Fall Protection Orlando Huguet, Jr.

Fall Protection
Orlando Huguet, Jr.
This training will provide a basic overview and
information about fall protection and the current
OSHA standards. Items covered include the
principals of fall protection, the different
components of a fall arrest systems, limitations
and general discussion of real and hazardous
Course Objectives
 Identify appropriate fall protection devices and
 Identify common fall hazards
 Identify possible abatement/correction methods for
common fall hazards
 Briefly review and discuss applicable OSHA standards
Least you think that falling is not a serious thing and that you probably can catch
yourself before too much damage is done – read on, you might find the below
information interesting:
18” (1.5’)
48” (4’)
Start to move
Start to move
72” (6’)
Slight movement
Slight movement
193” (16’)
773” (64’)
Note: “Start to move” and “Slight movement” do NOT equate to reaching out and
grabbing something. By the time you have conscience, controlled movement 8/10ths
(or more) of a second have passed and you have already fallen roughly 10.3’ (124”)!
OSHA requires fall protection to start at heights of 6’.
Two Factors Influence Falls
Body Weight ---(W)
Free Fall Distance---(D)
Forces= W x D
So a 215lbs worker w/ 6 lbs of tools who falls 6’ can
generate fall forces of 1,290lbs across a person’s body
 W/O adequate deceleration or shock absorbers this
could cause serious injuries.
 Falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the
construction industry.
 In 2008 there was 700 fatal falls
 In 2009 there was 617 fatal falls
 Half of these falls were in construction
 Fall injuries cost millions each year
Top 10 OSHA Violations
Fall Protection
Fall Protection
Hazard Communications
Hazard Communications
Hazard Communications
Fall Protection
Respiratory Protection
Respiratory Protection
Respiratory Protection
Control of Hazardous
Energy (lockout/tagout)
Control of Hazardous Energy
Control of Hazardous
Energy (lockout/tagout)
Electrical – Wiring Methods Electrical – Wiring Methods
Electrical (wiring methods) Powered Industrial Trucks
Powered Industrial Trucks
Powered Industrial Trucks
Machine Guarding
Electrical (general)
Machine Guarding
Machine Guarding
Electrical – General
Electrical – General
Fatal Falls From:
 Roofs 109
 Scaffolds 53
 Ladders 122
 Falls from same level 83
 Fall from to lower level 518
Top Fall Protection Violations
 1926.451/Scaffolding…….9,093
 1926.501/Fall Protection Scope….6771
 1926.1053/Ladders……3072
(FY 2010)
OSHA Cite Big $
March 16, 2011 at 3:56 p.m
 MARCO ISLAND — The U.S. Department of Labor’s
Occupational Safety and Health Administration is
proposing $60,900 in penalties against Naples-based
Morca Contracting Corp. for 14 serious safety violations
found at a worksite on Marco Island. Violations include
multiple failures to prepare and maintain adequate
scaffolding, resulting in workers being exposed to fall
hazards; a lack of fall protection for workers; and
inadequate training for employees on recognition and
prevention of fall hazards. “I have a small business, the fine
(violation costs) is more than I make a year,” Morales said.
Morca has 13 employees, down from 29 in good building
Primary Causes of Fall Related Fatalities
 Unprotected sides, edges and holes
 Improperly constructed walking/working surfaces
 Improper use of access equipment (ladders and lifts)
 Failure to properly use PFAS
 Slips and Trips (housekeeping)
Fatality and Stats
 85% of all citations and 90% of dollars applied as fines
are related to the Focus Four Hazards-Struck By,
Caught In-Between, Falls and Electrocution
 79% of all fatalities are related to the above
What Is Fall Protection?
 Answer……..A series of reasonable steps
taken to cause elimination or control of
the injurious effects of an
unintentional fall while accessing or
working at height.
Planning for Fall Protection
 Best practice dictates that fall protection becomes an
integral part of the project planning process, from
constructability, to systems installation, to use and
 A project cannot be truly safe unless fall protection is
incorporated into every phase of the construction process
 Best if fall protection is planned and designed prior to
construction….More…difficult-and costly-once project
 Planning (DOING) will keep workers safe and minimize
liability for all parties involved.
