Why do we need
protection from falling?
We need protection
because even those of us with experience working at
heights can lose our balance or grip; we can slip, trip,
or misstep at any time. We may think that our reflexes
will protect us, but we're falling before we know it,
and we don't have to fall far to be seriously injured.
We've been falling since Day One. Until we get better at
landing, we'll need protection from falling.
Make fall protection
part of your workplace safety and health program
A workplace safety
and health program is what you and your co-workers do to
achieve and maintain a safe, healthful workplace. There
are as many types of safety and health programs as there
are workplaces, but not all programs are successful.
What makes a successful safety and health program? There
are seven elements:
All employees - including company executive officers,
managers, and supervisors - are committed to making the
All employees - including company executive officers,
managers, and supervisors - are held accountable for
following safe work practices.
All employees, including managers and supervisors,
participate in making the program succeed.
identification. All employees
are trained to identify hazards, and there are
procedures for conducting hazard inspections and
investigation. Managers and
supervisors promptly investigate all accidents and near
misses and then determine how
to eliminate their causes.
All employees receive training in identifying workplace
hazards and learning safe work practices.
Managers and supervisors, with help from other
employees, evaluate the program's strengths and
weaknesses at least once a year.
What is a
A fall hazard is
anything in the workplace that could cause an unintended
loss of balance or bodily support and result in a fall.
Fall hazards cause accidents such as the following:
A worker walking
near an unprotected leading edge trips over a protruding
A worker slips while
climbing an icy stairway.
A makeshift scaffold
collapses under the weight of four workers and their
A worker carrying a
sheet of plywood on a flat roof steps into a skylight
Fall hazards are
foreseeable. You can identify them and eliminate or
control them before they cause injuries.
supported scaffolds, and aerial lifts let you get to a
work area and support you while you work. They make
getting to a work area easy, but they can cause falls
when they're not used properly.
Portable ladders are
versatile, economical, and easy to use. However, workers
sometimes use them without thinking about using them
safely. Each year, most workers are injured when they
fall from ladders. Most of the falls are less than 10
Types of portable
ladders. We use ladders to do
all sorts of tasks, so it's not surprising that many
types of ladders are available. Let's look at the most
What is a
If workers will be
exposed to fall hazards that you can't eliminate, you'll
need to prevent falls from occurring or ensure that if
workers do fall, they aren't injured. A fall-protection
system is designed to prevent or arrest falls.
There are seven
general fall-protection systems:
fall-arrest system (PFAS).
Arrests a fall
fall-restraint system. Prevents a fall
system. Positions a worker and limits a fall to 2 feet
Prevents a fall
Arrests a fall
system for roofing work. Warns
a worker of a fall hazard
Unlike the personal
fall-arrest system, which is designed to stop a fall, a
personal fall-restraint system prevents a worker from
reaching an unprotected edge and thus prevents a fall
from occurring. The system consists of an anchorage,
connectors, and a body harness or a body belt. The
attachment point to the body belt or full body harness
can be at the back, front, or side D-rings.
The anchorage for a
fall-restraint system must support at least 3,000 pounds
or be designed and installed with a safety factor of at
least two. If you're not sure how much an anchorage will
support, have a qualified person evaluate it.
systems make it easier to work with both hands free on a
vertical surface such as a wall or concrete form.
Positioning-device systems are also called Class II
work-positioning systems and work-positioning systems.
The components of
a positioning-device system - anchorage, connectors, and
body support - are similar to
those of a personal fall-arrest system. However, the
systems serve different purposes. A positioning-device
system provides support and must stop a free fall within
2 feet; a personal-fall-arrest system provides no
support and must limit free-fall distance to 6 feet.
Positioning-device systems must be secured to an
anchorage that can support at least twice the potential
impact of a worker's fall or 3,000 pounds, whichever is
Connectors must have a minimum strength of 5,000 pounds.
Snap hooks and D-rings must be proof-tested to a minimum
load of 3,600 pounds without deforming or breaking.
A body belt is acceptable as part of a
positioning-device system. However, it must limit the
arresting force on a worker to 900 pounds and it can
only be used for body support. A full-body harness is
also acceptable and must limit the arrest force to 1,800
pounds. Belts or harnesses must have side D-rings or a
single front D-ring for positioning.
Why train workers
about fall protection?
Workers need to know
about workplace hazards to which they may be exposed,
how to recognize the hazards, and how to minimize their
exposure. The best way for them to learn is through
training. Training ensures that they know about the
hazards and can demonstrate how to protect themselves
When you use
ladders, scaffolds, aerial lifts, and fall-protection
systems you expect to get your job done safely. But do
you pay attention to the condition of the equipment?
