Accidental falls are some of the most common causes of injuries and fatalities in the workplace. Therefore, fall protection training is crucial for any worker or employer in both construction and non-construction professions. Employers must do their part to ensure workers’ safety by setting up safe parameters to prevent falls and identify problem areas.
Importance of Fall Protection
Unfortunately, falls can occur at any given moment while on the job without proper components in place. So, employers and employees must be properly trained in order to set up safe surroundings in workplaces to prevent injuries. OSHA requires employers to establish procedures and plans to make certain that hazards causing falls on floors, ramps, scaffolds, platforms, and stairs, for example, are guarded well.
Employers can create safe spaces using a variety of means, including blocking floor holes, installing guardrails and toe-boards, and providing safety harnesses and lines, safety nets, and handrails, depending on the situation.
OSHA requires employers to:
- keep floors clean and dry
- provide free PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to all employees
- provided appropriate training to workers about possible hazards in the workplace that they can understand in their own language
- prevent known potential dangerous conditions
Fall Protection Plan
A fall protection plan outlines specific guidelines and policies for potentially dangerous work environments where falls could potentially occur.
Employers must conduct hazard assessments or create a fall protection plan to outline possible dangers before any work takes place. So, considering every possible angle of danger is key in fall prevention.
When should a fall protection plan be used?
OSHA requires that a fall protection plan must be in place on construction sites when workers are working at heights of 6 feet or greater, with access to a lower level. Additionally, workers in general industries must have fall protection in place with elevations of 4 feet or greater. Five feet is the requirement for shipyards and 8 feet is the minimum for longshoring operations.
Naturally, falls can be due to a variety of complex factors, including both human and equipment-related issues.
OSHA’s Standard 29 CFR 1926.501 outlines steps employers must take to determine whether fall protection is required.
Types of Fall Protection in Construction
Falls have been the leading cause of death in construction, intensifying the need for fall prevention and fall protection training. OSHA’s Standard 29 CFR 1926.502 outlines fall protection systems necessary for workers depending on the situation.
Usually, fall protection is provided through the use of various systems including:
- travel-restraint systems
- fall-restriction systems
- fall-arresting systems
- control zones
Fall Protection Training
At Hazwoper Center, we specialize in providing training for fall protection, prevention, and responses. We offer courses and certifications to help you learn how to safely work in potentially hazardous areas. Our center offers online Fall Protection Training for the Competent Person, an approximately 225-minute course. We teach workers and employers how to safely work in various environments.
Self-paced units make our course ideal and unique. They were created by qualified safety professionals, and are narrated to help the student better understand the information presented. This training utilizes written information, photos, and video clips, and also incorporates quizzes after each unit to help ensure that each student retains the information presented in this course.
Topics addressed in this Fall Protection Training Course for the Competent Person include:
- Key OSHA definitions related to fall protection
- Review of Federal OSHA fall protection standards
- General categories of fall protection standards
- Methods and criteria of fall protection
- Guardrail systems
- Fall arrest / fall protection equipment
- Fall restraint systems
- Controlled access zones
- Safety nets
- Hole covers
- Fall protection plans
- Fall protection requirements atexcavations
- Fall protection on scaffolding
- Falling object protection
- Employee rescue plan requirements
- Training requirements / paperwork
The course aligns with OSHA Standards 1910.28-30, 1910.140, and 1926.500-503.
Check out our fall protection training, as well as our other online courses here.
Who should take Fall Protection Training?
Any employee who might come into contact with a fall hazard must take fall protection training. For example, industries including construction, electrical, carpentry, roofing, telecommunications, marine terminal operations, and terminal facilities all need fall protection training.
How often should fall protection training be done?
OSHA does not require employees and employers to be retrained after initial training. However, if any worker shows incompetence or if there are changes in the workplace environment, retraining might be necessary. Regardless, some employers may require fall protection retraining.
Fall Protection Training Wrap-Up
Advances in standards and fall protection training over the years have helped to minimize fall-related injuries and fatalities. Basically, utilizing these safety measures provides literal safety nets for both employers and their employees. Hazwoper Center provides the proper training that is the perfect first step to successful safety.