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- Hazards of Working at Elevation
- Fall Protection Program Elements
- Identifying and Evaluating Fall Hazards
- Portable Ladders
- Supported Scaffolds
- Aerial Lifts
- Adjustable-suspension Scaffolds
- Cranes and Derrick Suspended Personnel Platforms
- Guardrail Systems
- Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS)
- Safety Net Systems
- Training Requirements
- Rescue at Height
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why We Need Fall Protection
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Falls are among the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths in the workplace. Employers must take measures in their workplaces to prevent employees from falling off overhead platforms, elevated work stations or into holes in the floor and walls.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that falls to a lower level have been the most frequent type of fatal fall in the workplace. Most of those are caused by falls from roofs, ladders, scaffolds, non-moving vehicles, and building girders or other structural steel.
What the Fall Protection Standard Covers
For general industry, the trigger height for providing fall protection is 4 feet. However, there are exceptions for work in construction, scaffolding, fixed ladders, dangerous equipment, and utility work. From the beginning, OSHA has consistently reinforced the "4-foot rule."
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- Fall Protection in General Industry. OSHA QuickCard™ (Publication 3257), (December 2010). Provides fall protection hazard prevention methods.
- Aerial Lift Fall Protection -- Over Water in Shipyards. OSHA QuickCard™ (Publication 3452), (September 2011).
- Fall Protection Safety Tips Sheets for Employers and Employees. OSHA and the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) Alliance. Two tip sheets, one for employers and one for workers, covering hazards and prevention methods.
- Stairways and Ladders: A Guide to OSHA Rules (PDF). OSHA Publication 3124, (2003). Informational booklet explaining OSHA requirements as they apply to stairways and ladders, as well as glossary of commonly used terms.
- OSHA and Lamar Bridgeport Alliance Working to Improve Safety and Health of the Outdoor Advertising Industry's Employees. OSHA Region I Success Stories, (November 30, 2004). Describes gains made and lives saved by the alliance, through pooling knowledge and resources on fall protection and safety measures.
- Fall Protection - Roofing. Washington State Video, (2013).
- Fall Protection - Trusses. Washington State Video, (2013).
- Fall Protection Publications. Oregon OSHA. Includes fall protection publications for the construction industry, for setting and bracing wood trusses and rafters, for setting floor joists, sheathing/decking, and constructing exterior walls, options for specialty contractors, temporary elevated work platforms, and walking working surfaces.
- Safety Belts, Harnesses, and Lanyards. Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). Tip sheet for cleaning and caring for safety belts/harnesses/lanyards.
- NIOSH Issues Nationwide Alert on Dangers of Tree Trimming. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 93-122, (December 7, 1992). Explanation of cause for, and coverage of, NIOSH Alert on tree trimming.
- Preventing Falls and Electrocutions During Tree Trimming. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 92-106, (August 1992). NIOSH Alert considering case studies of electrocutions and fatal falls of tree trimmers, and discussion of hazard prevention methods.
- Preventing Worker Deaths and Injuries from Falls Through Skylights and Roof Openings. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 90-100, (December 1989). Describes eight deaths resulting from falls that occurred during work around these openings.
- Prevention Videos (v-Tools): Construction Hazards. OSHA, (2011). 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. There are several related to Falls in Construction, including Floor Openings, Fixed Scaffolds, Bridge Decking, Reroofing and Leading Edge Work.
- For additional information, see OSHA's Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Safety and Health Topics Page.