Fall Protection Workplace Requirements & Training: OSHA
Falling on the job is America’s most common job site safety issue. Falls, slips, and trips comprise nearly 85% of nonfatal workplace injuries yearly.
It should be no surprise that OSHA fall protection requirements and training are at the forefront of safety inspectors’, employers’, and accident lawyers’ minds.
OSHA Fall Protection Requirements and Training
As of 2017, the citation given the most by OSHA – especially at construction sites – is fall protection (or lack thereof).
The obvious first question is, “what is the OSHA requirement for fall protection?” We will get to that below, but in the meantime, you should check out workers’ main reasons for falling on the job.
What is the OSHA Requirement for Fall Protection?
OSHA has a surprisingly small number of requirements for fall protection, which makes the violations all the more confusing. While the standards deviate depending on the work type and the job site, the requirements are straightforward.
Regardless of the employer or the work being done, job site safety should be of the utmost importance to the company. The employees of the company are their greatest asset, after all.
What Are the 4 Types of Fall Protection?
There are four types of fall protection that OSHA is concerned with. They include the following:
- Fall Prevention
- Fall Arrest
- Fall Restraint
- Fall Elimination
Let’s take a quick look at each type.
It stands to reason that the best way to prevent workers from falling and hurting themselves is to make every effort to prevent them from falling in the first place.
For example, if the job site is at a great height, it’s a good idea to provide assurances and safety equipment to ensure that the worker won’t fall.
If the job site is on terra firma, this prevention can be as simple as cleaning up sawdust or removing spills as soon as possible.
Like the example above, fall arrest refers to certain equipment that will catch an employee and help mitigate injury in the event of a fall. Harnesses, netting, and belaying are a few examples.
Think of fall restraint as a much stricter form of fall arrest. The harnesses that were mentioned above are going to be secured much tighter, for example. This will keep employees from falling a minimal amount (if any) of distance.
Perhaps the simplest form is fall elimination. Fall elimination means that the job site has been moved or modified to eliminate the risk of severe injury due to a significant fall. For example, the foreman at a construction job site could move most of the building to ground level and elevate it after construction.
OSHA Training and Job Site Safety
Most workplaces conduct monthly safety training exercises to ensure job site safety. If your company doesn’t already, it’s also a good idea to fill out an abatement letter each quarter to show on paper that steps have been taken toward mitigating any issues with fall protection or another possible OSHA violation.
Take The First Step in Fall Protection
Whether a new business or an experienced veteran, taking care to mitigate OSHA issues such as fall protection is vital to long-term sustainability. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, please contact Atlantic Environmental.
We provide job safety services to New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland.