This policy is designed for employees, or contractors who are on campus to know when work is performed on elevated surfaces such as roofs, or during construction activities, protection against falls frequently must be considered. Fall arresting systems, which include lifelines, body harnesses, and other associated equipment, are often used when fall hazards cannot be controlled by railings, floors, nets, and other means. These systems are designed to stop a free fall of up to six feet while limiting the forces imposed on the wearer.
Definitions and Scope
Fall protection is required for most construction activities by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) whenever the work is performed in an area that is six feet higher than its surroundings. Exceptions to this rule include work done from scaffolds, ladders and stairways, derricks and cranes, and work involving electrical transmission and distribution. Also excluded is the performance of inspections, investigations, or assessments of existing conditions prior to the beginning or after the completion of construction.
Fall protection is required whenever work is performed in an area six feet above its surroundings and can generally be provided through the use of guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems. Where it can be clearly demonstrated that the use of these systems is infeasible or creates a greater hazard, a fall protection program that provides for alternative fall protection measures may be implemented.
Fall Protection Systems
A variety of systems may be chosen from when providing fall protection. These systems include:
Protection should also be provided from falling objects. Work surfaces should be kept clear of material and debris by removal at regular intervals. Toeboards should be used to prevent objects from being inadvertently kicked to a lower level. When necessary, canopies should be provided.
Effective January 1, 1998, body harnesses will be required for use with all personal fall arresting systems. Body belt use will be prohibited. Also effective on that date, only locking-type snaphooks can be used as part of a fall arresting system.
Training must include the following:
Roles and Responsibilities
Environmental Health and Safety Officer
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Last Modified: May 5, 2004