You Should Know the OSHA Fall Protection Guidelines and Standardswoman wearing fall protection harness

In 1970 the Occupational Safety and Health Act was created to prevent workers from being injured or killed while working. Guidelines and standards were created to highlight the dangers of specific work areas and industries and regulations were put in place that must be followed to maximize safety while minimizing injuries. These guidelines and standards cover a wide range of industries and safety concerns, with Fall Protection being one of the most important areas. Below is a breakdown of the OSHA Fall Protection Guidelines and Standards as well as the fees for violating these requirements.

OSHA Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501)

The Fall Protection Standard outlines where fall protection is required, which systems are appropriate for given situations, the proper construction and installation of safety systems, and the proper supervision of employees to prevent falls. It is designed to protect employees on walking/working surfaces (horizontal or vertical) with an unprotected side or edge above 6 feet.

Top 5 Fall Protection Sections Cited in 2018

  1. 1926.501(b)(13) – each employee engaged in residential construction activities 6 feet or more above lower levels shall be protected by guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems unless another provision in paragraph (b) provides for an alternative fall protection measure. 4,750 violations.
  2. 1926.501(b)(1) – each employee on a walking/working surface (horizontal or vertical) with an unprotected side or edge that is 6 feet or more above a lower level shall be protected from falling by use of guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems. 1,124 violations.
  3. 1926.501(b)(10) – except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b), each employee engaged in roofing activities on low-slope roofs, with unprotected sides and edges 6 feet or more above lower levels shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, or a combination of warning line system and guardrail system, warning line system and safety net system, or warning line system and personal fall arrest system, or a warning line system and safety monitoring system. 593 violations.
  4. 1926.501(b)(11) – each employee on a steep roof with unprotected sides and edges 6 feet or more above lower levels shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems with toeboards, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems. 427 violations.
  5. 1926.501(b)(4)(i) – each employee on walking/working surfaces shall be protected from falling through holes (including skylights) more than 6 feet above lower levels, by personal fall arrest systems, covers, or guardrail systems erected around such holes. 116 violations.

Types of Violations & Fees Associated With Each Typerooftop fall protection lines

  • Serious Violations – OSHA defines a “serious” violation as “one in which there is a substantial probability of death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew of or should have known of the hazard.” A serious violation carries a fee of $13,260 per violation. In 2018, Fall Protection had the most cited serious violations with 5,899.
  • Willful Violation – OSHA defines a “willful” violation as “one committed with an intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Hazard Act and requirements.” A willful violation carries a fee of $132,598 per violation. In 2018, Fall Protection had the most cited willful violations with 134.
  • Failure to Abate Fee – on top of the fees charged for the type of violation committed, there’s also a failure to abate fee of $13,260 per day beyond the abatement date.

Fall Protection and Strut Systems, LLC Is Here To Help

Did you know that Fall Protection – General Requirements was the #1 cited violation in 2018 with 7,216 total violations and has been the #1 cited violation for eight consecutive years. Our team of certified fall protection experts are here to help make sure your facility is in compliance with the appropriate OSHA Fall Protection Standards that apply to your job. Not only will being in compliance save you money, but it will also increase safety and prevent your workers for sustaining avoidable injury or death. We offer Fall Protection Inspection Services and can ensure your safety systems are free of defects and are in working order in the event of an accident. Click the button below to find out more about our services and schedule your inspection today!

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