Controlling Fall Exposures
 Select fall protection systems appropriate for given
Use proper construction and installation of safety systems
Supervise employees properly
Make Supervisor both responsible and accountable for fall
protection at workplaces
Use safe work procedures
Train Workers in the proper selection, use, and
maintenance of fall protection systems
Evaluate the effectiveness of all steps
Fall Arrest System
A personal fall arrest system is one option of protection that OSHA
requires for workers on construction sites who are exposed to vertical
drops of 6 feet or more
Ensure that personal fall arrest systems will, when stopping a fall:
Limit maximum arresting force to 1,800 pounds.
Be rigged such that an employee can neither free fall more than 6 feet nor
contact any lower level.
Bring an employee to a complete stop and limit maximum deceleration
distance to 3½ feet.
Have sufficient strength to withstand twice the potential impact energy of a
worker free falling a distance of 6 feet, or the free fall distance permitted
by the system, whichever is less
Other Things to Consider
 Remove systems and components from service
immediately if they have been subjected to fall impact,
until inspected by a competent person and deemed
undamaged and suitable for use.
Promptly rescue employees in the event of a fall, or
assure that they are able to rescue themselves.
Inspect systems before each use for wear, damage, and
other deterioration, and remove defective components
from service.
Do not attach fall arrest systems to guardrail systems or
Rig fall arrest systems to allow movement of the worker
only as far as the edge of the walking/working surface,
when used at hoist areas.
Impact Force
 Minimize Fall Distance
 Use Shock Absorbers
 Choose appropriate harnesses, and wear them
The ABC’s
The A
The Anchor
Anchorages used for attachment of personal fall arrest
equipment must be independent of any anchorage being
used to support or suspend platforms, and capable of
supporting at least 5,000 pounds per employee attached, or
must be designed
and used as follows:
As part of a complete personal fall arrest system which
maintains a safety factor of at least two.
Under the supervision of a qualified person.
Improper Anchor Points
 Standard Guardrails
 C-Clamps
 Staqndard Railings
 Cable Trays
 Ladder/Rungs
 Another lanyard
 Scaffolding
 Roofstacks, vents
 Light fixtures
 Joists, girders (unless
 Conduit or Plumbing
 Ductwork or Pipe Vents
 Pipe Hangers
qualified person allows
The B
The Body Harness
Body harnesses are designed to
minimize stress forces on an
employee's body in the event of
a fall, while providing sufficient
freedom of movement to allow
work to be performed.
Do not use body harnesses to
hoist materials.
As of January 1, 1998, body
belts are not acceptable as part
of a personal fall arrest system,
because they impose a danger
of internal injuries when
stopping a fall.
Body Harness Cont..
 Need to be inspected frequently (daily before use by
the worker 502(d)(21)
 Recommend monthly by Competent Person
 Should never be modified
 Should be taken out of service immediately if defective
or exposed to an impact 502 (d)(9)
Proper Adjustment is Key
 Be able to reach your D-Ring with your thumb
 Maximum four (flat) fingers of slack at the legs, straps
as high as comfortably possible
 Ensure chest strap is across the chest/breastbone
 Have a buddy double check for twist..etc.
 Proper/Adequate ABC’s make up the PFAS
 A failure in any of the ABC’s can be the difference
between a fall arrest and fall related death
Adequate Anchorages are Crucial
 29CFR 1926 Subpart M Appendix C (h) OSHA’s stance
on importance of anchorage points
 Planning by employer is VITAL
 No planning….employees tend to find their own
anchorage or don’t use any
 Must support 5000lbs per employee attached
What’s a Safety Factor of 2?
 Means that you multiply the maximum intended
load on the anchorage by two.
 Engineers have come up w 3600lbs since the max
arresting forces to a worker in a fall wearing a
harness is 1,800lbs
 1926.32(n) Safety factor: Means the ratio of the
ultimate breaking strenght of a member of piece of
equipment to the actual working stress of safe load
Use of Eye Bolts
 Rated for loading
parallel to the bolt
 If wall mounted the
rating perpendicular
to the axis must be
good for 5,000lbs per
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Horizontal Life Lines
 Provide maneuverability
 Must be designed , installed and used under the
guidance of a qualified person with safety factor of at
least 2
 See Subpart M, Appendix C (h) (6)
 See ANSI A 10.14 1991-pp5
Vertical Lifelines
 29CFR 1926.104
 Min breaking strength 5,000lbs
 Separate lifelines per employee 502.(d)(10)
 Elevator erection 2 employees on VLL as long as its
rated for 10,000lbs
 No knots in VLL, can redue strenght by 50%
The Connectors
Connectors, including D-rings and snaphooks, must be
made from drop-forged, pressed or formed steel, or
equivalent materials. They must have a corrosion-resistant
finish, with smooth surfaces and edges to prevent damage to
connecting parts of the system.
