Fall protection requirements start at different heights depending on the industry; see which height your industry needs to enact fall protection measures.
Falls are one of the leading causes of injuries and deaths in the workplace. While this is true in all industries, falls are a significant danger in the construction industry. OSHA has put in place fall protection requirements for all industries to eliminate fall dangers and prevent injuries and fatalities. The first place to start is knowing the height requirements for fall protection, or at what heights employers must take preventative steps to protect workers from fall hazards.
Employer Requirements per OSHA
OSHA requires that employers take steps to protect the health and well-being of their employees. In all industries, all employers are required by OSHA to do the following:
- Provide working conditions that are free of known dangers.
- Keep floors in work areas in a clean and, so far as possible, a dry condition.
- Select and provide required personal protective equipment at no cost to workers.
- Train workers about job hazards in a language that they can understand.
Fall protection measures fall under the umbrella of each of the four above requirements, such as eliminating fall dangers, maintaining a dry, clean floor in workspaces to prevent slips and falls, providing personal protective equipment where falls cannot be prevented any other way, and ensuring workers are trained in all aspects of fall prevention as is necessary for their industry.
Then, as employees start working at heights, additional fall protection requirements, such as guard rails, safety harnesses and lines, hole covers, toe boards, and safety nets become necessary.
Fall Requirements per Industry and More
OSHA requires that employers put in place fall protection measures in addition to the above requirements, and those height requirements vary from industry to industry. In general industry workplaces, employers must provide fall protection to employees who are working at heights of four feet or higher. In shipyards, employers must provide fall protection to those working at five feet or higher. In construction industries, employees working at heights of six feet or higher must be given fall protection, and in longshoring operations, the height requirement is eight feet.
Additional fall protection measures must also be taken in certain scenarios despite not meeting height requirements, such as when an employee is working over dangerous equipment, machinery, or substances.
Safe Keeper offers a comprehensive line of fall protection products and accessories such as harnesses, SRLs, lanyards, and more so that employers can offer the safest workplace environment, free from fall hazards.