Fall Protection (Construction) laws & safety compliance analysis

Fall Protection (Construction): What you need to know

Fall protection is a concept that describes the systems, processes, procedures, equipment, and regulations used to protect employees from falls and to reduce the risk of falling. The federal fall protection rules for the construction industry apply to temporary construction site activities, employee training related to walking and working surfaces near unprotected sides and edges that are 6 feet (ft) or more above a lower level, and protection from falling objects. The fall protection rules covered in this topic do not apply to ladders, stairs, scaffolding, aerial lifts, towers, steel erection, cranes, derricks, hoists, elevators, conveyors, or excavations. The fall protection procedures for those types of equipment or activities are covered under other general industry and construction rules.

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See the Slips and Falls topic for more information about walking-working surfaces in general industry workplaces.

Fall protection in construction rules. OSHA's rules for general fall protection in construction work are located at 29 CFR 1926 Subpart M (1926.500 to 1926.503, and nonmandatory Subpart M, Appendix A to Appendix D).

Related rules. There are other OSHA rules related to fall protection that may apply to your worksites:

  • Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution (29 CFR 1910.269)
  • Electric power transmission and distribution (personal protective equipment)(29 CFR 1926.954)
  • Ladders (29 CFR 1926.1051)
  • Personal protective equipment (29 CFR 1910.132)
  • Powered platforms for building maintenance, personal fall arrest system (29 CFR 1910.66 Appendix C, Section I, mandatory)
  • Safety belts, lifelines, lanyards, and safety nets for steel erection on nontiered buildings and other structures (e.g., communication towers) ...

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More on this topic:

Overview
Fall Protection in Construction Requirements
Training
Additional Guidance
OSHA Compliance Directive