Connector (Lanyards)
 Should be inspected before each use
 Should not be tied back to themselves
 Should be worn with timpact absorber/shock pack at
the D-ring
 Should have the appropriate clip for the intended
anchorage points
Retractable Life lines
 Very effective for vertical applications
 Will normally lock up in 1 to 2 feet, minimizing total
fall distance and impact forces on the employee’s body
SRL and Deceleration Devices
 Self retracting lifelines which limit free fall to 2’ or <
must capable of sustaining minimum tensile load of
3000lbs to device is fully extended position
 SRL which don’t limit fall to 2’ or < ripstich lanyards
and tearing type lanyards must maintain min tensile
load of 5,000lbs to lifeline/lanyard in fully extended
Do Not Hook Lanyards to Retractables
This can cause hook failures and affect the locking
capability of the retractable
The retractable should be attached directly to the D-ring
No plan for SWING factor in the event of a fall.
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PFAS Must limit Max Arresting Forces to the
 Per 29CFR 1926 502(d)(16)
 Body Belt MAF to 900lbs
 Full body harness MAF 1,800lbs
 Locking snap lanyards w/built in shock absorbers
reduce fall arrest forces by 65% to 85%
 Steel Lanyard: 3,970lbs of force
 Nylon rope lanyard: 2,395lbs of force
 Shock absorbing lanyard: 830lbs of force
Snap Hooks
 Snaphooks must have a minimum tensile strength of 5,000 pounds,
and be proof-tested to a minimum tensile load of 3,600 pounds
without cracking, breaking, or becoming permanently
deformed. They must also be locking-type, double-locking, designed
and used to prevent the disengagement of the snaphook by the
contact of the snaphook keeper with the connected member.
Unless it is designed for the following connections, snaphooks must
not be engaged:
Directly to webbing, rope, or wire.
To each other.
To a D-ring to which another snaphook or other connector is attached.
To a horizontal lifeline.
To any object which is incompatibly shaped in relation to the
snaphook such that the connected object could depress the snaphook
keeper and release itself.
29 CFR 1926 Subpart M, Fall protection. OSHA Standard.
 1926.502, Fall protection systems criteria and practices
 29 CFR 1926.502(d)(1)
Impacting Structures Below
 Consideration
 Anchor
 Lanyard Length
 Harness Elongation
 Shock Absorber
 D Ring position
Free Fall Distance
How far a worker falls before shock
absorbing or deceleration
equipment begins to take effect
Affects both impact forces and
total fall distance?
Free Fall Cont…
 Anchorage point location in relation to
D-ring height
-Below the D-ring allows excessive
-Above the D-ring minimizes free fall
to less than 6’
Competent Person
 Means one who is capable of identifying existing and
predictable hazards in the surrounding, or working
conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or
dangerous to employees, and who has the
authorization to take prompt corrective measures to
eliminate them.
Qualified Person
 Means one who, by possession of a recognized degree,
certificate, or professional standing, or who by
extensive knowledge, training and experience, has
successfully demonstrated their ability to solve or
resolve problems related to the subject matter
Guard Rail System
 Primary Issues
 Complete System
Full Coverage
Material Handling Areas
 Proper Construction
Strength 200lbs
Deflection-Top rail not less than 42” from walking surface
 Maintenance
 Custody & Control
Osha Standards
 1) For wood railings: Wood components shall be
minimum 1500 lb-ft/in(2) fiber (stress grade)
construction grade lumber; the posts shall be at
least 2-inch by 4-inch (5 cm x 10 cm) lumber
spaced not more than 8 feet (2.4 m) apart on
centers; the top rail shall be at least 2-inch by 4inch (5 cm x 10 cm) lumber, the intermediate rail
shall be at least 1-inch by 6-inch (2.5 cm x 15 cm)
lumber. All lumber dimensions are nominal sizes
as provided by the American Softwood Lumber
Standards, dated January 1970.
