The purpose of these guidelines is to keep workers from falling six feet or more from an elevation, and to prevent tools and equipment from falling on those working at lower levels. Areas that require fall protection include ramps, runways, walkways, excavations, hoist areas, holes and unprotected sides and edges.
A thorough fall protection safety program determines whether surfaces for walking or working have the strength and structural integrity to support workers, and whether or not fall protection is needed or required. If it is required, the fall protection system selected should be appropriate for the work environment, and should be properly constructed and installed. Employees should be supervised carefully and safe work procedures must be provided and followed.
The following are fall protection options, depending on the type of work being performed:
When a worker is exposed to falls of six feet or more from an unprotected side or edge, they should be protected with a guardrail system, safety net system, personal fall arrest system or a combination of these.
The following are some of the requirements of these systems:
Personal Fall Protection
When the lives of workers are at stake, a comprehensive fall protection-training program is essential. Employees should receive a review all aspects of fall protection systems currently in place, including the roles played by the workers involved. Workers should be trained to recognize and minimize fall hazards, to select, use and maintain fall protection systems properly, review procedures handling and storing of fall protection equipment, and the erection of overhead protection.
Training should be documented with written, signed certification for each employee trained, and retraining should be provided if necessary.