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Fall Protection-Part 1

October 2003
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2004-101
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Self-Inspection Checklist

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Guidelines

This checklist covers regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under the construction standards 29 CFR 1926.501 to 1926.503. It applies to temporary worksites associated with construction, alteration, demolition, and repair work including painting and decorating. In general, fall protection is required when employees work on walking or working surfaces that are 6 feet or more above lower levels. If guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, or warning line systems are used, this checklist should be used with the Fall Protection-Part 2 checklist. If controlled-access zones, safety monitoring systems, covers, protection from falling objects, or fall protection plans are used, this checklist should be used with the Fall Protection-Part 3 checklist. The regulations cited apply only to private employers and their employees, unless adopted by a State agency and applied to other groups such as public employees. A answer to a question indicates that this portion of the inspection complies with the OSHA or U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard, or with a nonregulatory recommendation. Definitions of terms in bold type are provided at the end of the checklist. These three checklists on fall protection do not address safety net systems or positioning device systems. In these situations, please consult the OSHA regulations.

  1. General

  2. Do walking and working surfaces have the strength and structural integrity to support people safely? [29 CFR 1926.501(a)(2)]
  3. Are employees and students prohibited from working on walking and working surfaces that cannot support them safely? [29 CFR 1926.501(a)(2)]
  4. If fall protection systems are required, are they installed before employees or students begin work?

    Note: This requirement is not found in .502(a)(2) Unprotected Sides and Edges

  5. Do guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems protect employees and students when they work on unprotected sides and edges of walking and working surfaces that are 6 feet or more above a lower level? [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(1)]
  6. Do guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems protect employees and students during construction of leading edges 6 feet or more above lower levels? [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(2)(i)]

    Note: Exceptions are permitted if these systems are infeasible or create a greater hazard. However, a fall protection plan must still be developed and implemented.

    Hoist Areas

  7. Do guardrail systems or personal personal fall arrest systems protect employees and students in a hoist area from falling 6 feet or more to lower levels? [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(3)]
  8. Does a personal fall arrest system protect employees and students if guardrail systems are removed for hoisting operations, requiring employees to lean through the access opening or out over the edge of the access opening (e.g., to receive or guide equipment and materials)? [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(3)]

    Holes

  9. Do personal fall arrest systems, covers, or guardrail systems erected around holes protect employees and students on walking and working surfaces more than 6 feet above lower levels from falling through holes (including skylights)? [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(4)(i)]
  10. Do covers protect employees and students on a walking and working surface from tripping in or stepping into holes (including skylights)? [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(4)(ii)]
  11. Do covers protect employees and students on a walking and working surface from objects falling through holes (including skylights)? [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(4)(iii)]

    Formwork and Reinforcing Steel

  12. Do personal fall arrest systems, safety net systems, or positioning device systems protect employees and students on the face of formwork or reinforcing steel from falling 6 feet or more to lower levels? [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(5)]

    Ramps, Runways, and Other Walkways

  13. Do guardrail systems protect employees and students on ramps, runways, and other walkways from falling 6 feet or more to lower levels? [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(6)]

    Excavations

  14. Do guardrail systems, fences, or barricades protect employees and students from falling at the edge of an excavation 6 feet or more in depth when the excavation is blocked because of plant growth or other visual barrier? [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(7)(i)]
  15. Do guardrail systems, fences, barricades, or covers protect employees and students from falling at the edge of a well, pit, shaft, and similar excavation 6 feet or more in depth? [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(7)(ii)]

    Dangerous Equipment

  16. Do guardrail systems or equipment guards protect employees and students from falling from less than 6 feet onto dangerous equipment? [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(8)(i)]
  17. Do guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, or safety net systems protect employees and students 6 feet or more above dangerous equipment from fall hazards? [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(8)(ii)]
  18. Overhand Bricklaying and Related Work Do guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems protect employees and students from falling while they perform overhand bricklaying and related work 6 feet or more above lower levels? Or, are employees restricted to working in a controlled-access zone? [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(9)(i)]

    Note: Exceptions are permitted if these systems are infeasible or create a greater hazard. However, a fall protection plan must still be developed and implemented.

  19. Does a guardrail system, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system protect employees and students reaching more than 10 inches below the level of the walking and working surface? [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(9)(ii)]
  20. Roofing Work on Low-Slope Roofs Does one of the following systems protect employees and students from falling while they work on low-slope roofs with unprotected sides and edges 6 feet or more above lower levels? (a) guardrail systems, (b) safety net systems, (c) personal fall arrest systems, (c) a combination warning line system and safety net system, (d) warning line system and personal fall arrest system, or (e) warning line system and safety monitoring system. [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(10)]

    Note: Exceptions are permitted if these systems are infeasible or create a greater hazard. However, a fall protection plan must still be developed and implemented. On roofs 50-feet or less in width, using a safety-monitoring system alone [i.e., without the warning line system] is also permitted. (See Appendix A to Subpart M--Determining Roof Widths of 29 CFR 1926 for help.)

