
  11. Ladder height (distance from center of bottom rung to center of top rung)?
  12. Type of ladder FP cable required (galvanized or Stainless Steel)?
  13. Standard extension at the top of the ladder is 7ft, confirm clearance availability.


Use our easy online form for a copy of your report!


MSHA Reports Ladder Accident

On February 12, 2018, a plant operator was assisting another miner in removing a head pulley. While ascending a 12-foot step ladder, the victim’s foot slipped and he slid down the ladder. The victim was treated for a broken ankle at a nearby hospital after the ladder accident.

ladder accident

As a review, here are the best practices for ladder safety:

  • Use fall protection when working in an elevated position and securely tie-off where the danger of falling exist.
  • Provide and maintain safe access to all work areas.  Train miners on how to safely access all work areas.
  • Provide scaffolding or other types of temporary work platforms when working from a ladder does not provide sufficient stability or access for the task.
  • Use a ladder only on a stable and level surface.
  • Keep ladders free of any slippery materials on the steps or rungs.
  • Wear proper footwear and keep it clean of potential slipping hazards such as dirt, oil, and grease before getting onto a ladder.
  • Always face the ladder and maintain three points of contact (two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand) when climbing or descending.
  • Do not carry personal items or supplies when climbing or descending a ladder. Use a cord or rope to lift or lower supplies or tools.

Review the OSHA standards for stairways & ladders here!


Roof Tarping Safety

Reinforced plastic tarps, commonly called “Blue Roofs,” provide temporary protection for the roofs of homes and other buildings damaged during severe weather such as a hurricane or tornado. When employees access roofs to install these tarps, they are at risk of falls, electrocutions, and other hazards. OSHA recommends the following steps to help keep workers safe.  With spring storms just around the corner let’s take this opportunity to review roof tarping safety.

roof tarping safety

Identify the Hazards

Always avoid electrical hazards.

  • Look for overhead power lines; treat all power lines as “live.”
  • Contact the utility company to ensure lines are de-energized.
  • Do not use a metal ladder near powered lines or in close proximity to energized electrical equipment.

Assess the roof condition/stability prior to allowing employees to start work.

  • Do not allow employees to work on top of a damaged roof until after the strength and structural integrity of the roof has been determined.

Select the fall protection system that employees will use while installing the tarp.

  • Low slope roofs use conventional fall protection (fall arrest, guardrails, or safety nets) with or without a warning line system; a warning line system with monitor; or a monitor alone on a small roof.
  • Do not stand on a steep roof without using conventional fall protection.

Installing the Tarp

  • Never install a tarp during a storm while it is windy or raining.
  • Use proper protective equipment (PPE) such as hard hats, eye protection and other control measures such as chutes and barricaded when removing roof debris.  This ensures employees on the ground are not exposed to hazards from falling objects.
  • Remove roof debris using a roof rake or brush from the ground level.  If using a ladder, ensure the use of proper safety techniques to prevent falls.
  • Whenever possible, avoid getting on the roof when the tasks can be performed from ladders or other stable platforms.
  • When accessing the roof, lean the ladder at a safe angle that is at a 4:1 ratio (one foot away from the building at the bottom for each four feet of ladder length to the roof eave), and make sure the ladder extends three feet above the roof edge.
  • Watch for tripping hazards including vent stacks, satellite dishes, lightning arresting components and cables, and cleats holding down the tarp.
  • Do not walk on the tarp.  A tarped roof will be very slippery, especially when wet.
  • Watch your step – skylights and other openings that have been tarped over will not be obvious to someone walking on the roof.

OSHA Severe Violator Enforcement Program

More Information About the OSHA Severe Violator Enforcement Program

The OSHA Severe Violator Enforcement Program went into effect June 18, 2010.  It’s purpose was to establish enforcement policies and procedures that allocates resources on inspecting employers with a history of showing indifference to their OSH Act obligations by willful, repeated, or failure to abate violations.  This program replaces OSHA’s previous Enhanced Enforcement Program.

OSHA Severe Violator Enforcement Program

Summary of the OSHA Severe Violator Enforcement Program

Provided by OSHA here is a summary of the SVEP.

“This Instruction establishes enforcement policies and procedures for OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP), which concentrates resources on inspecting employers who have demonstrated indifference to their OSH Act obligations by committing willful, repeated, or failure-to-abate violations. Enforcement actions for severe violator cases include mandatory follow-up inspections, increased company/corporate awareness of OSHA enforcement, corporate-wide agreements, where appropriate, enhanced settlement provisions, and federal court enforcement under Section 11(b) of the OSH Act. In addition, this Instruction provides for nationwide referral procedures, which includes OSHA’s State Plan States. This Instruction replaces OSHA’s Enhanced Enforcement Program (EEP).”

