OSHA Health & Safety Construction-related Regulations - M - 500 to 549

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Subpart M - Fall Protection

1926.500 - Scope, application, and definitions applicable to this subpart.

(a) Scope and application.

(a)(1) This subpart sets forth requirements and criteria for fall protection in construction workplaces covered under 29 CFR part 1926. Exception: The provisions of this subpart do not apply when employees are making an inspection, investigation, or assessment of workplace conditions prior to the actual start of construction work or after all construction work has been completed.

(a)(2) Section 1926.501 sets forth those workplaces, conditions, operations, and circumstances for which fall protection shall be provided except as follows:

(a)(2)(i) Requirements relating to fall protection for employees working on scaffolds are provided in subpart L of this part.

(a)(2)(ii) Requirements relating to fall protection for employees working on certain cranes and derricks are provided in subpart N of this part.

(a)(2)(iii) Requirements relating to fall protection for employees performing steel erection work are provided in 1926.105 and in subpart R of this part.

(a)(2)(iv) Requirements relating to fall protection for employees working on certain types of equipment used in tunneling operations are provided in subpart S of this part.

(a)(2)(v) Requirements relating to fall protection for employees engaged in the construction of electric transmission and distribution lines and equipment are provided in subpart V of this part.

(a)(2)(vi) Requirements relating to fall protection for employees working on stairways and ladders are provided in subpart X of this part.

(a)(3) Section 1926.502 sets forth the requirements for the installation, construction, and proper use of fall protection required by part 1926, except as follows:

(a)(3)(i) Performance requirements for guardrail systems used on scaffolds and performance requirements for falling object protection used on scaffolds are provided in subpart L of this part.

(a)(3)(ii) Performance requirements for stairways, stairrail systems, and handrails are provided in subpart X of this part.

(a)(3)(iii) Additional performance requirements for personal climbing equipment, lineman's body belts, safety straps, and lanyards are provided in Subpart V of this part.

(a)(3)(iv) Section 1926.502 does not apply to steel erection activities. (Note: Section 1926.104 sets the criteria for body belts, lanyards and lifelines used for fall protection in steel erection activities. Paragraphs (b), (c) and (f) of 1926.107 provide definitions for the pertinent terms).

(a)(4) Section 1926.503 sets forth requirements for training in the installation and use of fall protection systems, except in relation to steel erection activities.

(b) Definitions.

Anchorage means a secure point of attachment for lifelines, lanyards or deceleration devices.

Body belt (safety belt) means a strap with means both for securing it about the waist and for attaching it to a lanyard, lifeline, or deceleration device.

Body harness means straps which may be secured about the employee in a manner that will distribute the fall arrest forces over at least the thighs, pelvis, waist, chest and shoulders with means for attaching it to other components of a personal fall arrest system.

Buckle means any device for holding the body belt or body harness closed around the employee's body.

Connector means a device which is used to couple (connect) parts of the personal fall arrest system and positioning device systems together. It may be an independent component of the system, such as a carabiner, or it may be an integral component of part of the system (such as a buckle or dee-ring sewn into a body belt or body harness, or a snap-hook spliced or sewn to a lanyard or self-retracting lanyard).

Controlled access zone (CAZ) means an area in which certain work (e.g., overhand bricklaying) may take place without the use of guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, or safety net systems and access to the zone is controlled.

Dangerous equipment means equipment (such as pickling or galvanizing tanks, degreasing units, machinery, electrical equipment, and other units) which, as a result of form or function, may be hazardous to employees who fall onto or into such equipment.

Deceleration device means any mechanism, such as a rope grab, rip-stitch lanyard, specially-woven lanyard, tearing or deforming lanyards, automatic self-retracting lifelines/lanyards, etc., which serves to dissipate a substantial amount of energy during a fall arrest, or otherwise limit the energy imposed on an employee during fall arrest.

Deceleration distance means the additional vertical distance a falling employee travels, excluding lifeline elongation and free fall distance, before stopping, from the point at which the deceleration device begins to operate. It is measured as the distance between the location of an employee's body belt or body harness attachment point at the moment of activation (at the onset of fall arrest forces) of the deceleration device during a fall, and the location of that attachment point after the employee comes to a full stop.

Equivalent means alternative designs, materials, or methods to protect against a hazard which the employer can demonstrate will provide an equal or greater degree of safety for employees than the methods, materials or designs specified in the standard.

Failure means load refusal, breakage, or separation of component parts. Load refusal is the point where the ultimate strength is exceeded.

Free fall means the act of falling before a personal fall arrest system begins to apply force to arrest the fall.

Free fall distance means the vertical displacement of the fall arrest attachment point on the employee's body belt or body harness between onset of the fall and just before the system begins to apply force to arrest the fall. This distance excludes deceleration distance, and lifeline/lanyard elongation, but includes any deceleration device slide distance or self-retracting lifeline/lanyard extension before they operate and fall arrest forces occur.

Guardrail system means a barrier erected to prevent employees from falling to lower levels.

Hole means a gap or void 2 inches (5.1 cm) or more in its least dimension, in a floor, roof, or other walking/working surface.

Infeasible means that it is impossible to perform the construction work using a conventional fall protection system (i.e., guardrail system, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system) or that it is technologically impossible to use any one of these systems to provide fall protection.

Lanyard means a flexible line of rope, wire rope, or strap which generally has a connector at each end for connecting the body belt or body harness to a deceleration device, lifeline, or anchorage.

Leading edge means the edge of a floor, roof, or formwork for a floor or other walking/working surface (such as the deck) which changes location as additional floor, roof, decking, or formwork sections are placed, formed, or constructed. A leading edge is considered to be an "unprotected side and edge" during periods when it is not actively and continuously under construction.

Lifeline means a component consisting of a flexible line for connection to an anchorage at one end to hang vertically (vertical lifeline), or for connection to anchorages at both ends to stretch horizontally (horizontal lifeline), and which serves as a means for connecting other components of a personal fall arrest system to the anchorage.

Low-slope roof means a roof having a slope less than or equal to 4 in 12 (vertical to horizontal).

Lower levels means those areas or surfaces to which an employee can fall. Such areas or surfaces include, but are not limited to, ground levels, floors, platforms, ramps, runways, excavations, pits, tanks, material, water, equipment, structures, or portions thereof.

Mechanical equipment means all motor or human propelled wheeled equipment used for roofing work, except wheelbarrows and mopcarts.

Opening means a gap or void 30 inches (76 cm) or more high and 18 inches (48 cm) or more wide, in a wall or partition, through which employees can fall to a lower level.

Overhand bricklaying and related work means the process of laying bricks and masonry units such that the surface of the wall to be jointed is on the opposite side of the wall from the mason, requiring the mason to lean over the wall to complete the work. Related work includes mason tending and electrical installation incorporated into the brick wall during the overhand bricklaying process.

Personal fall arrest system means a system used to arrest an employee in a fall from a working level. It consists of an anchorage, connectors, a body belt or body harness and may include a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline, or suitable combinations of these. As of January 1, 1998, the use of a body belt for fall arrest is prohibited.

Positioning device system means a body belt or body harness system rigged to allow an employee to be supported on an elevated vertical surface, such as a wall, and work with both hands free while leaning.

Rope grab means a deceleration device which travels on a lifeline and automatically, by friction, engages the lifeline and locks so as to arrest the fall of an employee. A rope grab usually employs the principle of inertial locking, cam/level locking, or both.

Roof means the exterior surface on the top of a building. This does not include floors or formwork which, because a building has not been completed, temporarily become the top surface of a building.

Roofing work means the hoisting, storage, application, and removal of roofing materials and equipment, including related insulation, sheet metal, and vapor barrier work, but not including the construction of the roof deck.

Safety-monitoring system means a safety system in which a competent person is responsible for recognizing and warning employees of fall hazards.

Self-retracting lifeline/lanyard means a deceleration device containing a drum-wound line which can be slowly extracted from, or retracted onto, the drum under slight tension during normal employee movement, and which, after onset of a fall, automatically locks the drum and arrests the fall.

Snaphook means a connector comprised of a hook-shaped member with a normally closed keeper, or similar arrangement, which may be opened to permit the hook to receive an object and, when released, automatically closes to retain the object. Snaphooks are generally one of two types:

(1) The locking type with a self-closing, self-locking keeper which remains closed and locked until unlocked and pressed open for connection or disconnection; or

(2) The non-locking type with a self- closing keeper which remains closed until pressed open for connection or disconnection. As of January 1, 1998, the use of a non-locking snaphook as part of personal fall arrest systems and positioning device systems is prohibited.

Steep roof means a roof having a slope greater than 4 in 12 (vertical to horizontal).

Toeboard means a low protective barrier that will prevent the fall of materials and equipment to lower levels and provide protection from falls for personnel.

Unprotected sides and edges means any side or edge (except at entrances to points of access) of a walking/working surface, e.g., floor, roof, ramp, or runway where there is no wall or guardrail system at least 39 inches (1.0 m) high.

Walking/working surface means any surface, whether horizontal or vertical on which an employee walks or works, including, but not limited to, floors, roofs, ramps, bridges, runways, formwork and concrete reinforcing steel but not including ladders, vehicles, or trailers, on which employees must be located in order to perform their job duties.

Warning line system means a barrier erected on a roof to warn employees that they are approaching an unprotected roof side or edge, and which designates an area in which roofing work may take place without the use of guardrail, body belt, or safety net systems to protect employees in the area.

Work area means that portion of a walking/working surface where job duties are being performed.

1926.501 - Duty to have fall protection.

(a) General.

(a)(1) This section sets forth requirements for employers to provide fall protection systems. All fall protection required by this section shall conform to the criteria set forth in 1926.502 of this subpart.

(a)(2) The employer shall determine if the walking/working surfaces on which its employees are to work have the strength and structural integrity to support employees safely. Employees shall be allowed to work on those surfaces only when the surfaces have the requisite strength and structural integrity.

(b)(1) Unprotected sides and edges. Each employee on a walking/working surface (horizontal and vertical surface) with an unprotected side or edge which is 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above a lower level shall be protected from falling by the use of guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems.

(b)(2) Leading edges.

(b)(2)(i) Each employee who is constructing a leading edge 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems. Exception: When the employer can demonstrate that it is infeasible or creates a greater hazard to use these systems, the employer shall develop and implement a fall protection plan which meets the requirements of paragraph (k) of 1926.502.

Note: There is a presumption that it is feasible and will not create a greater hazard to implement at least one of the above-listed fall protection systems. Accordingly, the employer has the burden of establishing that it is appropriate to implement a fall protection plan which complies with 1926.502(k) for a particular workplace situation, in lieu of implementing any of those systems.

(b)(2)(ii) Each employee on a walking/working surface 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above a lower level where leading edges are under construction, but who is not engaged in the leading edge work, shall be protected from falling by a guardrail system, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system. If a guardrail system is chosen to provide the fall protection, and a controlled access zone has already been established for leading edge work, the control line may be used in lieu of a guardrail along the edge that parallels the leading edge.

(b)(3) Hoist areas. Each employee in a hoist area shall be protected from falling 6 feet (1.8 m) or more to lower levels by guardrail systems or personal fall arrest systems. If guardrail systems, [or chain, gate, or guardrail] or portions thereof, are removed to facilitate the hoisting operation (e.g., during landing of materials), and an employee must lean through the access opening or out over the edge of the access opening (to receive or guide equipment and materials, for example), that employee shall be protected from fall hazards by a personal fall arrest system.

(b)(4) Holes.

(b)(4)(i) Each employee on walking/working surfaces shall be protected from falling through holes (including skylights) more than 6 feet (1.8 m) above lower levels, by personal fall arrest systems, covers, or guardrail systems erected around such holes.

(b)(4)(ii) Each employee on a walking/working surface shall be protected from tripping in or stepping into or through holes (including skylights) by covers.

(b)(4)(iii) Each employee on a walking/working surface shall be protected from objects falling through holes (including skylights) by covers.

(b)(5) Formwork and reinforcing steel. Each employee on the face of formwork or reinforcing steel shall be protected from falling 6 feet (1.8 m) or more to lower levels by personal fall arrest systems, safety net systems, or positioning device systems.

(b)(6) Ramps, runways, and other walkways. Each employee on ramps, runways, and other walkways shall be protected from falling 6 feet (1.8 m) or more to lower levels by guardrail systems.

(b)(7) Excavations.

(b)(7)(i) Each employee at the edge of an excavation 6 feet (1.8 m) or more in depth shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems, fences, or barricades when the excavations are not readily seen because of plant growth or other visual barrier;

(b)(7)(ii) Each employee at the edge of a well, pit, shaft, and similar excavation 6 feet (1.8 m) or more in depth shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems, fences, barricades, or covers.

(b)(8) Dangerous equipment.

(b)(8)(i) Each employee less than 6 feet (1.8 m) above dangerous equipment shall be protected from falling into or onto the dangerous equipment by guardrail systems or by equipment guards.

(b)(8)(ii) Each employee 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above dangerous equipment shall be protected from fall hazards by guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, or safety net systems.

(b)(9) Overhand bricklaying and related work.

(b)(9)(i) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this section, each employee performing overhand bricklaying and related work 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels, shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, or shall work in a controlled access zone.

(b)(9)(ii) Each employee reaching more than 10 inches (25 cm) below the level of the walking/working surface on which they are working, shall be protected from falling by a guardrail system, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system.

Note: Bricklaying operations performed on scaffolds are regulated by subpart L - Scaffolds of this part.

(b)(10) Roofing work on Low-slope roofs. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this section, each employee engaged in roofing activities on low-slope roofs, with unprotected sides and edges 6 feet (1.8 m) 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 warning line system and safety monitoring system. Or, on roofs 50-feet (15.25 m) or less in width (see Appendix A to subpart M of this part), the use of a safety monitoring system alone [i.e. without the warning line system] is permitted.

(b)(11) Steep roofs. Each employee on a steep roof with unprotected sides and edges 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems with toeboards, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems.

(b)(13) Residential construction. Each employee engaged in residential construction activities 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels shall be protected by guardrail systems, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system unless another provision in paragraph (b) of this section provides for an alternative fall protection measure. Exception: When the employer can demonstrate that it is infeasible or creates a greater hazard to use these systems, the employer shall develop and implement a fall protection plan which meets the requirements of paragraph (k) of 1926.502.

Note: There is a presumption that it is feasible and will not create a greater hazard to implement at least one of the above-listed fall protection systems. Accordingly, the employer has the burden of establishing that it is appropriate to implement a fall protection plan which complies with 1926.502(k) for a particular workplace situation, in lieu of implementing any of those systems.

(b)(14) Wall openings. Each employee working on, at, above, or near wall openings (including those with chutes attached) where the outside bottom edge of the wall opening is 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels and the inside bottom edge of the wall opening is less than 39 inches (1.0 m) above the walking/working surface, shall be protected from falling by the use of a guardrail system, a safety net system, or a personal fall arrest system.

(b)(15) Walking/working surfaces not otherwise addressed. Except as provided in 1926.500(a)(2) or in 1926.501 (b)(1) through (b)(14), each employee on a walking/working surface 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels shall be protected from falling by a guardrail system, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system.

(c) Protection from falling objects. When an employee is exposed to falling objects, the employer shall have each employee wear a hard hat and shall implement one of the following measures:

(c)(1) Erect toeboards, screens, or guardrail systems to prevent objects from falling from higher levels; or,

(c)(2) Erect a canopy structure and keep potential fall objects far enough from the edge of the higher level so that those objects would not go over the edge if they were accidentally displaced; or,

(c)(3) Barricade the area to which objects could fall, prohibit employees from entering the barricaded area, and keep objects that may fall far enough away from the edge of a higher level so that those objects would not go over the edge if they were accidentally displaced.

1926.502 - Fall protection systems criteria and practices.

(a) General.

(a)(1) Fall protection systems required by this part shall comply with the applicable provisions of this section.

(a)(2) Employers shall provide and install all fall protection systems required by this subpart for an employee, and shall comply with all other pertinent requirements of this subpart before that employee begins the work that necessitates the fall protection.

(b) Guardrail systems. Guardrail systems and their use shall comply with the following provisions:

(b)(1) Top edge height of top rails, or equivalent guardrail system members, shall be 42 inches (1.1 m) plus or minus 3 inches (8 cm) above the walking/working level. When conditions warrant, the height of the top edge may exceed the 45-inch height, provided the guardrail system meets all other criteria of this paragraph.

Note: When employees are using stilts, the top edge height of the top rail, or equivalent member, shall be increased an amount equal to the height of the stilts.

(b)(2) Midrails, screens, mesh, intermediate vertical members, or equivalent intermediate structural members shall be installed between the top edge of the guardrail system and the walking/working surface when there is no wall or parapet wall at least 21 inches (53 cm) high.

(b)(2)(i) Midrails, when used, shall be installed at a height midway between the top edge of the guardrail system and the walking/working level.

(b)(2)(ii) Screens and mesh, when used, shall extend from the top rail to the walking/working level and along the entire opening between top rail supports.

(b)(2)(iii) Intermediate members (such as balusters), when used between posts, shall be not more than 19 inches (48 cm) apart.

(b)(2)(iv) Other structural members (such as additional midrails and architectural panels) shall be installed such that there are no openings in the guardrail system that are more than 19 inches (.5 m) wide.

(b)(3) Guardrail systems shall be capable of withstanding, without failure, a force of at least 200 pounds (890 N) applied within 2 inches (5.1 cm) of the top edge, in any outward or downward direction, at any point along the top edge.

(b)(4) When the 200 pound (890 N) test load specified in paragraph (b)(3) of this section is applied in a downward direction, the top edge of the guardrail shall not deflect to a height less than 39 inches (1.0 m) above the walking/working level. Guardrail system components selected and constructed in accordance with the Appendix B to subpart M of this part will be deemed to meet this requirement.

(b)(5) Midrails, screens, mesh, intermediate vertical members, solid panels, and equivalent structural members shall be capable of withstanding, without failure, a force of at least 150 pounds (666 N) applied in any downward or outward direction at any point along the midrail or other member.

(b)(6) Guardrail systems shall be so surfaced as to prevent injury to an employee from punctures or lacerations, and to prevent snagging of clothing.

(b)(7) The ends of all top rails and midrails shall not overhang the terminal posts, except where such overhang does not constitute a projection hazard.

(b)(8) Steel banding and plastic banding shall not be used as top rails or midrails.

(b)(9) Top rails and midrails shall be at least one-quarter inch (0.6 cm) nominal diameter or thickness to prevent cuts and lacerations. If wire rope is used for top rails, it shall be flagged at not more than 6-foot intervals with high-visibility material.

(b)(10) When guardrail systems are used at hoisting areas, a chain, gate or removable guardrail section shall be placed across the access opening between guardrail sections when hoisting operations are not taking place.

(b)(11) When guardrail systems are used at holes, they shall be erected on all unprotected sides or edges of the hole.

(b)(12) When guardrail systems are used around holes used for the passage of materials, the hole shall have not more than two sides provided with removable guardrail sections to allow the passage of materials. When the hole is not in use, it shall be closed over with a cover, or a guardrail system shall be provided along all unprotected sides or edges.

(b)(13) When guardrail systems are used around holes which are used as points of access (such as ladderways), they shall be provided with a gate, or be so offset that a person cannot walk directly into the hole.

(b)(14) Guardrail systems used on ramps and runways shall be erected along each unprotected side or edge.

(b)(15) Manila, plastic or synthetic rope being used for top rails or midrails shall be inspected as frequently as necessary to ensure that it continues to meet the strength requirements of paragraph (b)(3) of this section.

(d) Personal fall arrest systems. Personal fall arrest systems and their use shall comply with the provisions set forth below. Effective January 1, 1998, body belts are not acceptable as part of a personal fall arrest system.

Note: The use of a body belt in a positioning device system is acceptable and is regulated under paragraph (e) of this section.

(d)(1) Connectors shall be drop forged, pressed or formed steel, or made of equivalent materials.

(d)(2) Connectors shall have a corrosion-resistant finish, and all surfaces and edges shall be smooth to prevent damage to interfacing parts of the system.

(d)(3) Dee-rings and snaphooks shall have a minimum tensile strength of 5,000 pounds (22.2 kN).

(d)(4) Dee-rings and snaphooks shall be proof-tested to a minimum tensile load of 3,600 pounds (16 kN) without cracking, breaking, or taking permanent deformation.

(d)(5) Snaphooks shall be sized to be compatible with the member to which they are connected to prevent unintentional disengagement of the snaphook by depression of the snaphook keeper by the connected member, or shall be a locking type snaphook designed and used to prevent disengagement of the snaphook by the contact of the snaphook keeper by the connected member. Effective January 1, 1998, only locking type snaphooks shall be used.

(d)(6) Unless the snaphook is a locking type and designed for the following connections, snaphooks shall not be engaged:

(d)(6)(i) directly to webbing, rope or wire rope;

(d)(6)(ii) to each other;

(d)(6)(iii) to a dee-ring to which another snaphook or other connector is attached;

(d)(6)(iv) to a horizontal lifeline; or

(d)(6)(v) to any object which is incompatibly shaped or dimensioned in relation to the snaphook such that unintentional disengagement could occur by the connected object being able to depress the snaphook keeper and release itself.

(d)(9) Lanyards and vertical lifelines shall have a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 pounds (22.2 kN).

(d)(11) Lifelines shall be protected against being cut or abraded.

(d)(12) Self-retracting lifelines and lanyards which automatically limit free fall distance to 2 feet (0.61 m) or less shall be capable of sustaining a minimum tensile load of 3,000 pounds (13.3 kN) applied to the device with the lifeline or lanyard in the fully extended position.

(d)(13) Self-retracting lifelines and lanyards which do not limit free fall distance to 2 feet (0.61 m) or less, ripstitch lanyards, and tearing and deforming lanyards shall be capable of sustaining a minimum tensile load of 5,000 pounds (22.2 kN) applied to the device with the lifeline or lanyard in the fully extended position.

(d)(14) Ropes and straps (webbing) used in lanyards, lifelines, and strength components of body belts and body harnesses shall be made from synthetic fibers.

(d)(15) Anchorages used for attachment of personal fall arrest equipment shall be independent of any anchorage being used to support or suspend platforms and capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds (22.2 kN) per employee attached, or shall be designed, installed, and used as follows:

(d)(15)(i) as part of a complete personal fall arrest system which maintains a safety factor of at least two; and

(d)(15)(ii) under the supervision of a qualified person.

(d)(16) Personal fall arrest systems, when stopping a fall, shall:

(d)(16)(i) limit maximum arresting force on an employee to 900 pounds (4 kN) when used with a body belt;

(d)(16)(ii) limit maximum arresting force on an employee to 1,800 pounds (8 kN) when used with a body harness;

(d)(16)(iii) be rigged such that an employee can neither free fall more than 6 feet (1.8 m), nor contact any lower level;

(d)(16)(iv) bring an employee to a complete stop and limit maximum deceleration distance an employee travels to 3.5 feet (1.07 m); and,

(d)(16)(v) have sufficient strength to withstand twice the potential impact energy of an employee free falling a distance of 6 feet (1.8 m), or the free fall distance permitted by the system, whichever is less.

Note: If the personal fall arrest system meets the criteria and protocols contained in Appendix C to subpart M, and if the system is being used by an employee having a combined person and tool weight of less than 310 pounds (140 kg), the system will be considered to be in compliance with the provisions of paragraph (d)(16) of this section. If the system is used by an employee having a combined tool and body weight of 310 pounds (140 kg) or more, then the employer must appropriately modify the criteria and protocols of the Appendix to provide proper protection for such heavier weights, or the system will not be deemed to be in compliance with the requirements of paragraph (d)(16) of this section.

(d)(17) The attachment point of the body belt shall be located in the center of the wearer's back. The attachment point of the body harness shall be located in the center of the wearer's back near shoulder level, or above the wearer's head.

(d)(18) Body belts, harnesses, and components shall be used only for employee protection (as part of a personal fall arrest system or positioning device system) and not to hoist materials.

(d)(19) Personal fall arrest systems and components subjected to impact loading shall be immediately removed from service and shall not be used again for employee protection until inspected and determined by a competent person to be undamaged and suitable for reuse.

(d)(20) The employer shall provide for prompt rescue of employees in the event of a fall or shall assure that employees are able to rescue themselves.

(d)(21) Personal fall arrest systems shall be inspected prior to each use for wear, damage and other deterioration, and defective components shall be removed from service.

(d)(22) Body belts shall be at least one and five-eighths (1 5/8) inches (4.1 cm) wide.

(d)(23) Personal fall arrest systems shall not be attached to guardrail systems, nor shall they be attached to hoists except as specified in other subparts of this Part.

(e) Positioning device systems. Positioning device systems and their use shall conform to the following provisions:

(e)(1) Positioning devices shall be rigged such that an employee cannot free fall more than 2 feet (.9 m).

(e)(2) Positioning devices shall be secured to an anchorage capable of supporting at least twice the potential impact load of an employee's fall or 3,000 pounds (13.3 kN), whichever is greater.

(e)(3) Connectors shall be drop forged, pressed or formed steel, or made of equivalent materials.

(e)(4) Connectors shall have a corrosion-resistant finish, and all surfaces and edges shall be smooth to prevent damage to interfacing parts of this system.

(e)(5) Connecting assemblies shall have a minimum tensile strength of 5,000 pounds (22.2 kN)

(e)(6) Dee-rings and snaphooks shall be proof-tested to a minimum tensile load of 3,600 pounds (16 kN) without cracking, breaking, or taking permanent deformation.

(e)(7) Snaphooks shall be sized to be compatible with the member to which they are connected to prevent unintentional disengagement of the snaphook by depression of the snaphook keeper by the connected member, or shall be a locking type snaphook designed and used to prevent disengagement of the snaphook by the contact of the snaphook keeper by the connected member. As of January 1, 1998, only locking type snaphooks shall be used.

(e)(8) Unless the snaphook is a locking type and designed for the following connections, snaphooks shall not be engaged:

(e)(8)(i) directly to webbing, rope or wire rope;

(e)(8)(ii) to each other;

(e)(8)(iii) to a dee-ring to which another snaphook or other connector is attached;

(e)(8)(iv) to a horizontal lifeline; or

(e)(8)(v) to any object which is incompatibly shaped or dimensioned in relation to the snaphook such that unintentional disengagement could occur by the connected object being able to depress the snaphook keeper and release itself.

(e)(9) Positioning device systems shall be inspected prior to each use for wear, damage, and other deterioration, and defective components shall be removed from service.

(e)(10) Body belts, harnesses, and components shall be used only for employee protection (as part of a personal fall arrest system or positioning device system) and not to hoist materials.

(g) Controlled access zones. Controlled access zones [See 1926.501(b)(9) and 1926.502(k)] and their use shall conform to the following provisions.

(g)(1) When used to control access to areas where leading edge and other operations are taking place the controlled access zone shall be defined by a control line or by any other means that restricts access.

(g)(1)(i) When control lines are used, they shall be erected not less than 6 feet (1.8 m) nor more than 25 feet (7.7 m) from the unprotected or leading edge, except when erecting precast concrete members.

(g)(1)(ii) When erecting precast concrete members, the control line shall be erected not less than 6 feet (1.8 m) nor more than 60 feet (18 m) or half the length of the member being erected, whichever is less, from the leading edge.

(g)(1)(iii) The control line shall extend along the entire length of the unprotected or leading edge and shall be approximately parallel to the unprotected or leading edge.

(g)(1)(iv) The control line shall be connected on each side to a guardrail system or wall.

(g)(2) When used to control access to areas where overhand bricklaying and related work are taking place:

(g)(2)(i) The controlled access zone shall be defined by a control line erected not less than 10 feet (3.1 m) nor more than 15 feet (4.5 m) from the working edge.

(g)(2)(ii) The control line shall extend for a distance sufficient for the controlled access zone to enclose all employees performing overhand bricklaying and related work at the working edge and shall be approximately parallel to the working edge.

(g)(2)(iii) Additional control lines shall be erected at each end to enclose the controlled access zone.

(g)(2)(iv) Only employees engaged in overhand bricklaying or related work shall be permitted in the controlled access zone.

(g)(3) Control lines shall consist of ropes, wires, tapes, or equivalent materials, and supporting stanchions as follows:

(g)(3)(i) Each line shall be flagged or otherwise clearly marked at not more than 6-foot (1.8 m) intervals with high-visibility material.

(g)(3)(ii) Each line shall be rigged and supported in such a way that its lowest point (including sag) is not less than 39 inches (1 m) from the walking/working surface and its highest point is not more than 45 inches (1.3 m) [50 inches (1.3 m) when overhand bricklaying operations are being performed] from the walking/working surface.

(g)(3)(iii) Each line shall have a minimum breaking strength of 200 pounds (.88 kN).

(g)(4) On floors and roofs where guardrail systems are not in place prior to the beginning of overhand bricklaying operations, controlled access zones shall be enlarged, as necessary, to enclose all points of access, material handling areas, and storage areas.

(g)(5) On floors and roofs where guardrail systems are in place, but need to be removed to allow overhand bricklaying work or leading edge work to take place, only that portion of the guardrail necessary to accomplish that day's work shall be removed.

(j) Protection from falling objects. Falling object protection shall comply with the following provisions:

(j)(1) Toeboards, when used as falling object protection, shall be erected along the edge of the overhead walking/working surface for a distance sufficient to protect employees below.

(j)(2) Toeboards shall be capable of withstanding, without failure, a force of at least 50 pounds (222 N) applied in any downward or outward direction at any point along the toeboard.

(j)(3) Toeboards shall be a minimum of 3 1/2 inches (9 cm) in vertical height from their top edge to the level of the walking/working surface. They shall have not more than 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) clearance above the walking/working surface. They shall be solid or have openings not over 1 inch (2.5 cm) in greatest dimension.

(j)(4) Where tools, equipment, or materials are piled higher than the top edge of a toeboard, paneling or screening shall be erected from the walking/working surface or toeboard to the top of a guardrail system's top rail or midrail, for a distance sufficient to protect employees below.

(j)(5) Guardrail systems, when used as falling object protection, shall have all openings small enough to prevent passage of potential falling objects.

(j)(6) During the performance of overhand bricklaying and related work:

(j)(6)(i) No materials or equipment except masonry and mortar shall be stored within 4 feet (1.2 m) of the working edge.

(j)(6)(ii) Excess mortar, broken or scattered masonry units, and all other materials and debris shall be kept clear from the work area by removal at regular intervals.

(j)(7) During the performance of roofing work:

(j)(7)(i) Materials and equipment shall not be stored within 6 feet (1.8 m) of a roof edge unless guardrails are erected at the edge.

(j)(7)(ii) Materials which are piled, grouped, or stacked near a roof edge shall be stable and self-supporting.

(j)(8) Canopies, when used as falling object protection, shall be strong enough to prevent collapse and to prevent penetration by any objects which may fall onto the canopy.

(k) Fall protection plan. This option is available only to employees engaged in leading edge work, precast concrete erection work, or residential construction work (See 1926.501(b)(2), (b)(12), and (b)(13)) who can demonstrate that it is infeasible or it creates a greater hazard to use conventional fall protection equipment. The fall protection plan must conform to the following provisions.

(k)(1) The fall protection plan shall be prepared by a qualified person and developed specifically for the site where the leading edge work, precast concrete work, or residential construction work is being performed and the plan must be maintained up to date.

(k)(2) Any changes to the fall protection plan shall be approved by a qualified person.

(k)(3) A copy of the fall protection plan with all approved changes shall be maintained at the job site.

(k)(4) The implementation of the fall protection plan shall be under the supervision of a competent person.

(k)(5) The fall protection plan shall document the reasons why the use of conventional fall protection systems (guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, or safety nets systems) are infeasible or why their use would create a greater hazard.

(k)(6) The fall protection plan shall include a written discussion of other measures that will be taken to reduce or eliminate the fall hazard for workers who cannot be provided with protection from the conventional fall protection systems. For example, the employer shall discuss the extent to which scaffolds, ladders, or vehicle mounted work platforms can be used to provide a safer working surface and thereby reduce the hazard of falling.

(k)(7) The fall protection plan shall identify each location where conventional fall protection methods cannot be used. These locations shall then be classified as controlled access zones and the employer must comply with the criteria in paragraph (g) of this section.

(k)(8) Where no other alternative measure has been implemented, the employer shall implement a safety monitoring system in conformance with 1926.502(h).

(k)(9) The fall protection plan must include a statement which provides the name or other method of identification for each employee who is designated to work in controlled access zones. No other employees may enter controlled access zones.

(k)(10) In the event an employee falls, or some other related, serious incident occurs, (e.g., a near miss) the employer shall investigate the circumstances of the fall or other incident to determine if the fall protection plan needs to be changed (e.g. new practices, procedures, or training) and shall implement those changes to prevent similar types of falls or incidents.

1926.503 - Training requirements.

The following training provisions supplement and clarify the requirements of 1926.21 regarding the hazards addressed in subpart M of this part.

(a) Training Program.

(a)(1) The employer shall provide a training program for each employee who might be exposed to fall hazards. The program shall enable each employee to recognize the hazards of falling and shall train each employee in the procedures to be followed in order to minimize these hazards.

(a)(2) The employer shall assure that each employee has been trained, as necessary, by a competent person qualified in the following areas:

(a)(2)(i) The nature of fall hazards in the work area;

(a)(2)(ii) The correct procedures for erecting, maintaining, disassembling, and inspecting the fall protection systems to be used;

(a)(2)(iii) The use and operation of guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, safety net systems, warning line systems, safety monitoring systems, controlled access zones, and other protection to be used;

(a)(2)(iv) The role of each employee in the safety monitoring system when this system is used;

(a)(2)(v) The limitations on the use of mechanical equipment during the performance of roofing work on low-sloped roofs;

(a)(2)(vi) The correct procedures for the handling and storage of equipment and materials and the erection of overhead protection; and

(a)(2)(vii) The role of employees in fall protection plans;

(a)(2)(viii) The standards contained in this subpart.

