The Secretary of Labor adopted Construction Standards, which had been issued under the Construction Safety Act in 29 CFR Part 1518, as OSHA standards in accordance with section 6(a) of the OSH Act (36 FR 10466, May 29, 1971). On November 25, 1986, OSHA proposed to revise virtually all of the fall protection provisions of the construction industry standards and to consolidate those requirements, except where specifically provided otherwise, in subpart M [51 FR 42718]. The final rule, 29 CFR Part 1926, Subpart M, which became effective on February 6, 1995, contains general fall protection requirements for construction work.
Employers must assess the workplace to determine if walking or working surfaces have the necessary strength and structural integrity to safely support the workers. The employer must then determine whether fall protection is required (using the requirements set forth in 29 CFR 1926.501) and, if so, select and provide workers with fall protection systems that comply with the criteria found in 29 CFR 1926.502.