Significant Changes from the Enhanced Enforcement Program (EEP)

  • High-Emphasis Hazards are targeted, which include fall hazards and specific hazards identified from selected National Emphasis Programs.
  • The Assistant Secretary has determined that Nationwide Inspections of Related Workplaces/ Worksites are critical inspections for the purpose of 29 CFR §1908.7(b)(2)(iv).
  • Creates a nationwide referral procedure for Regions and State Plan States.

Harness Life Expectancy

Harness life expectancy is a common question at Fall Protection Systems.  There are not any OSHA or ANSI guidelines or regulations that determine how long a harness can be used before it is retired from commission.  OSHA does require that personal fall arrest systems shall be inspected prior to each use for wear, damage and other deterioration, and defective components shall be removed from service.  ANSI requires that equipment shall be inspected by the user before each use and, additionally, by a competent person other than the user at intervals of no more than one year.

harness life expectancy

Full body harnesses that are exposed to a fall arrest should be removed from service immediately.

FPS carries harnesses manufactured by both Miller by Honeywell, and 3m Fall Protection, see below for information provided on their harnesses.

Miller Fall Protection

ANSI does not reference a maximum service life for synthetic fiber products. ANSI standards require that the user remove the equipment from service if it has been subject to the forces of arresting a fall. ANSI also states that when inspection reveals defects in, damage to, or inadequate maintenance of equipment, the equipment shall be permanently removed from service or undergo adequate corrective maintenance before return to service.

Each harness and lanyard shipped by Honeywell Safety Products is accompanied by specific instructions for use, inspection, and cleaning that must be understood and followed. Instructions require that all fall protection products, including harnesses and lanyards be visually inspected prior to use and regularly inspected by a Competent Person, such as defined by ANSI and OSHA (Occupational Health & Safety Administration). When not in use, products should be stored in an area that is clean, dry and free of exposure to fumes or corrosive elements.

Following these instructions may still necessitate removing the harness or lanyard from service prior to any life expectancy guideline, due to the normal wear and tear of everyday use. Likewise, proper adherence to the inspection and maintenance criteria may extend the useful life. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the end-user to determine when a harness or lanyard is unfit for use and should be removed from service.

3M Fall Protection

The current DBI/SALA policy on the life of products is totally dependent on the condition of the item and not the age. A DBI/SALA product can be used as long as the inspection performed does not reveal any damage, wear, or other characteristics that will affect the product’s performance. The inspection of the product shall be performed according to details outlined in the user instruction manual on the specific product as well as other applicable information provided by DBI/SALA.


Stop Falls – Save Lives

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s “Stop Falls Save Lives” is underway for it’s second year.  The campaign is designed to raise awareness and reduce the number of deaths from falls within the Michigan roofing industry.

stop falls save livesBy educating workers and employers about the dangers of falls and fall hazards they hope to drastically reduce the amount of injuries and lives lost.  Falls are preventable with the proper equipment, training, and overall safety awareness in the workplace.

The amount of deaths that resulted from falls in Michigan last year doubled from 2016.  Commercial and residential roofers can expect MIOSHA to be monitoring work sites more closely in 2018 and conducting more on the spot inspections if any hazards are identified.

According to Bart Pickleman, MIOSHA Director, “it’s estimated that the workers compensation and medical costs of fall related injuries amounts to $70 billion each year in the US.  Whether it’s a fall to a lower level or a slip, trip or fall on the same level; all falls are preventable.”  Learn move from him in the video below where he stresses the importance of fall prevention.


OSHA Construction Fall Protection Q&A

As directed by OSHA here are some basic Q&A’s on construction fall protection.  To learn more about fall protection requirements and solutions please contact us today!

Construction Fall Protection

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 Employers’ 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 & 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.


Construction Industry Fatalities

According to an annual report from the New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health, construction industry fatalities are on the rise in the state of New York.  In 2016 there was a slight decline of worker deaths within New York City, the state overall saw an increase in fatal injuries.  There was a 38% increase from 2014 to 2016 with 71 fatalities.

Construction Industry Fatalities

Additional analysis found that there was also a significant decline in OSHA inspections over the past 20 years.  “This decrease in inspections coincides with a substantial increase in the population and number of worksites over the same period of time,” the report states.  Of the OSHA inspected sites where fatalities were reported, 82 percent of them had safety violations.  “Employers regularly endanger their workforce by disregarding regulations, and workers die as a result,” the report claims.

“We need to take action now to end the crisis of rising construction fatalities in New York state,” NYCOSH Executive Director Charlene Obernauer said in a Jan. 31 press release. “These deaths are almost always preventable and could be deterred by passing sensible legislation in New York state and by protecting existing legislation, such as the Scaffold Safety Law, that protects workers.”

