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Ensure that work areas with potential for falls more than [industry-required height] are evaluated and that information on the hazards is given to employees to establish appropriate protective measures for employees.

Written Program

This program will be reviewed and evaluated on an annual basis and will be updated when changes occur to the 29 CFR or facility operations that prompt program revision and when there is an accident or close call when fall protection procedures fail. This program includes the entire workplace and all employees affected by it.

Policy Statement

To prevent workers from falling, all potential fall hazards at heights of [# of feet] and above will be addressed in this program, which will list common fall hazards and recommendations for selecting fall arrest systems. Those who fail to follow the safety protocols in this program are subject to disciplinary action and will vary in severity based on the circumstances of the violation.

Facility/Department Evaluation

Assess the workplace for potential fall hazards and evaluate steps for protecting employees from fall hazards. If hazard elimination is not possible, proper fall arrest equipment will be used. Use a fall hazards assessment sheet (see appendix below) to document fall hazards and maintain a list of fall hazard locations and protective measures.

Fall Hazard Location List



Specific Fall Hazard Location

Date Evaluated



























The company will provide training to employees exposed to fall hazards at work by competent personnel. The program will include but is not limited to:

  • A description of fall hazards in the work area and methods to eliminate them
  • Types of appropriate fall protection equipment, procedures for using it, and its limitations
  • Evaluation of total fall distance during fall arrest and hazards associated with fall protection
  • Fall arrest anchor point capacity requirements
  • Equipment maintenance/inspection, along with removal from service for repair or replacement
  • Fall arrest equipment inspection and storage procedures
  • Recognizing and avoiding fall hazards from elevations, holes, and openings

Documentation: We will certify that employee training has been completed and is updated. The certification will contain each employee's name and training dates.


Retraining content will be identical to the initial training. Retraining will be conducted on a [time frame] basis or when the following conditions are met:

  • Prior to a change in job assignments, fall protection programs or equipment, or workplace fall hazards
  • There are deviations from or inadequacies in an employee’s knowledge of fall protection equipment and procedures
  • Whenever a fall protection procedure fails

Documentation: The employer will certify that employee retraining has been completed and is updated. The certification will contain each employee's name and training dates.

Fall Hazard Control Procedures

Control Procedures Development

After facility evaluation, the company will develop procedures to control fall hazards. The company will provide the procedures with training to recognize fall hazards, understand fall protection techniques, and become familiar with fall arrest equipment and procedures. Safety during access and egress of elevated work sites will also be considered. Contractors will be required to provide a fall protection program with their policies and procedures when they will be working at heights.

Procedural Format

The following format will be followed when developing fall protection procedures:

  • Statement of the intended use of the procedure
  • Review of accident records including OSHA 300 logs and workers' compensation documents
  • Interviews with employees whose work environments include potential fall hazards
  • Physical observations of work environments that involve fall hazards or the potential of such
  • Observations of individuals and their tasks and habits that expose them to fall hazards
  • The procedures contained in the company fall protection program
  • Use and operation of body harness systems and other fall protection systems
  • Placement, erection, inspection, maintenance, disassembly, and transfer of fall protection systems or devices and the people responsible for them
  • Requirements for testing fall protection systems or equipment to verify the effectiveness of the fall protection control measures (not load testing)
  • The correct procedures to rescue employees who have fallen
  • The role of each employee in fall protection plans and policies
  • Requirements for testing fall protection systems or equipment

Protective Materials and Hardware

Appropriate fall protection devices will be provided for potential fall hazards. Selection of the equipment will be based on the fall protection evaluation.

Selection Criteria

  • Fall Protection devices will be singularly identified; will be the only devices used for controlling falls; will not be used for other purposes; and will meet the following requirements:
    • Able to withstand the environment they are exposed to for the maximum period of time expected
    • Anchor points will not deteriorate when located in corrosive environments
    • Capable of withstanding the ultimate load of 5,000 lbs., or two times the fall arrest impact load, for the maximum period of time that is expected
  • Guardrails shall withstand at least 200 lbs. of force applied in any direction on the top rail
  • Floor openings: all floor openings must be guarded by fixed or removable railings, screens, or toe boards that meet specifications
  • Wall openings: each wall opening where there is a drop of more than [# of feet] must be guarded by one or more protection devices described in the rule (every temporary wall opening must have adequate guards, but these need not be of standard construction)
  • Open-sided floors, platforms, and runways: all must be guarded by a railing and, in certain cases, by a toe board

Fall Protection Systems

When fall hazards cannot be eliminated through any other means, fall arrest systems will be used to control falls. Proper training on the use of fall arrest equipment will be provided prior to use.

Full-Body Harness Systems

A full-body harness system consists of a full-body harness and lanyards with energy shock absorbers or retractable fall limiters, all with double-locking snap hooks. Before using a full-body harness system, the supervisor and/or user must address such issues as:

  • Has the user been trained to recognize fall hazards and to use fall arrest systems properly?
  • Are all components of the system compatible according to manufacturer instructions?
  • Have appropriate anchorage points and attachment techniques been reviewed?
  • Has free-fall distance been considered so that a worker will not strike a lower surface or object before the fall is arrested?
  • Have swing fall hazards been eliminated?
  • Have safe methods to retrieve fallen workers been planned?
  • Has the full-body harness and all of its components been inspected both before each use by the user and on a regular basis by a competent person?
  • Is any of the equipment, including lanyards, connectors, and lifelines, subject to welding damage, chemical corrosion, or sandblasting operations?