Inspect the equipment frequently, keep it clean, store
it properly, and it won't let you down.
fall-arrest, fall-restraint, and positioning-device
It is very important
that you inspect the components of personal fall-arrest,
restraint, or positioning-device systems for damage or
excessive wear before and after each use. Replace any
component that looks damaged. Don't use a personal
fall-arrest system that has arrested a fall unless a
competent person has determined that the system is safe
The best strategy
for protecting workers from falls is to eliminate the
hazards that cause them. When you can't eliminate the
hazards, you must protect workers with an appropriate
fall-protection system or method. If a worker is
suspended in a personal fall-arrest system, you must
provide for a prompt rescue.
without delay. A worker suspended in a harness after
a fall can lose consciousness if the harness puts too
much pressure on arteries. A worker suspended in a body
harness must be rescued in time to prevent serious
injury. If a fall-related emergency could happen at your
work site, you should have a plan for responding to it
promptly. Workers who use personal fall-arrest systems
must know how to promptly rescue themselves after a fall
or they must be promptly rescued.
guidelines will help you develop a plan for responding
promptly to falls and other emergencies.
don't need to be elaborate. Your plan should show that
you've thought about how to eliminate and control
hazards and that workers know how to respond promptly if
something goes wrong.
Get others involved
in planning. When other workers participate, they'll
contribute valuable information, take the plan
seriously, and be more likely to respond effectively
during an emergency. Key objectives for an effective
emergency-response plan include:
emergencies that could affect your site.
Establish a chain of
for responding to the emergencies.
resources and rescue equipment.
that could affect your workplace. Identify any event
that could threaten worker safety or health. Two
A worker suspended
in a full-body harness after a fall.
A worker on a
scaffold who contacts an overhead power line.
resources and rescue equipment. Prompt rescue won't
happen without trained responders, appropriate medical
supplies, and the right equipment for the emergency.
supplies. Every work site
needs medical supplies for common injuries. Does your
site have a first-aid kit for injuries that are likely
to occur? Store the supplies in clearly marked,
protective containers and make them available to all
Identify on-site equipment that responders can use to
rescue a suspended worker. Extension ladders and mobile
lifts are useful and available at most sites. Determine
where and how each type of equipment would be most
effective during a rescue. Make sure the equipment will
permit rescuers to reach a fall victim, that it's
available when rescuers need it, and that rescuers know
how to use it.
responders. An effective emergency-response plan
ensures that on-site responders know emergency
procedures, know how to use available rescue equipment,
and - if necessary - know how to contact off-site
responders. Workers who use personal fall-arrest systems
and who work alone must know how to rescue themselves.
Those who work at a remote site may need a higher level
of emergency training than
those who work near a trauma center or a fire
Establish a chain
of command. All workers must
know their roles and responsibilities during an
emergency. A chain of command links one person with
overall responsibility for managing an emergency to
those responsible for carrying out specific
emergency-response tasks. Make sure that back-up
personnel can take over when primary responders aren't
procedures for responding to emergencies.
Procedures are instructions for accomplishing specific
tasks. Emergency procedures are important because they
tell workers exactly what to do to ensure their safety
during an emergency. Your emergency-response plan should
include the following procedures - preferably in writing
- that describe what people must know and do to ensure
that a fallen worker receives prompt attention:
Know how to -
How to report an
How to rescue a
How to provide
After an emergency,
review the procedures; determine if they should be
changed to prevent similar events and revise them
Before on-site work begins
that could affect your work site.
chain of command.
for responding to emergencies and make sure they're
available at the site.
emergency-responder phone numbers and addresses at the
resources and rescue equipment.
responders and inform them about any conditions at the
site that may hinder a rescue effort.
emergency entry and exit routes.
Make sure responders
have quick access to rescue and retrieval equipment,
such as lifts and ladders.
equipment that can be used for rescue and retrieval,
such as extension ladders and mobile lifts.
Maintain a current
rescue-equipment inventory at the site. Equipment may
change frequently as the job progresses.
update the emergency-response plan when on-site work
should clear a path to the victim. Others should direct
emergency personnel to the scene. You can use 911 for
ambulance service; however, most 911 responders are not
trained to rescue a worker suspended in a personal
fall-arrest system. Make sure only trained responders
attempt a technical rescue.
nonessential personnel from the rescue site.
Talk to the
victim; determine the victim's
condition, if possible.
If you can reach the
victim, check for vital signs, administer CPR, attempt
to stop bleeding, and make the victim comfortable.
and catastrophes to OSHA within eight hours.
requiring overnight hospitalization and medical
treatment (other than first aid) to OSHA within 24
that may have contributed to the emergency and put it
out of service. Have a competent person examine
equipment. If the equipment is damaged, repair or
replace it. If the equipment caused the accident,
determine how and why.
Document in detail
the cause of the emergency.
procedures. Determine how the procedures could be
changed to prevent similar events; revise the procedures
Nice photo every one is tied off