When employees are performing construction work six feet or more above a lower level, you need to provide them with some type of fall protection. There is an exception for working on scaffolding — the threshold height for fall protection is ten feet. OSHA regulates falls at 1926 Subpart M.
Scaffolding (1926.451) OSHA’s scaffolding standard for construction was the third most-frequently cited agency standard in FY 2018.
January 7, 2019
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries reported 54 fatalities in 2009 from scaffold staging. In a BLS study, 72 percent of workers injured in scaffold accidents said either the planking or support gave way, slipping, or being struck by a falling object. All can be controlled by compliance with OSHA standards.
A West Virginia contractor found itself on the receiving end of an OSHA investigation after an agency inspector observed an employee working on scaffolding with no fall protection and in close proximity to an electrical power line – a combination that could have proved deadly.
OSHA stresses in a fall prevention fact sheet that falls from roofs can be prevented. Here’s how: DO: • Wear a harness and always stay connected • Make sure your harness fits •Use guardrails or lifelines •Inspect all fall protection equipment before use •Guard or cover all holes, openings, and skylights