    Steep Roofs

  21. Do guardrail systems with toeboards, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems protect employees and students from falls off a steep roof with unprotected sides and edges 6 feet or more above lower levels? [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(11)]

    Precast Concrete Erection

  22. Do guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems protect employees and students 6 feet or more above lower levels when they are engaged in erecting precast concrete members and related operations? [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(12)]

    Note: Exceptions are permitted if these systems are infeasible or create a greater hazard. However, a fall protection plan must still be developed and implemented.

    Residential Construction

  23. Do guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems protect employees and students who are engaged in residential construction activities 6 feet or more above lower levels? [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13)

    Note: Exceptions are permitted if these systems are infeasible or create a greater hazard. However, a fall protection plan must still be developed and implemented.

    Wall Openings

  24. Are employees and students protected from falling by a guardrail system, a safety net system, or a personal fall arrest system if they are working on, at, above, or near wall openings (including those with chutes attached) where (a) the outside bottom edge of the wall opening is 6 feet or more above lower levels, and (b) the inside bottom edge of the wall opening is less than 39 inches above the walking and working surface? [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(14)]
  25. Walking and Working Surfaces Not Otherwise Addressed Does a guardrail system, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system protect employees and students on a walking or working surface 6 feet or more above lower levels that have not been addressed as part of this checklist? [29 CFR 1926.501(b)(15)]

    Protection From Falling Objects

  26. When an employee or student is exposed to falling objects, are they required to wear a hard hat? [29 CFR 1926.501(c)]
  27. When an employee or student is exposed to falling objects, is one of the following measures implemented? [29 CFR 1926.501(c)]
    1. Erect toeboards, screens, or guardrail systems to prevent objects from falling from higher levels.
    2. Erect a canopy structure and keep potential fall objects far enough away from the edge of the higher level so that those objects would not go over the edge if they were displaced.
    3. Barricade the area to which objects could fall, prohibit employees and students from entering the barricaded area, and keep objects that may fall far enough away from the edge of a higher level so that those objects would not go over the edge if they were displaced.

    Training

  28. Has a training program been provided to everyone who might be exposed to fall hazards? [29 CFR 1926.503(a)(1)]

    Note: The training program must enable each employee or student to recognize the hazards of falling and know the procedures for minimizing these hazards.

  29. Is the training program conducted by a competent person? [29 CFR 1926.503(a)(2)]
  30. Have individual certification records been prepared that contain the name or other identity of the person trained, the date(s) of the training, and the signature of the employer or person who conducted the training? [29 CFR 1926.503(b)(1)]
  31. Is the latest training certification for all persons trained available for inspection? [29 CFR 1926.503(b)(2)]
  32. Is retraining conducted if a person can no longer recognize the hazards of falling or follow the proper procedures? [29 CFR 1926.503(c)]
  33. Is retraining conducted when changes in the workplace render previous training obsolete? [29 CFR 1926.503(c)(1)]
  34. Is retraining conducted when changes in the types of fall protection systems or equipment render previous training obsolete? [29 CFR 1926.503(c)(2)]
  35. Is retraining conducted if a person cannot use fall protection systems or equipment or has not retained the requisite understanding or skill? [29 CFR 1926.503(c)(3)]

Definitions

Competent person: one qualified in the following areas: (a) The nature of fall hazards in the work area; (b) The correct procedures for erecting, maintaining, disassembling, and inspecting the fall protection systems; (c) The use and operation of guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, safety net systems, warning line systems, safety monitoring systems, controlled-access zones, and other protection; (d) The role of each person in the safety monitoring system; (e) the limitations on the use of mechanical equipment during work on low-sloped roofs; (f) The correct procedures for handling and storing equipment and materials and erecting overhead protection; (g)The role of each person in fall protection plans; and (h) the OSHA fall protection standard.

Controlled-access zone: an area in which certain work (e.g., overhand bricklaying) may take place without guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, or safety net systems. Access to the zone is controlled. (See the Fall Protection-Part 3 checklist for requirements.)

Fall protection plan: an alternative plan available for protecting employees and students from falling hazards. The plan is available only to persons engaged in leading edge work, precast concrete erection work, or residential construction work and who can demonstrate that conventional fall protection equipment is infeasible or creates a greater hazard. (See the Fall Protection-Part 3 checklist for requirements.)

Hole: a gap or void 2 inches or more in its least dimension in a floor, roof, or other walking or working surface.

Opening: a gap or void 30 inches or more high and 18 inches or more wide, in a wall or partition, through which persons can fall to a lower level.

Personal fall arrest system: a system used to stop an employee's fall. It consists of an anchorage, connectors, a body belt, or body harness and may include a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline, or combinations of these. (See the Fall Protection-Part 2 checklist for requirements.)

Positioning device system: a body belt or body harness system rigged to support an employee on an elevated vertical surface (such as a wall) and allow him or her to work with both hands free while leaning.

Safety-monitoring system: a safety system in which a competent person is responsible for recognizing and warning persons of fall hazards. (See the Fall Protection-Part 3 checklist for requirements.)

Warning line system: a barrier erected on a roof that (a) warns employees and students that they are approaching an unprotected roof side or edge, and (b) designates an area in which roofing work may take place without a guardrail, body belt, or safety net system to protect persons in the area. (See the Fall Protection-Part 2 checklist for requirements.)

 
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  • Page last updated: June 6, 2014
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