OSHA fall protection

OSHA requires construction companies to provide fall arrest in the following:

Employees working six (6) feet or more above lower levels must be protected by conventional fall protection methods listed in 1926.501(b)(13) ( i.e., guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems ) or alternative fall protection measures allowed by other provisions of 29 CFR 1926.501(b) for particular types of work.

An example of an alternative fall protection measure allowed under 1926.501(b) is the use of warning lines and safety monitoring systems during the performance of roofing work on low-sloped roofs. (4 in 12 pitch or less). (See 1926.501(b)(10)).

OSHA allows the use of an effective fall restraint system in lieu of a personal fall arrest system. To be effective, a fall restraint system must be rigged to prevent a worker from reaching a fall hazard and falling over the edge. A fall restraint system may consist of a full body harness or body belt that is connected to an anchor point at the center of a roof by a lanyard of a length that will not allow a worker to physically reach the edge of the roof.

When the employer can demonstrate that it is infeasible or creates a greater hazard to use required fall protection systems, a qualified person must develop a written site-specific fall protection plan in accordance with 1926.502(k) that, among other things, specifies the alternative fall protection methods that will be used to protect workers from falls.