Retractable Lifelines

A retractable fall limiter, when correctly installed as part of the fall arrest system, automatically stops a person’s descent in a short distance after a fall. Retractable fall limiters may be considered when working on roofs and scaffolds, in tanks, towers, vessels, manholes, and similar work areas. They might also be considered when climbing equipment, such as vertical fixed ladders. Before using a retractable fall limiter, the supervisor and/or user must address the following questions:

  • Has the user been trained to use a retractable fall limiter correctly?
  • Is the retractable fall limiter being used in conjunction with a complete fall arrest system?
  • Is the equipment under a regular maintenance program and inspected prior to use?

Standard Harnesses

Harnesses for general purpose work must be Class III (constructed with a sliding back D-ring). Standard harnesses are suitable for fall protection while climbing, riding, or working on elevated personnel platforms. They are suitable for positioning, fall arrest, and the rescue and evacuation of people who work at elevated heights.


Guardrails are installed in any location where there is a possibility of a fall of [# of feet] or more. Other requirements include:

  • Top rail shall be 42 inches tall from the floor and mid-rail 21 inches tall from the floor
  •  A 4-inch toe board installed

Inspection and Maintenance

To ensure that fall protection systems are able to perform adequately, a program of inspection and maintenance will be implemented and maintained. The following are basic requirements for an inspection and maintenance program:

  • Manufacturer instructions will be used in the inspection and maintenance procedures.
  • All fall protection equipment will be inspected prior to each use by the user, and a documented inspection will be completed by a competent person at intervals of [time period], or in accordance with manufacturer guidelines.
  • Any fall protection equipment subjected to a fall or impact load will be removed from service immediately and inspected by a qualified person.
  • Check all equipment for mold, damage, wear, mildew, or distortion.
  • Ensure that no straps are cut, broken, torn, or scraped.
  • Situations, such as radiation, electrical conductivity, and chemical effects, will be considered.
  • Equipment that is damaged or in need of maintenance will be tagged as unusable and will not be stored in the same area as serviceable equipment.
  • An inspection policy will be used for equipment stored for periods exceeding [time period].
  • Anchors and mountings will be inspected before each use for signs of damage.
  • Guardrails will be well anchored and in compliance with federal and/or local regulations.
  • Ladders, mobile ladder stands, and scaffolding shall meet the regulatory requirements.

Contractor Responsibilities

In addition to complying with the fall protection requirements that apply to all company employees, each contractor who is retained to perform operations that involve fall protection will:

  • Obtain available information regarding fall hazards and protective measures from the company.
  • Coordinate fall protection operations with the company when both company personnel and contractor personnel will be working in or near recognized fall hazard locations.
  • Inform the company of the fall protection program that the contractor will follow and of any hazards confronted or created in conducting operations involving fall protection within company-owned facilities prior to the operation.


Hazards Requiring Fall Protection

Are the walking/working surfaces strong enough to support the employees using them?

Yes        No

Have you provided a proper fall protection system in the following areas:

Sides and edges

Yes        No

Leading edges

Yes        No

Hoist areas

Yes        No

Floor hoes/skylights

Yes        No

Wall holes

Yes        No

The face of formwork and reinforcing steel

Yes        No

Ramps, runways, walkways

Yes        No


Yes        No

Dangerous equipment below workers

Yes        No

Overhand bricklaying and related work

Yes        No

Low-slope roof work

Yes        No

Steep roof work

Yes        No

Precast concrete erection work

Yes        No

Residential construction

Yes        No

Anywhere there may be falling objects

Yes        No


Do you provide training for all employees who may be exposed to fall hazards:

Is it conducted by a competent person?

Yes        No

Do you maintain a written certification record of all employee training?

Yes        No

Is retraining provided when required or when an employee does not understand the requirements?

Yes        No

Training checklist/certificate

Yes        No

Training post-test

Yes        No

Fall arrest equipment inspection log

Yes        No

Fall hazard assessment sheet

Yes        No

Standards for Protection Systems

Do the following meet the design, material, and weight bearing criteria:

Guardrail systems, including top rails, mid-rails, screens, mesh, and intermediate vertical members

Yes        No

Safety net systems

Yes        No

Personal fall arrest systems, including all hardware, webbing, rope or wire rope, and anchorages

Yes        No

Positioning device systems

Yes        No


Yes        No

Toe boards

Yes        No


Yes        No

Does the use of warning lines in roofing work on low-slope roofs comply with all the restrictions of this standard?

Yes        No

Are control lines properly flagged and placed?

Yes        No

Is mechanical equipment neither used nor stored where safety monitoring systems are in place?

Yes        No

Is the safety monitor a competent person who is free from other duties while functioning as monitor?

Yes        No

Where a fall protection plan is used, has it been prepared by a qualified person?

Yes        No

Is a written copy of the plan maintained at the job site?

Yes        No

Does the plan document why conventional fall protection systems are not sufficient?

Yes        No