Solutions proposed within the report include:

  • Require construction training and certification for New York state construction workers.
  • Establish funding streams for construction safety training programs in New York City.
  • Maintain and support laws that protect workers, such as the Scaffold Safety Law and Carlos’ Law.
  • Use existing city power to suspend or revoke licenses and construction permits for criminal contractors.

True Fall Costs

Have you calculated the true fall costs?  After a fall sustained at work there is likely to be an OSHA investigation, violation and potential fines.  Depending upon the severity of the violation and whether or not it is considered willful there can be substantial penalty fines.

True Fall CostsA willful violation is defined as one committed with an intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the OSHA Act and Regulations.  A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.

Did you know that the costs don’t stop there?  There is a trickledown effect that happens after a fall in the workplace and it will grow in scope.  Here is how the problems can magnify:

  1. They still have to install the required fall protection systems, but now they have to do it immediately.  No time to shop for the best buy.
  2. Once this type of violation has occurred at a facility, OSHA is more apt to scrutinize everything they do much more diligently in the future… not only at the plants where the violations occurred, but also at any additional plants these companies own or operate.
  3. Liability insurance premiums will skyrocket.  Insurance companies typically establish liability premiums based on industry averages compared against the safety records of the plants they insure.  Workman’s comp insurance premiums increase as well.
  4. Personal lawsuits often follow on the tails of this type of violation, and litigious attorneys win huge settlements when they have a willful OSHA violation to wave in front of a sympathetic jury.  With a willful citation, the corporate shield can be pierced and the settlement goes well past workman’s comp coverage.  This type of settlement often costs millions of dollars to settle.
  5. As word spreads about a fall related injury, particularly when OSHA posts the violation and case history online, negative public relations develop.

To get a better understand of how these costs can accumulate and how that translates into dollars, OSHA has created the Estimated Costs of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses and Estimated Impact on a Company’s Profitability Worksheet.



Miller TurboLite Edge

New Online Store Product: Miller® TurboLite™ Edge Personal Fall Limiters

In work sites of every variety, edges are much more common than people realize – and they pose a greater risk than you’d expect. Without protection designed for edges, traditional lifelines risk being severed. Designed for performance in sharp and smooth edge applications, the Miller TurboLite Edge offers versatility, enhanced user mobility and maximum safety. The TurboLite Edge ensures workers are safe in applications requiring foot-level tie-off or working near edges.

Miller TurboLite Edge

Maximizes versatility for virtually any short-range application

Available in working lengths from 6-ft to 12-ft in twin and single configurations with cable or web lifelines accommodate a wide-range of applications. A variety of connector options including tie-back offer maximum versatility.

Provides protection for a wider range of workers

With a 420-lb (189 kg) weight capacity for all connections down to foot-level, Miller TurboLite™ Edge takes adaptability to new heights.

Miller TurboLite Edge Features

Increases safety
Models available for sharp and smooth edges include an integral shock absorber to keep the lifeline intact in the event of a fall over an edge.

Two buttons on harness connector positioned in two different planes require two distinct actions prevent accidental disengagement. A red indicator line gives a warning if the pin is not properly engaged.

Maximizes versatility for virtually any short-range application

Available in working lengths from 6-ft to 12-ft in twin and single configurations with cable or web lifelines accommodate a wide-range of applications. A variety of connector options including tie-back offer maximum versatility.

Provides protection for a wider range of workers

With a 420-lb (189 kg) weight capacity for all connections down to foot-level, Miller TurboLite™ Edge takes adaptability to new heights.

Enables quicker, easier installation

Forget about pin buttons that are difficult to operate and the troublesome need to connect the shock-absorber to the harness. With a single-click one pin connection you can focus on the task at hand.

Creates a better worker experience

Lightweight, compact harness connector with free-floating shock-absorber pack keeps workers cooler, and provides a more comfortable work experience. Integral swivel design increases worker mobility and prevents lifeline from twisting.

Requires less fall clearance

Compared to shock-absorbing lanyards, the TurboLite Edge is an effective solution for applications with limited fall clearance.

Lowers cost of ownership

High-impact nylon housing, abrasion-resistant webbing, durable harness connector and ballistic nylon shock absorber cover along with the ability to replace a damaged unit results in a decreased cost of ownership.

Ensures compatibility with all Miller harnesses

The product is compatible with all Miller harnesses, without any add-ons. No cumbersome straps to attach to the harness or special connectors are required for different harness sizes or configurations.

Prevents unit slippage

An optional Back D-Pad clip is included which is highly effective in preventing slippage and provides easier connection to the harness.