Fall protection is when an employer protects workers from any hazard that could cause them to fall and get injured. This includes falling on any type of machinery, or falling into any hole in the floor. It could also be any fall from a platform or even a ladder. It is the responsibility of the employer to keep the work area dry and free from debris that could be a potential falling hazard.
Falls are among the leading causes of injuries and deaths in the workplace. Falling off any overhead work surface is cause for concern, but don’t forget about smaller falls from as little as four feet from the ground. These types of falls can cause serious injuries as well, and you must provide fall protection in those situations as well.
OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, five feet in shipyards, six feet in the construction industry and eight feet in longshoring operations.
There are different types of fall protection to keep workers safe. Depending on the situation will determine what types of equipment that would need to be in place.
Fall Safety Equipment – this includes body belts, guard rails,
Fall Arrest Systems – systems that provides safely stopping a worker who is falling. These types of products would include lanyards, shock absorbing lanyards, self -retracting lifelines, full body harness, rope grabs and anchors. These systems should be put in place when a worker is exposed to a fall of six feet or greater.