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Fall Protection-Part 3

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

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Guidelines

This checklist covers fall protection systems criteria and practice regulations for controlled-access zones, safety-monitoring systems, covers, protection from falling objects, and the fall protection plan. These regulations were issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under the construction standard 29 CFR 1926.502. This checklist applies to temporary worksites associated with construction, alteration, demolition, or repair work including painting and decorating. In general, fall protection is required where employees work on walking/working surfaces that are 6 feet or more above lower levels. This checklist should be used in conjunction with the Fall Protection-Part 1 and Fall Protection-Part 2 checklists. 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 yes 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 to help you understand some of the terms. Safety net systems and positioning device systems have not been addressed as part of these fall protection checklists. For these situations, please consult the OSHA regulations.

  1. Controlled-Access Zones

  2. Are controlled-access zones where leading edge and other operations are taking place defined by a control line or by another means that restricts access? [29 CFR 1926.502(g)(1)]
  3. When control lines are used, are they erected at least 6 but not more than 25 feet from the unprotected or leading edge, except when precast concrete members are erected? [29 CFR 1926.502(g)(1)(i)]
  4. When precast concrete members are erected, is the distance from the control line to the leading edge at least 6 but not more than 60 feet, or half the length of the member being erected (whichever is less)? [29 CFR 1926.502(g)(1)(ii)]
  5. Does the control line extend along the entire length of the unprotected or leading edge? Is the control line approximately parallel to the unprotected or leading edge? [29 CFR 1926.502(g)(1)(iii)]
  6. Is the control line connected on each side to a guardrail system or wall? [29 CFR 1926.502(g)(1)(iv)]
  7. In areas where overhand bricklaying and related work are taking place, is the controlled-access zone defined by a control line erected at least 10 but not more than 15 feet from the working edge? [29 CFR 1926.502(g)(2)(i)]
  8. In areas where overhand bricklaying and related work are taking place, does the controlled-access zone enclose all workers performing overhand bricklaying and related work at the working edge? Is the control line approximately parallel to the working edge? [29 CFR 1926.502(g)(2)(ii)]
  9. In areas where overhand bricklaying and related work are taking place, are additional control lines erected at each end to enclose the controlled-access zone? [29 CFR 1926.502(g)(2)(iii)]
  10. In areas where overhand bricklaying and related work are taking place, are only employees engaged in overhand bricklaying or related work permitted in the controlled-access zone? [29 CFR 1926.502(g)(2)(iv)]
  11. Do control lines consist of ropes, wires, tapes, or equivalent materials, and supporting stanchions? [29 CFR 1926.502(g)(3)]
  12. Is each control line flagged or otherwise clearly marked at 6-foot intervals (or less) with high-visibility material? [29 CFR 1926.502(g)(3)(i)]
  13. Is each control line rigged and supported so that its lowest point (including sag) is 39 inches (or more) from the walking/working surface, and its highest point is 45 inches (or less) from the walking/working surface? [29 CFR 1926.502(g)(3)(ii)]

    Note: The highest point of the control line is 50 inches when overhand bricklaying operations are being performed.

  14. Does each control line have a minimum breaking strength of 200 pounds? [29 CFR 1926.502(g)(3)(iii)]
  15. On floors and roofs where guardrail systems are not in place before the beginning of overhand bricklaying operations, are controlled-access zones enlarged (as necessary) to enclose all points of access, material-handling areas, and storage areas? [29 CFR 1926.502(g)(4)]
  16. If guardrail systems on floors and roofs must be removed for overhand bricklaying work or leading edge work, is only the portion of the guardrail removed that is necessary to accomplish the day's work? [29 CFR 1926.502(g)(5)]

    Safety-Monitoring Systems

  17. Has a competent person been designated to monitor the safety of other workers? [29 CFR 1926.502(h)(1)]
  18. Does the safety monitor warn workers when they appear to be unaware of a fall hazard or act in an unsafe manner? [29 CFR 1926.502(h)(1)(ii)]
  19. Is the safety monitor on the same walking/working surface and within sighting distance of the workers being monitored? [29 CFR 1926.502(h)(1)(iii)]
  20. Is the safety monitor close enough to communicate with the workers being monitored? [29 CFR 1926.502(h)(1)(iv)]
  21. Is monitoring workers the only responsibility of the safety monitor? [29 CFR 1926.502(h)(1)(v)]
  22. Is mechanical equipment kept away from areas where safety-monitoring systems are used to monitor employees working on low-slope roofs? [29 CFR 1926.502(h)(2)]
  23. Are only employees working on low-sloped roofs, or employees covered by a fall protection plan, allowed in an area where a safety-monitoring system is in place? [29 CFR 1926.502(h)(3)]
  24. Do workers in a controlled-access zone comply promptly with fall hazard warnings from safety monitors? [29 CFR 1926.502(h)(4)]

    Covers

  25. Can covers located in roadways and vehicular aisles support (without failure) at least twice the maximum axle load of the largest vehicle expected to cross over the cover? [29 CFR 1926.502(i)(1)]
  26. Are all other covers capable of supporting (without failure) at least twice the weight of workers, equipment, and materials that may be imposed on the cover at any one time? [29 CFR 1926.502(i)(2)]
  27. Are all covers secured when installed to prevent displacement by the wind, equipment, or workers? [29 CFR 1926.502(i)(3)]
  28. Are covers color coded, or are they marked with the word HOLE or COVER to warn of the hazard? [29 CFR 1926.502(h)(i)(4)]

    Note: This provision does not apply to cast iron manhole covers or steel grates used on streets or roadways.

