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FALLS

Falls are the leading killer in the construction industry. How many times have we read about a worker who was killed from a fall at a job site? Fall protection rules are becoming more strict. Whether you are an employee or an employer, you need to know the rules.

Subpart M - Fail Protection sets forth requirements and criteria for fall protection in construction workplaces. Your employer must determine if walking/working surfaces on which you work have the strength and structural integrity to support you safely. Each walking/working surface with an unprotected side or edge, 6 feet or more above a lower level, where employees are working must be protected by a guard rail system, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system. A fall arrest system consists of an anchorage, connectors, a body harness, and may include a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline, or suitable combinations of these. The use of a body belt for personal fall arrest, and the use of non-locking snap hooks are prohibited as of January 1, 1998; body belts will only be allowed as positioning devices. Employees must also be protected from falling or tripping, into or through holes or skylights by the systems mentioned above or by secure covers. Hole or skylight covers must protect workers from falling objects as well. As a construction worker you will be required to be trained by your employer to recognize all hazards of failing, and what steps need to be taken to minimize or eliminate these hazards. On leading edge work, precast concrete erection, and residential construction, that an employer determines cannot meet the requirements of the standard, because it is infeasible or would create a greater hazard, the employer has the option to develop a 'site specific' fall protection plan. The plan must meet the requirements of paragraph (k) of Standard 1926-502.

This subpart does not apply when employees are making an inspection, investigation, or assessment of workplace conditions prior to the start or after completion of all construction work.

DON'T BECOME A 'FALL' STATISTIC! LEARN ALL YOU CAN ABOUT PREVENTION AND ALWAYS USE FALL PROTECTION GEAR.

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