Safety Awareness: Fall Protection

July 11, 2019

According to information published by Industrial Safety & Hygiene News, the OSHA fall protection fall standard was the number one most-frequently cited standard in 2018. Click here to read the article. Some of the statistics cited include the following:

  • Enforcement citations: 6,479
  • Number of inspections: 6,298
  • Proposed penalties: $31,266,844

Falls exist as one of the most common workplace accidents resulting in serious injury or death. At any point when employees are exposed to heights greater or equal to OSHA standard requirements, fall protection is required. In general industry, anyone working more than 48 inches above a ground must wear fall protection. In the construction industry, the requirement dictates 72 inches. Floor openings where an employee can accidently step or fall through must be guarded using railing and a toe board or a floor hole cover. Also, regardless of height, in areas where any risk exists of an employee falling on or into a dangerous piece of equipment, the employer must provide guarding or protection. Always make sure to follow manufacturers’ instructions when using or wearing a harness. Also, proper training should be provided to employees who are using the fall protection equipment. Following proper fall protection steps can prevent serious injury or death. Make sure to take time and follow instructions for proper use. When in doubt, ask a competent person.

To find tips for guarding fall hazards and fall protection, visit the Online Safety Library under the Fall Protection Category.