(b) Certification of training.

(b)(1) The employer shall verify compliance with paragraph (a) of this section by preparing a written certification record. The written certification record shall contain the name or other identity of the employee trained, the date(s) of the training, and the signature of the person who conducted the training or the signature of the employer. If the employer relies on training conducted by another employer or completed prior to the effective date of this section, the certification record shall indicate the date the employer determined the prior training was adequate rather than the date of actual training.

(b)(2) The latest training certification shall be maintained.

(c) Retraining. When the employer has reason to believe that any affected employee who has already been trained does not have the understanding and skill required by paragraph (a) of this section, the employer shall retrain each such employee. Circumstances where retraining is required include, but are not limited to, situations where:

(c)(1) Changes in the workplace render previous training obsolete; or

(c)(2) Changes in the types of fall protection systems or equipment to be used render previous training obsolete; or

(c)(3) Inadequacies in an affected employee's knowledge or use of fall protection systems or equipment indicate that the employee has not retained the requisite understanding or skill.

Note: The following appendices to subpart M of this part serve as non-mandatory guidelines to assist employers in complying with the appropriate requirements of subpart M of this part.

Subpart M Appendix A - Determining Roof Widths - Non-mandatory Guidelines for Complying with 1926.501(b)(10)

(1) This Appendix serves as a guideline to assist employers complying with the requirements of 1926.501(b)(10). Section 1910.501(b)(10) allows the use of a safety monitoring system alone as a means of providing fall protection during the performance of roofing operations on low-sloped roofs 50 feet (15.25 m) or less in width. Each example in the appendix shows a roof plan or plans and indicates where each roof or roof area is to be measured to determine its width. Section views or elevation views are shown where appropriate. Some examples show "correct" and "incorrect" subdivisions of irregularly shaped roofs divided into smaller, regularly shaped areas. In all examples, the dimension selected to be the width of an area is the lesser of the two primary dimensions of the area, as viewed from above. Example A shows that on a simple rectangular roof, width is the lesser of the two primary overall dimensions. This is also the case with roofs which are sloped toward or away from the roof center, as shown in Example B.

(2) Many roofs are not simple rectangles. Such roofs may be broken down into subareas as shown in Example C. The process of dividing a roof area can produce many different configurations. Example C gives the general rule of using dividing lines of minimum length to minimize the size and number of the areas which are potentially less than 50 feet (15.25 m) wide. The intent is to minimize the number of roof areas where safety monitoring systems alone are sufficient protection.

(3) Roofs which are comprised of several separate, non-contiguous roof areas, as in Example D, may be considered as a series of individual roofs. Some roofs have penthouses, additional floors, courtyard openings, or similar architectural features; Example E shows how the rule for dividing roofs into subareas is applied to such configurations. Irregular, non-rectangular roofs must be considered on an individual basis, as shown in Example F.

Example A - Rectangular Shaped Roofs

[Picture]

Example B - Sloped Rectangular Shaped Roofs

[Picture - Plan View]

Example C - - Irregularly Shaped Roofs With Rectangular Shaped Sections

Such roofs are to be divided into sub-areas by using dividing lines of minimum length to minimize the size and number of the areas which are potentially less than or equal to 50 feet (15.25 meters) in width, in order to limit the size of roof areas where the safety monitoring system alone can be used [1926.502(b)(10)]. Dotted lines are used in the examples to show the location of dividing lines. W denotes incorrect measurements of width.

[Diagram - Folding Pattern]

Example D

Separate, Non-Contiguous Roof Areas

[Diagram]

Example E - Roofs With Penthouses, Open Courtyards, Additional Floors, etc.

Such roofs are to be divided into sub-areas by using dividing lines of minimum length to minimize the size and number of the areas which are potentially less than or equal to 50 feet (15.25 meters) in width, in order to limit the size of roof areas where the safety monitoring system alone can be used [1926.502(b)(10)]. Dotted lines are used in the examples to show the location of dividing lines. W denotes incorrect measurements of width.

[Diagram]

Example F - Irregular, Non-Rectangular Shaped Roofs

[Diagram]

Subpart M Appendix B - Guardrail Systems - Non-Mandatory Guidelines for Complying with 1926.502(b)

The standard requires guardrail systems and components to be designed and built to meet the requirements of 1926.502(b)(3), (4), and (5). This Appendix serves as a non-mandatory guideline to assist employers in complying with these requirements. An employer may use these guidelines as a starting point for designing guardrail systems. However, the guidelines do not provide all the information necessary to build a complete system, and the employer is still responsible for designing and assembling these components in such a way that the completed system will meet the requirements of 1926.502(b)(3), (4), and (5). Components for which no specific guidelines are given in this Appendix (e.g., joints, base connections, components made with other materials, and components with other dimensions) must also be designed and constructed in such a way that the completed system meets the requirements of 1926.502.

(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 4-inch (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.

(2) 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.

(3) For structural steel railings: posts, top rails, and intermediate rails shall be at least 2-inch 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.

Subpart M Appendix C - Personal Fall Arrest Systems - Non-Mandatory Guidelines for Complying with 1926.502(d)

(c) Component compatibility considerations. Ideally, a personal fall arrest system is designed, tested, and supplied as a complete system. However, it is common practice for lanyards, connectors, lifelines, deceleration devices, body belts and body harnesses to be interchanged since some components wear out before others. The employer and employee should realize that not all components are interchangeable. For instance, a lanyard should not be connected between a body belt (or harness) and a deceleration device of the self-retracting type since this can result in additional free fall for which the system was not designed. Any substitution or change to a personal fall arrest system should be fully evaluated or tested by a competent person to determine that it meets the standard, before the modified system is put in use.

(d) Employee training considerations. Thorough employee training in the selection and use of personal fall arrest systems is imperative. Employees must be trained in the safe use of the system. This should include the following: application limits; proper anchoring and tie-off techniques; estimation of free fall distance, including determination of deceleration distance, and total fall distance to prevent striking a lower level; methods of use; and inspection and storage of the system. Careless or improper use of the equipment can result in serious injury or death. Employers and employees should become familiar with the material in this Appendix, as well as manufacturer's recommendations, before a system is used. Of uppermost importance is the reduction in strength caused by certain tie-offs (such as using knots, tying around sharp edges, etc.) and maximum permitted free fall distance. Also, to be stressed are the importance of inspections prior to use, the limitations of the equipment, and unique conditions at the worksite which may be important in determining the type of system to use.

(e) Instruction considerations. Employers should obtain comprehensive instructions from the supplier as to the system's proper use and application, including, where applicable:

(e)(1) The force measured during the sample force test;

(e)(2) The maximum elongation measured for lanyards during the force test;

(e)(3) The deceleration distance measured for deceleration devices during the force test;

(e)(4) Caution statements on critical use limitations;

(e)(5) Application limits;

(e)(6) Proper hook-up, anchoring and tie-off techniques, including the proper dee-ring or other attachment point to use on the body belt and harness for fall arrest;

(e)(7) Proper climbing techniques;

(e)(8) Methods of inspection, use, cleaning, and storage; and

(e)(9) Specific lifelines which may be used. This information should be provided to employees during training.

(f) Rescue considerations. As required by 1926.502(d)(20), when personal fall arrest systems are used, the employer must assure that employees can be promptly rescued or can rescue themselves should a fall occur. The availability of rescue personnel, ladders or other rescue equipment should be evaluated. In some situations, equipment which allows employees to rescue themselves after the fall has been arrested may be desirable, such as devices which have descent capability.

(g) Inspection considerations. As required by 1926.502(d)(21), personal fall arrest systems must be regularly inspected. Any component with any significant defect, such as cuts, tears, abrasions, mold, or undue stretching; alterations or additions which might affect its efficiency; damage due to deterioration; contact with fire, acids, or other corrosives; distorted hooks or faulty hook springs; tongues unfitted to the shoulder of buckles; loose or damaged mountings; non-functioning parts; or wearing or internal deterioration in the ropes must be withdrawn from service immediately, and should be tagged or marked as unusable, or destroyed.

(h) Tie-off considerations.

(h)(1) One of the most important aspects of personal fall protection systems is fully planning the system before it is put into use. Probably the most overlooked component is planning for suitable anchorage points. Such planning should ideally be done before the structure or building is constructed so that anchorage points can be incorporated during construction for use later for window cleaning or other building maintenance. If properly planned, these anchorage points may be used during construction, as well as afterwards.

(h)(1)(i) Properly planned anchorages should be used if they are available. In some cases, anchorages must be installed immediately prior to use. In such cases, a registered professional engineer with experience in designing fall protection systems, or another qualified person with appropriate education and experience should design an anchor point to be installed.

(h)(1)(ii) In other cases, the Agency recognizes that there will be a need to devise an anchor point from existing structures. Examples of what might be appropriate anchor points are steel members or I-beams if an acceptable strap is available for the connection (do not use a lanyard with a snaphook clipped onto itself); large eye-bolts made of an appropriate grade steel; guardrails or railings if they have been designed for use as an anchor point; or masonry or wood members only if the attachment point is substantial and precautions have been taken to assure that bolts or other connectors will not pull through. A qualified person should be used to evaluate the suitable of these "make shift" anchorages with a focus on proper strength.

(h)(2) Employers and employees should at all times be aware that the strength of a personal fall arrest system is based on its being attached to an anchoring system which does not reduce the strength of the system (such as a properly dimensioned eye-bolt/snap-hook anchorage). Therefore, if a means of attachment is used that will reduce the strength of the system, that component should be replaced by a stronger one, but one that will also maintain the appropriate maximum arrest force characteristics.

(h)(3) Tie-off using a knot in a rope lanyard or lifeline (at any location) can reduce the lifeline or lanyard strength by 50 percent or more. Therefore, a stronger lanyard or lifeline should be used to compensate for the weakening effect of the knot, or the lanyard length should be reduced (or the tie-off location raised) to minimize free fall distance, or the lanyard or lifeline should be replaced by one which has an appropriately incorporated connector to eliminate the need for a knot.

(h)(4) Tie-off of a rope lanyard or lifeline around an "H" or "I" beam or similar support can reduce its strength as much as 70 percent due to the cutting action of the beam edges. Therefore, use should be made of a webbing lanyard or wire core lifeline around the beam; or the lanyard or lifeline should be protected from the edge; or free fall distance should be greatly minimized.

(h)(5) Tie-off where the line passes over or around rough or sharp surfaces reduces strength drastically. Such a tie-off should be avoided or an alternative tie-off rigging should be used. Such alternatives may include use of a snap-hook/dee ring connection, wire rope tie-off, an effective padding of the surfaces, or an abrasion-resistance strap around or over the problem surface.

(h)(6) Horizontal lifelines may, depending on their geometry and angle of sag, be subjected to greater loads than the impact load imposed by an attached component. When the angle of horizontal lifeline sag is less than 30 degrees, the impact force imparted to the lifeline by an attached lanyard is greatly amplified. For example, with a sag angle of 15 degrees, the force amplification is about 2:1 and at 5 degrees sag, it is about 6:1. Depending on the angle of sag, and the line's elasticity, the strength of the horizontal lifeline and the anchorages to which it is attached should be increased a number of times over that of the lanyard. Extreme care should be taken in considering a horizontal lifeline for multiple tie-offs. The reason for this is that in multiple tie-offs to a horizontal lifeline, if one employee falls, the movement of the falling employee and the horizontal lifeline during arrest of the fall may cause other employees to fall also. Horizontal lifeline and anchorage strength should be increased for each additional employee to be tied off. For these and other reasons, the design of systems using horizontal lifelines must only be done by qualified persons. Testing of installed lifelines and anchors prior to use is recommended.

(h)(7) The strength of an eye-bolt is rated along the axis of the bolt and its strength is greatly reduced if the force is applied at an angle to this axis (in the direction of shear). Also, care should be exercised in selecting the proper diameter of the eye to avoid accidental disengagement of snap-hooks not designed to be compatible for the connection.

(h)(8) Due to the significant reduction in the strength of the lifeline/lanyard (in some cases, as much as a 70 percent reduction), the sliding hitch knot (prusik) should not be used for lifeline/lanyard connections except in emergency situations where no other available system is practical. The "one-and-one" sliding hitch knot should never be used because it is unreliable in stopping a fall. The "two-and-two," or "three-and-three" knot (preferable) may be used in emergency situations; however, care should be taken to limit free fall distance to a minimum because of reduced lifeline/lanyard strength.

(j) Snap-hook considerations.

(j)(1) Although not required by this standard for all connections until January 1, 1998, locking snaphooks designed for connection to suitable objects (of sufficient strength) are highly recommended in lieu of the nonlocking type. Locking snaphooks incorporate a positive locking mechanism in addition to the spring loaded keeper, which will not allow the keeper to open under moderate pressure without someone first releasing the mechanism. Such a feature, properly designed, effectively prevents roll-out from occurring.

(j)(2) As required by 1926.502(d)(6), the following connections must be avoided (unless properly designed locking snaphooks are used) because they are conditions which can result in roll-out when a nonlocking snaphook is used:

(j)(2)(i) Direct connection of a snaphook to a horizontal lifeline.

(j)(2)(ii) Two (or more) snaphooks connected to one dee-ring.

(j)(2)(iii) Two snaphooks connected to each other.

(j)(2)(iv) A snaphook connected back on its integral lanyard.

(j)(2)(v) A snaphook connected to a webbing loop or webbing lanyard.

(j)(2)(vi) Improper dimensions of the dee-ring, rebar, or other connection point in relation to the snaphook dimensions which would allow the snaphook keeper to be depressed by a turning motion of the snaphook.

(k) Free fall considerations. The employer and employee should at all times be aware that a system's maximum arresting force is evaluated under normal use conditions established by the manufacturer, and in no case using a free fall distance in excess of 6 feet (1.8 m). A few extra feet of free fall can significantly increase the arresting force on the employee, possibly to the point of causing injury. Because of this, the free fall distance should be kept at a minimum, and, as required by the standard, in no case greater than 6 feet (1.8 m). To help assure this, the tie-off attachment point to the lifeline or anchor should be located at or above the connection point of the fall arrest equipment to belt or harness. (Since otherwise additional free fall distance is added to the length of the connecting means (i.e. lanyard)). Attaching to the working surface will often result in a free fall greater than 6 feet (1.8 m). For instance, if a 6 foot (1.8 m) lanyard is used, the total free fall distance will be the distance from the working level to the body belt (or harness) attachment point plus the 6 feet (1.8 m) of lanyard length. Another important consideration is that the arresting force which the fall system must withstand also goes up with greater distances of free fall, possibly exceeding the strength of the system.

(l) Elongation and deceleration distance considerations. Other factors involved in a proper tie-off are elongation and deceleration distance. During the arresting of a fall, a lanyard will experience a length of stretching or elongation, whereas activation of a deceleration device will result in a certain stopping distance. These distances should be available with the lanyard or device's instructions and must be added to the free fall distance to arrive at the total fall distance before an employee is fully stopped. The additional stopping distance may be very significant if the lanyard or deceleration device is attached near or at the end of a long lifeline, which may itself add considerable distance due to its own elongation. As required by the standard, sufficient distance to allow for all of these factors must also be maintained between the employee and obstructions below, to prevent an injury due to impact before the system fully arrests the fall. In addition, a minimum of 12 feet (3.7 m) of lifeline should be allowed below the securing point of a rope grab type deceleration device, and the end terminated to prevent the device from sliding off the lifeline. Alternatively, the lifeline should extend to the ground or the next working level below. These measures are suggested to prevent the worker from inadvertently moving past the end of the lifeline and having the rope grab become disengaged from the lifeline.

(m) Obstruction considerations. The location of the tie-off should also consider the hazard of obstructions in the potential fall path of the employee. Tie-offs which minimize the possibilities of exaggerated swinging should be considered. In addition, when a body belt is used, the employee's body will go through a horizontal position to a jack-knifed position during the arrest of all falls. Thus, obstructions which might interfere with this motion should be avoided or a severe injury could occur.

(n) Other considerations. Because of the design of some personal fall arrest systems, additional considerations may be required for proper tie-off. For example, heavy deceleration devices of the self-retracting type should be secured overhead in order to avoid the weight of the device having to be supported by the employee. Also, if self-retracting equipment is connected to a horizontal lifeline, the sag in the lifeline should be minimized to prevent the device from sliding down the lifeline to a position which creates a swing hazard during fall arrest. In all cases, manufacturer's instructions should be followed.

Subpart M Appendix D - Positioning Device Systems - Non-Mandatory Guidelines for Complying with 1926.502(e)

I. Testing Methods For Positioning Device Systems.

This appendix serves as a non-mandatory guideline to assist employers comply with the requirements for positioning device systems in 1926.502(e). Paragraphs (b), (c), (d) and (e) of Appendix C of subpart M relating to 1926.502(d) - Personal Fall Arrest Systems - set forth test procedures which may be used, along with the procedures listed below, to determine compliance with the requirements for positioning device systems in 1926.502(e)(3) and (4) of Subpart M.

