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Course 805 - Fall Protection in Construction

Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier
Course 805 Certificate
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Modules: 9
Hours: 8
Sector: Construction

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Course 805 Fall Protection in Construction

Key Topics

  • Common Construction Fall Causes
  • Preparing to Prevent Falls
  • Fall Protection Hierarchy of Controls
  • Competent and Qualified Persons
  • Identifying and Evaluating Construction Fall Hazards
  • Risk: Frequency vs. Exposure to Falls
  • Safe Ladder Practices
  • Supported and Suspended Access
  • Safe Practices on Scaffolds
  • Fall Protection Platforms
  • Personal Fall Arrest/Restraint Systems
  • Training Requirements
  • PFAS Equipment Inspection
  • PFAS Equipment Maintenance
  • Rescue at Height

Target Audience

  • Employee
  • Supervisor
  • Manager
  • Contractor

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Course Introduction

Course 805 Certificate
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Go to any construction site and watch those who are working above a lower level. Should they be wearing fall protection? Should they be protected by fall protection systems? Should they be using fall protection methods? Do they need fall protection training? Are they following fall protection rules? Fall protection is a concept that's hard to describe. Ask 10 people what fall protection means and you're likely to get 10 different answers. Is it possible to make sense of fall protection? We think so.

It's important that you be familiar with OSHA's fall protection standards to help save lives and avoid OSHA citations. Click on the image to the right for OSHA's top 10 most cited violations for Fiscal Year 2018 and you will see that fall protection ranks as the number one most commonly cited violation!

OSHA Standard for Fall Protection

In the construction industry in the U.S., falls are the leading cause of worker fatalities. Each year, on average, between 150 and 200 workers are killed and more than 100,000 are injured as a result of falls at construction sites. OSHA recognizes that accidents 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.

OSHA has revised its construction industry safety standards and developed systems and procedures designed to prevent employees from falling off, onto, or through working levels and to protect employees from being struck by falling objects. The performance-oriented requirements make it easier for employers to provide the necessary protection. The rule covers most construction workers except those inspecting, investigating, or assessing construction worksite conditions prior to the actual start of work or after all work has been completed.

The rule identifies areas or activities where fall protection is needed. These include, but are not limited to:

  • ramps
  • runways
  • other walkways
  • excavations
  • hoist areas
  • holes
  • formwork
  • reinforcing steel
  • leading edge work
  • unprotected sides and edges
  • overhand bricklaying and related work
  • roofing work
  • precast concrete erection
  • wall openings
  • residential construction
  • walking/working surfaces
  • other

The rule sets a uniform threshold height of 6 feet (1.8 meters), thereby providing consistent protection. This means that construction employers must protect their employees from fall hazards and falling objects whenever an affected employee is 6 feet (1.8 meters) or more above a lower level. Protection also must be provided for construction workers who are exposed to the hazard of falling into dangerous equipment.

Under the standard, employers are able to select fall protection measures compatible with the type of work being performed. Fall protection generally can be provided through the use of guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, positioning device systems, and warning line systems, among others.

The OSHA rule clarifies what an employer must do to provide fall protection for employees, such as identifying and evaluating fall hazards and providing specific training. Requirements to provide fall protection for workers on scaffolds and ladders and for workers engaged in steel erection of buildings are covered in other subparts of OSHA regulations.

This course is intended primarily for construction-industry employers, employees, and others who don't have a professional background in fall protection and who want to see the "big picture." Generally, the course covers the safe practices in 29 CFR 1926, the primary fall-protection rules for construction-industry employers. To complete the picture, the course also highlights fall-protection requirements for work on ladders and scaffolds.

This course is organized so you can read each module in the order presented or move about as you choose.


Special thanks to Oregon OSHA Technical Resources for producing the primary source document for this training, Fall Protection for the Construction Industry.

Additional references:

Fall Protection in Construction (OSHA 3146)

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Course 805 Final Exam

Exam score sheet

After studying the course material and answering the quiz questions, it is time to take the final exam. We highly recommend answering the module quiz questions to check your understanding of the course material. The final exam questions are typically developed from these quiz questions.

OSHAcademy course final exams are designed to make sure students have gained a sufficient understanding of the content covered within each course. To help demonstrate this understanding, students must achieve a passing score on course final exams. It is OSHAcademy's policy to protect the integrity of our exams: as a result, we do not provide missed questions to students.

This is an open book exam. Students are permitted to use a separate browser window to review course content while taking the exam. If you do not pass a final exam, you will see a "Retake Exam" button next to the course on your student dashboard.

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