Osha Stand Cont…
For pipe railings: posts, top rails, and
intermediate railings shall be at least one
and one-half inches nominal diameter
(schedule 40 pipe) with posts spaced not
more than 8 feet (2.4 m) apart on centers.
Osha Stand Cont
For structural steel railings: posts, top rails,
and intermediate rails shall be at least 2inch by 2-inch (5 cm x 10 cm) by 3/8-inch
(1.1 cm) angles, with posts spaced not
more than 8 feet (2.4 m) apart on centers
Wood Guardrails
 Proper Height 42” (+ or – 3”)
 Adequate strength 200lbs outward or downward
 Midrails- In between the top and walking surface
 Adequate strenght 150lbs outward or downward
 Toeboard
 Adequate strenght 50lbs outward or downward direction
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Cable Guardrails
 Proper Height 42”
 Can not deflect below 39”
 Marked every 6’
 High visiability material
 Termination and attachments must meet standards
(per Appendix B Subpart M)
 Wire rope
 1/4” nominal diameter
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 Must be covered
 By material that leaves no openings more than 1 inch
wide. The cover shall be securely held in place to
prevent tools or material from falling through.
 Guardrails
 May be used in accordance with applicable standards
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Where workers on a construction site are exposed
to vertical drops of 6 feet or more, OSHA requires
that employers provide fall protection in one of three
ways before work begins:
Placing guardrails around the hazard area,
Install safety nets, or
Providing personal fall arrest systems for each
Many times the nature and location of the work will
dictate the form that fall protection takes. If the
employer chooses to use a safety net system, he
must comply with the following provisions:
Safety nets must be installed as close as practicable under the surface on
which employees are working, but in no case more than 30 feet below.
When nets are used on bridges, the potential fall area must be
Safety nets must extend outward from the outermost projection of the
work surface as follows:
Vertical distance
from working level
tohorizontal plane
of net
Minimum required horizontal
distance of outer edge of net
from the edge of the working
Up to 5 feet
8 feet
5 to 10 feet
10 feet
More than 10 feet
13 feet
Safety nets must be installed with sufficient clearance to
prevent contact with the surface or structures under them
when subjected to an impact force equal to the drop test
described below.
Safety nets and their installations must be capable of
absorbing an impact force equal to the drop test described
Safety nets and safety net installations must be drop-tested at
the jobsite:
After initial installation and before being used.
Whenever relocated.
After major repair.
At 6-month intervals if left in one place.
The drop test consists of a 400 pound bag of sand 28-32
inches in diameter dropped into the net from the highest
surface at which employees are exposed to fall hazards, but
not from less than than 42 inches above that level.
When the employer can demonstrate that it is unreasonable
to perform the drop-test described above, the employer or a
designated competent person shall certify that the net and net
installation have sufficient clearance and impact absorption
by preparing a certification record prior to the net being used
as a fall protection system. The certification must include:
Identification of the net and net installation.
Date that it was determined that the net and net installation
were in compliance.
Signature of the person making the determination and
The most recent certification record for each net and net installation must
be available at the jobsite for inspection.
Safety nets must be inspected for wear, damage, and other deterioration
at least once a week, and after any occurrence which could affect the
integrity of the system.
Defective nets shall not be used, and defective components must be
removed from service.
Objects which have fallen into the safety net, such as scrap pieces,
equipment, and tools, must be removed as soon as possible from the net
and at least before the next work shift.
Maximum mesh size must not exceed 6 inches by 6 inches. All mesh
crossings must be secured to prevent enlargement of the mesh opening,
which must be no longer than 6 inches, measured center-to-center.
Each safety net, or section thereof, must have a border rope for webbing
with a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 pounds.
Connections between safety net panels must be as strong as integral net
components, and must not be spaced more than 6 inches apart.
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Installing the Nets
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Material Handling Platforms
 MHP must have guardrails
 When the guardrails are opened to receive material
workers must be tied off
 Gates are preferred to removable rails
 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(3) and 502 (b)(10)
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Climbing the structural cross-braces of a scaffold is
unsafe, and specifically forbidden by federal
standards. However, OSHA permits direct access
from another scaffold, structure, or personnel hoist.
If such access is not possible, portable ladders,
hook-on ladders, attachable ladders, stair towers,
stairway-type ladders, ramps, walkways, or built-in
ladders must be used, under the following
Hook-on and Attachable
Must have their lowest rung no more than 24 inches
above the level on which the scaffold is supported.
•When used on a supported scaffold more than 35 feet
high, must have rest platforms at 35-foot maximum
•Must have a maximum rung length of 11½ inches,
and a maximum space between rungs of 16¾ inches.
•Must be specifically designed for the type of scaffold
with which they are used.
Built-in Scaffold Ladders
Must have a rung length of at least 8 inches.
•Must be specifically designed and constructed for use
as ladder rungs.
•Must not be used as work platforms when rungs are
less than 11½ inches, unless each employee uses fall
protection or a positioning device [29 CFR
•Must be uniformly spaced within each frame section.
•Must have rest platforms at 35-foot maximum
intervals on all supported scaffolds more than 35 feet
•Must have a maximum space between rungs of 16¾
Direct Access?
•Direct access to or from another surface shall only be
used when the scaffold is not more than 14 inches
horizontally and 24 inches vertically from the other
Scaffold Types
 Supported
Fabricated Frame
Tube & Coupler
Wall Brackets
Form Brackets
Ladder Jacks
Pump Jacks
 Suspended
 Swings
 Multi-point
 Catenary
Ladders and Stairs
 Ladders
 Extension
 Step
 Vertical Fixed
 Job built
Extension Ladder
You risk falling if portable
ladders are not safely
positioned each time they are
used. While you are on a ladder,
it may move and slip from its
supports. You can also lose
your balance while getting on or
off an unsteady ladder. Falls
from ladders can cause injuries
ranging from sprains to death.
Step Ladders
This is improperly using the
top rung of this step ladder to
work from.
How Do I Avoid Hazards?
Position portable ladders so the side rails extend at least 3
feet above the landing.
Secure side rails at the top to a rigid support and use a grab
device when 3 foot extension is not possible.
Make sure that the weight on the ladder will not cause it to
slip off its support.
Before each use inspect ladders for cracked or broken parts
such as rungs, steps, side rails, feet and locking
Do not apply more weight on the ladder than it is designed to
support [For additional information, see Ladder Safety].
Use only ladders that comply with OSHA design
standards [29 CFR 1926.1053(a)(1)].
Vertical Fixed
Job Built
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Training Required
 Under the provisions of the standard, employers must
provide a training program for each employee using
ladders and stairways. The program must enable each
employee to recognize hazards related to ladders and
stairways and to use proper procedures to minimize
these hazards. For example, employers must ensure that
each employee is trained by a competent person in the
following areas, as applicable:
The nature of fall hazards in the work area;
The correct procedures for erecting, maintaining, and
disassembling the fall protection systems to be used;
The proper construction, use, placement, and care in
handling of all stairways and ladders; and
The maximum intended load-carrying capacities of
ladders used. In addition, retraining must be provided
for each employee, as necessary, so that the employee
maintains the understanding and knowledge acquired
through compliance with the standard.
Rescue Plan
 Needs to be considered by every employer who has fall
exposures and is providing PFAS
 How are you going to get the guy down?
 How long have you got before the guy hanging is
hurting. Maybe they are already hurt?
Rescue Plan Cont..
 Its not as easy as calling 911
 29CFR 1926.502(d)(20)
 Insists employer provide for prompt rescue of fallen
employees, IF the employee cant rescue themselves
 Worst case scenario? That’s what the employer should
plan for.
 What are some options for rescue?
During a Free Fall
 Forces generated to the body can be extreme
 When fall arrest occurs these forces are transferred all
over the human body and the support device
 Study in 1968 found that particpants in body belt in a
jack knife position could last only 1.38 min’s before
Free Fall Cont…
 In the same study, those in full body harness the
average time before injuries started was approximately
30 min’s
 According to Argonaut Insurance, the average
tolerance time while suspended before numbness,
tingling and nausea develop is 14.28 minutes in a
harness, and 1.63 min in a belt!
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