(a) General.

(a)(1) Single strap positioning devices shall have one end attached to a fixed anchorage and the other end connected to a body belt or harness in the same manner as they would be used to protect employees. Double strap positioning devices, similar to window cleaner's belts, shall have one end of the strap attached to a fixed anchorage and the other end shall hang free. The body belt or harness shall be attached to the strap in the same manner as it would be used to protect employees. The two strap ends shall be adjusted to their maximum span.

(a)(2) The fixed anchorage shall be rigid, and shall not have a deflection greater than .04 inches (1 mm) when a force of 2,250 pounds (10 kN) is applied.

(a)(3) During the testing of all systems, a test weight of 250 pounds plus or minus 3 pounds (113 kg plus or minus 1.6 kg) shall be used. The weight shall be a rigid object with a girth of 38 inches plus or minus 4 inches (96 cm plus or minus 10 cm).

(a)(4) Each test shall consist of dropping the specified weight one time without failure of the system being tested. A new system shall be used for each test.

(a)(5) The test weight for each test shall be hoisted exactly 4 feet (1.2 m above its "at rest" position), and shall be dropped so as to permit a vertical free fall of 4 feet (1.2 m).

(a)(6) The test is failed whenever any breakage or slippage occurs which permits the weight to fall free of the system.

(a)(7) Following the test, the system need not be capable of further operation; however, all such incapacities shall be readily apparent.

II. Inspection Considerations.

As required in 1926.502 (e)(5), positioning device systems must be regularly inspected. Any component with any significant defect, such as cuts, tears, abrasions, mold, or undue stretching; alterations or additions which might affect its efficiency; damage due to deterioration; contact with fire, acids, or other corrosives; distorted hooks or faulty hook springs; tongues unfitted to the shoulder of buckles; loose or damaged mountings; non-functioning parts; or wearing or internal deterioration in the ropes must be withdrawn from service immediately, and should be tagged or marked as unusable, or destroyed.

Subpart M Appendix E - Sample Fall Protection Plan - Non-Mandatory Guidelines for Complying with 1926.502(k)

Employers engaged in leading edge work, precast concrete construction work and residential construction work who can demonstrate that it is infeasible or creates a greater hazard to use conventional fall protection systems must develop and follow a fall protection plan. Below are sample fall protection plans developed for precast concrete construction and residential work that could be tailored to be site specific for other precast concrete or residential jobsite. This sample plan can be modified to be used for other work involving leading edge work. The sample plan outlines the elements that must be addressed in any fall protection plan. The reasons outlined in this sample fall protection plan are for illustrative purposes only and are not necessarily a valid, acceptable rationale (unless the conditions at the job site are the same as those covered by these sample plans) for not using conventional fall protection systems for a particular precast concrete or residential construction worksite. However, the sample plans provide guidance to employers on the type of information that is required to be discussed in fall protection plans.

Sample Fall Protection Plan
for Residential Construction

(Insert Company Name)

This Fall Protection Plan Is Specific For The Following Project:

Location of Job
Date Plan Prepared or Modified
Plan Prepared By
Plan Approved By
Plan Supervised By

The following Fall Protection Plan is a sample program prepared for the prevention of injuries associated with falls. A Fall Protection Plan must be developed and evaluated on a site by site basis. It is recommended that builders discuss the written Fall Protection Plan with their OSHA Area Office prior to going on a jobsite.

I. Statement of Company Policy

(Your company name here) is dedicated to the protection of its employees from on-the-job injuries. All employees of (Your company name here) have the responsibility to work safely on the job. The purpose of the plan is to supplement our existing safety and health program and to ensure that every employee who works for (Your company name here) recognizes workplace fall hazards and takes the appropriate measures to address those hazards.

This Fall Protection Plan addresses the use of conventional fall protection at a number of areas on the project, as well as identifies specific activities that require non-conventional means of fall protection. During the construction of residential buildings under 48 feet in height, it is sometimes infeasible or it creates a greater hazard to use conventional fall protection systems at specific areas or for specific tasks. The areas or tasks may include, but are not limited to:

a. Setting and bracing of roof trusses and rafters;

b. Installation of floor sheathing and joists;

c. Roof sheathing operations; and

d. Erecting exterior walls.

In these cases, conventional fall protection systems may not be the safest choice for builders. This plan is designed to enable employers and employees to recognize the fall hazards associated with this job and to establish the safest procedures that are to be followed in order to prevent falls to lower levels or through holes and openings in walking/working surfaces.

Each employee will be trained in these procedures and will strictly adhere to them except when doing so would expose the employee to a greater hazard. If, in the employee's opinion, this is the case, the employee is to notify the competent person of their concern and have the concern addressed before proceeding.

It is the responsibility of (name of competent person) to implement this Fall Protection Plan. Continual observational safety checks of work operations and the enforcement of the safety policy and procedures shall be regularly enforced. The crew supervisor or foreman (insert name) is responsible for correcting any unsafe practices or conditions immediately.

It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that all employees understand and adhere to the procedures of this plan and to follow the instructions of the crew supervisor. It is also the responsibility of the employee to bring to management's attention any unsafe or hazardous conditions or practices that may cause injury to either themselves or any other employees. Any changes to the Fall Protection Plan must be approved by (name of qualified person).

II. Fall Protection Systems to Be Used on This Job

Installation of roof trusses/rafters, exterior wall erection, roof sheathing, floor sheathing and joist/truss activities will be conducted by employees who are specifically trained to do this type of work and are trained to recognize the fall hazards. The nature of such work normally exposes the employee to the fall hazard for a short period of time. This Plan details how (Your company name here) will minimize these hazards.

Controlled Access Zones

When using the Plan to implement the fall protection options available, workers must be protected through limited access to high hazard locations. Before any non-conventional fall protection systems are used as part of the work plan, a controlled access zone (CAZ) shall be clearly defined by the competent person as an area where a recognized hazard exists. The demarcation of the CAZ shall be communicated by the competent person in a recognized manner, either through signs, wires, tapes, ropes or chains.

(Your company name here) shall take the following steps to ensure that the CAZ is clearly marked or controlled by the competent person:

All access to the CAZ must be restricted to authorized entrants;

All workers who are permitted in the CAZ shall be listed in the appropriate sections of the Plan (or be visibly identifiable by the competent person) prior to implementation;

The competent person shall ensure that all protective elements of the CAZ be implemented prior to the beginning of work.

Installation Procedures for Roof Truss and Rafter Erection

During the erection and bracing of roof trusses/rafters, conventional fall protection may present a greater hazard to workers. On this job, safety nets, guardrails and personal fall arrest systems will not provide adequate fall protection because the nets will cause the walls to collapse, while there are no suitable attachment or anchorage points for guardrails or personal fall arrest systems.

On this job, requiring workers to use a ladder for the entire installation process will cause a greater hazard because the worker must stand on the ladder with his back or side to the front of the ladder. While erecting the truss or rafter the worker will need both hands to maneuver the truss and therefore cannot hold onto the ladder. In addition, ladders cannot be adequately protected from movement while trusses are being maneuvered into place. Many workers may experience additional fatigue because of the increase in overhead work with heavy materials, which can also lead to a greater hazard.

Exterior scaffolds cannot be utilized on this job because the ground, after recent backfilling, cannot support the scaffolding. In most cases, the erection and dismantling of the scaffold would expose workers to a greater fall hazard than erection of the trusses/rafters.

On all walls eight feet or less, workers will install interior scaffolds along the interior wall below the location where the trusses/rafters will be erected. "Sawhorse" scaffolds constructed of 46 inch sawhorses and 2x10 planks will often allow workers to be elevated high enough to allow for the erection of trusses and rafters without working on the top plate of the wall.

In structures that have walls higher than eight feet and where the use of scaffolds and ladders would create a greater hazard, safe working procedures will be utilized when working on the top plate and will be monitored by the crew supervisor. During all stages of truss/rafter erection the stability of the trusses/rafters will be ensured at all times.

(Your company name here) shall take the following steps to protect workers who are exposed to fall hazards while working from the top plate installing trusses/rafters:

Only the following trained workers will be allowed to work on the top plate during roof truss or rafter installation:

Workers shall have no other duties to perform during truss/rafter erection procedures;

All trusses/rafters will be adequately braced before any worker can use the truss/rafter as a support;

Workers will remain on the top plate using the previously stabilized truss/rafter as a support while other trusses/rafters are being erected;

Workers will leave the area of the secured trusses only when it is necessary to secure another truss/rafter;

The first two trusses/rafters will be set from ladders leaning on side walls at points where the walls can support the weight of the ladder; and

A worker will climb onto the interior top plate via a ladder to secure the peaks of the first two trusses/rafters being set.

The workers responsible for detaching trusses from cranes and/or securing trusses at the peaks traditionally are positioned at the peak of the trusses/rafters. There are also situations where workers securing rafters to ridge beams will be positioned on top of the ridge beam.

(Your company name here) shall take the following steps to protect workers who are exposed to fall hazards while securing trusses/rafters at the peak of the trusses/ridge beam:

Only the following trained workers will be allowed to work at the peak during roof truss or rafter installation:

Once truss or rafter installation begins, workers not involved in that activity shall not stand or walk below or adjacent to the roof opening or exterior walls in any area where they could be struck by falling objects;

Workers shall have no other duties than securing/bracing the trusses/ridge beam;

Workers positioned at the peaks or in the webs of trusses or on top of the ridge beam shall work from a stable position, either by sitting on a "ridge seat" or other equivalent surface that provides additional stability or by positioning themselves in previously stabilized trusses/rafters and leaning into and reaching through the trusses/rafters;

Workers shall not remain on or in the peak/ridge any longer than necessary to safely complete the task.

Roof Sheathing Operations

Workers typically install roof sheathing after all trusses/rafters and any permanent truss bracing is in place. Roof structures are unstable until some sheathing is installed, so workers installing roof sheathing cannot be protected from fall hazards by conventional fall protection systems until it is determined that the roofing system can be used as an anchorage point. At that point, employees shall be protected by a personal fall arrest system.

Trusses/rafters are subject to collapse if a worker falls while attached to a single truss with a belt/harness. Nets could also cause collapse, and there is no place to attach guardrails.

All workers will ensure that they have secure footing before they attempt to walk on the sheathing, including cleaning shoes/boots of mud or other slip hazards.

To minimize the time workers must be exposed to a fall hazard, materials will be staged to allow for the quickest installation of sheathing.

(Your company name here) shall take the following steps to protect workers who are exposed to fall hazards while installing roof sheathing:

Once roof sheathing installation begins, workers not involved in that activity shall not stand or walk below or adjacent to the roof opening or exterior walls in any area where they could be struck by falling objects;

The competent person shall determine the limits of this area, which shall be clearly communicated to workers prior to placement of the first piece of roof sheathing;

The competent person may order work on the roof to be suspended for brief periods as necessary to allow other workers to pass through such areas when this would not create a greater hazard;

Only qualified workers shall install roof sheathing;

The bottom row of roof sheathing may be installed by workers standing in truss webs;

After the bottom row of roof sheathing is installed, a slide guard extending the width of the roof shall be securely attached to the roof. Slide guards are to be constructed of no less than nominal 4" height capable of limiting the uncontrolled slide of workers. Workers should install the slide guard while standing in truss webs and leaning over the sheathing;

Additional rows of roof sheathing may be installed by workers positioned on previously installed rows of sheathing. A slide guard can be used to assist workers in retaining their footing during successive sheathing operations; and

Additional slide guards shall be securely attached to the roof at intervals not to exceed 13 feet as successive rows of sheathing are installed. For roofs with pitches in excess of 9-in-12, slide guards will be installed at four-foot intervals.

When wet weather (rain, snow, or sleet) are present, roof sheathing operations shall be suspended unless safe footing can be assured for those workers installing sheathing.

When strong winds (above 40 miles per hour) are present, roof sheathing operations are to be suspended unless wind breakers are erected.

Installation of Floor Joists and Sheathing

During the installation of floor sheathing/joists (leading edge construction), the following steps shall be taken to protect workers:

Only the following trained workers will be allowed to install floor joists or sheathing:

Materials for the operations shall be conveniently staged to allow for easy access to workers;

The first floor joists or trusses will be rolled into position and secured either from the ground, ladders or sawhorse scaffolds;

Each successive floor joist or truss will be rolled into place and secured from a platform created from a sheet of plywood laid over the previously secured floor joists or trusses;

Except for the first row of sheathing which will be installed from ladders or the ground, workers shall work from the established deck; and

Any workers not assisting in the leading edge construction while leading edges still exist (e.g. cutting the decking for the installers) shall not be permitted within six feet of the leading edge under construction.

Erection of Exterior Walls

During the construction and erection of exterior walls, employers shall take the following steps to protect workers:

Only the following trained workers will be allowed to erect exterior walls:

A painted line six feet from the perimeter will be clearly marked prior to any wall erection activities to warn of the approaching unprotected edge;

Materials for operations shall be conveniently staged to minimize fall hazards; and

Workers constructing exterior walls shall complete as much cutting of materials and other preparation as possible away from the edge of the deck.

III. Enforcement

Constant awareness of and respect for fall hazards, and compliance with all safety rules are considered conditions of employment. The crew supervisor or foreman, as well as individuals in the Safety and Personnel Department, reserve the right to issue disciplinary warnings to employees, up to and including termination, for failure to follow the guidelines of this program.

IV. Accident Investigations

All accidents that result in injury to workers, regardless of their nature, shall be investigated and reported. It is an integral part of any safety program that documentation take place as soon as possible so that the cause and means of prevention can be identified to prevent a reoccurrence.

In the event that an employee falls or there is some other related, serious incident occurring, this plan shall be reviewed to determine if additional practices, procedures, or training need to be implemented to prevent similar types of falls or incidents from occurring.

V. Changes to Plan

Any changes to the plan will be approved by (name of the qualified person). This plan shall be reviewed by a qualified person as the job progresses to determine if additional practices, procedures or training needs to be implemented by the competent person to improve or provide additional fall protection. Workers shall be notified and trained, if necessary, in the new procedures. A copy of this plan and all approved changes shall be maintained at the jobsite.

Last updated on 01/21/05

 

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Copyright 2011 Benivia, LLC (dba EHSO) All rights reserved.

 

Contact information:
Environmental Health & Safety Online
EHSO, Inc., 8400 Roswell Rd., Atlanta, GA 30350

Table of Contents for Environmental Health & Safety Online for EHS Professionals http://www.ehso.com/contents.php
Environmental and safety services for business - training, consulting, assessments, ISO14000, report and permit preparations and expert testimony. http://www.ehso.com/EHSservices/enviserv.htm
EHSO is looking for environmental and safety service providers, such as trainers, consultants, CIH's, etc., anywhere in the United States to provide their services to our site visitors.  Write us for more information. Email: or click on feedback

How to get help on your questions
Copyright 2013 Benivia, LLC (dba EHSO) All rights reserved.

 

Contact information:
Environmental Health & Safety Online
EHSO, Inc., 8400 Roswell Rd., Atlanta, GA 30350

Table of Contents for Environmental Health & Safety Online for EHS Professionals http://www.ehso.com/contents.php
Environmental and safety services for business - training, consulting, assessments, ISO14000, report and permit preparations and expert testimony. http://www.ehso.com/EHSservices/enviserv.htm
EHSO is looking for environmental and safety service providers, such as trainers, consultants, CIH's, etc., anywhere in the United States to provide their services to our site visitors.  Write us for more information. Email: or click on feedback

How to get help on your questions
Copyright 2013 Benivia, LLC (dba EHSO) All rights reserved.

 

Contact information:
Environmental Health & Safety Online
EHSO, Inc., 8400 Roswell Rd., Atlanta, GA 30350

Table of Contents for Environmental Health & Safety Online for EHS Professionals http://www.ehso.com/contents.php
Environmental and safety services for business - training, consulting, assessments, ISO14000, report and permit preparations and expert testimony. http://www.ehso.com/EHSservices/enviserv.htm
EHSO is looking for environmental and safety service providers, such as trainers, consultants, CIH's, etc., anywhere in the United States to provide their services to our site visitors.  Write us for more information. Email: or click on feedback

How to get help on your questions
Copyright 2013 Benivia, LLC (dba EHSO) All rights reserved.

 

Contact information:
Environmental Health & Safety Online
EHSO, Inc., 8400 Roswell Rd., Atlanta, GA 30350

Table of Contents for Environmental Health & Safety Online for EHS Professionals http://www.ehso.com/contents.php
Environmental and safety services for business - training, consulting, assessments, ISO14000, report and permit preparations and expert testimony. http://www.ehso.com/EHSservices/enviserv.htm
EHSO is looking for environmental and safety service providers, such as trainers, consultants, CIH's, etc., anywhere in the United States to provide their services to our site visitors.  Write us for more information. Email: or click on feedback

How to get help on your questions
Copyright 2013 Benivia, LLC (dba EHSO) All rights reserved.