Fall protection, for activities not in the construction industry, is addressed in specific standards for the general industry, shipyard employment, marine terminals and longshoring industry. This section highlights OSHA standards, Federal Registers (rules, proposed rules, and notices), the Regulatory Agenda (a list of actions being taken with regard to OSHA standards), preambles to final rules (background to final rules), directives (instructions for compliance officers), standard interpretations (official letters of interpretation of the standards), example cases, and national consensus standards related to fall protection. Twenty-five states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have OSHA-approved State Plans, which are required to be at least as effective as Federal OSHA. For the most part, these States adopt standards that are identical to Federal OSHA. However, some States have adopted different standards applicable to this topic or may have different enforcement policies. Other federal standards and consensus standards related to fall hazards are included for reference.
General Industry (29 CFR Part 1910)
- 1910.23, Guarding floor and wall openings and holes
- 1910.25, Portable wood ladders
- 1910.26, Portable metal ladders
- 1910.27, Fixed ladders
- 1910.28, Safety requirements for scaffolding
- 1910.66, Powered platforms for building maintenance
- 1910.67, Vehicle-mounted elevating and rotating work platforms [Aerial lifts]
- 1910.68, Manlifts
- 1910.132, General requirements (Personal Protective Equipnment) [related topic page]
- 1910.268, Telecommunications
- 1910.269, Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution [related topic page]
Shipyard Employment (29 CFR Part 1915)
- 1915.71, Scaffolds or staging
- 1915.72, Ladders
- 1915.73, Guarding of deck openings and edges
- 1915.74, Access to vessels
- 1915.75, Access to and guarding of dry docks and marine realiways
- 1915.76, Access to cargo spaces and confined spaces
- 1915.77, Working surfaces
- 1915.158, Lifesaving equipment (life rings and PFDs)
- 1915.159, Personal fall arrest systems (PFAS)
- 1915.160, Positioning device systems
- Subpart I Appendix B, General testing conditions and additional guidelines for personal fall protection systems (Non-mandatory)
Marine Terminals (29 CFR Part 1917)
- 1917.12, Slippery conditions
- 1917.26, First aid and lifesaving facilities (life-rings)
- 1917.95, Other protective measures (Personal flotation devices)
- 1917.112, Guarding of edges
- 1917.115, Platforms and skids
- 1917.116, Elevators and escalators
- 1917.117, Manlifts
- 1917.118, Fixed ladders
- 1917.119, Portable ladders
- 1917.120, Fixed stairways
- 1917.121, Spiral stairways
- 1917.124, Dockboards (car and bridge plates).
- 1917.125, Guarding temporary hazards
Safety and Health Regulations for Longshoring (29 CFR Part 1918)
- 1918.22, Gangways
- 1918.23, Jacob's ladders
- 1918.24, Fixed and portable ladders
- 1918.25, Bridge plates and ramps
- 1918.26, Access to barges and river boats
- 1918.31, