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When Must Fall Protection Devices Be Used?

When Must Fall Protection Devices Be Used?

Fall protection helps crews to plan for the predictable and successfully handle the unpredictable, which means that each employer needs to understand when they’re expected to provide it for their workers. Here’s a look at OSHA’s criteria for fall protection and some tips to help you get it right on your next job. 

Fall Protection Rules (Subpart M)

To regulate the way that each crew is protected, OSHA created Subpart M, a set of guidelines that instructs employers when and how to use fall protection. Because, it’s every employer’s responsibility to evaluate on-site structures and determine which fall protection systems are necessary. When the consequences of falling jeopardize the health of workers in potentially fatal ways, specific types of fall protection training may be required in accordance with Subpart M.

When to Use Fall Protection

Before releasing workers to begin a job, employers must inspect the walking surfaces and identify all potential and present hazards on site. Fortunately, Subpart M has guidelines to help crews understand how to read the severity of each hazard. For example, employers are required to provide fall protection systems when workers operate on levels or platforms that are six feet or higher above the surface below. Similarly, Subpart M requires workers to use fall protection when working near dangerous equipment—even at heights under six feet. Other circumstances that may require employers to offer fall protection include:

  • On ramps, runways, or other steep surfaces
  • On edges or sides of walking surfaces that don’t have guardrails
  • In areas or sites where there are falling or the potential for falling objects
  • In hoist areas that lift workers six feet above a walking surface
  • In areas with wall openings

How to Implement Fall Protection

Depending on the areas that workers must visit, the conditions they’re exposed to, and the heights they’re operating at, there are multiple ways to secure the site around them. To ready a lift or rigging site for fall protection, employers typically choose from a range of systems including:

  • Guardrail systems
  • Safety net systems
  • Personal fall arrest systems
  • Positioning device systems
  • Fall restraint systems

There’s nothing conventional about on-the-job accidents, which means your crew should never settle for conventional fall protection solutions. Florida Wire & Rigging is a trusted source for fall protection tools and training, which means we can customize a system that fits even the most complex jobs. Our vast inventory of certified and fortified equipment will keep your crew safe, and our training seminars will keep your crew informed. For more information, call us today at 800-846-0309.