    Protection From Falling Objects

  29. When used as falling-object protection, are toeboards erected along the edge of the overhead walking/working surface for a distance sufficient to protect workers below? [29 CFR 1926.502(j)(1)]
  30. Can toeboards withstand (without failure) a force of at least 50 pounds applied in any downward or outward direction at any point along the toeboard? [29 CFR 1926.502(j)(2)]
  31. Are toeboards a minimum of 3-1/2 inches in vertical height from their top edge to the level of the walking/working surface? [29 CFR 1926.502(j)(3)]
  32. Do toeboards have 1/4 inch clearance (or less) above the walking/working surface? [29 CFR 1926.502(j)(3)]
  33. Are toeboards solid, or do they have openings 1 inch (or less) in greatest dimension? [29 CFR 1926.502(j)(3)]
  34. Where tools, equipment, or materials are piled higher than the top edge of a toeboard, is paneling or screening erected from the walking/working surface or toeboard to the top of a guardrail system's top rail or midrail? [29 CFR 1926.502(j)(4)]

    Note: The paneling or screening must extend for a distance sufficient to protect workers below.

  35. When guardrail systems are used as falling-object protection, are openings small enough to prevent falling objects from passing through? [29 CFR 1926.502(j)(5)]
  36. During overhand bricklaying and related work, are materials or equipment (except masonry and mortar) stored at least 4 feet from the working edge? [29 CFR 1926.502(j)(6)(i)]
  37. During overhand bricklaying and related work, are excess mortar, broken or scattered masonry units, and all other materials and debris kept clear from the work area by removal at regular intervals? [29 CFR 1926.502(j)(6)(ii)]
  38. During roofing work, are materials and equipment stored at least 6 feet from a roof edge, unless guardrails are erected at the edge? [29 CFR 1926.502(j)(7)(i)]
  39. During roofing work, are materials that are piled, grouped, or stacked near a roof edge stable and self-supporting? [29 CFR 1926.502(j)(7)(ii)]
  40. When used as falling-object protection, are canopies strong enough to prevent collapse and to prevent objects from falling through? [29 CFR 1926.502(j)(8)]

    Fall Protection Plan

  41. Was the fall protection plan prepared by a qualified person? [29 CFR 1926.502(k)(1)]

    Note: The fall protection plan option is available only to employees engaged in leading-edge work, precast concrete erection work, or residential construction work who can demonstrate that it is infeasible or it creates a greater hazard to use conventional fall protection equipment.

  42. Is the fall protection plan developed specifically for the site where the leading-edge work, precast concrete work, or residential construction work is being performed? [29 CFR 1926.502(k)(1)]
  43. Is the fall protection plan up to date? [29 CFR 1926.502(k)(1)]
  44. Does a qualified person approve all changes to the fall protection plan? [29 CFR 1926.502(k)(2)]
  45. Is a copy of the fall protection plan, with all approved changes, maintained at the job site? [29 CFR 1926.502(k)(3)]
  46. Does a competent person supervise the implementation of the fall protection plan? [29 CFR 1926.502(k)(4)]
  47. Does the fall protection plan document why conventional fall protection systems are infeasible or why their use would create a greater hazard? [29 CFR 1926.502(k)(5)]

    Note: Conventional systems include guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, or safety nets systems.

  48. Does the fall protection plan include other written measures that will be taken to reduce or eliminate the fall hazard for workers who are not protected by the conventional fall protection systems? [29 CFR 1926.502(k)(6)]

    Note: For example, the employer could discuss the extent to which scaffolds, ladders, or vehicle-mounted work platforms can provide a safer working surface and reduce the hazard of falling.

  49. Does the fall protection plan identify each location where conventional fall protection methods cannot be used? [29 CFR 1926.502(k)(7)]
  50. Are locations classified as controlled-access zones if conventional fall protection methods cannot be used? [29 CFR 1926.502(k)(7)]
  51. Where no alternative measure has been implemented, has a safety-monitoring system been implemented? [29 CFR 1926.502(k)(8)]
  52. Does the fall protection plan include a statement that identifies each student or employee who is designated to work in controlled-access zones? [29 CFR 1926.502(k)(9)]

    Note: No other employees may enter controlled-access zones.

  53. If a fall or other serious incident occurs, are circumstances investigated to determine whether changes need to be implemented in the fall protection plan (e.g., new practices, procedures, or training)? [29 CFR 1926.502(k)(10)]

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 this checklist for the requirements.)

Leading edge: the edge of a floor, roof, or formwork for a floor or other walking/working surface (such as the deck) that changes location as additional floor, roof, decking, or formwork sections are placed, formed, or constructed. A leading edge is considered to be an "unprotected side and edge" during periods when it is not actively and continuously under construction.

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.)

Safety-monitoring system: a safety system in which a competent person is responsible for recognizing and warning persons of fall hazards. (See this checklist for the 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 reviewed: June 6, 2014
  • Page last updated: June 6, 2014
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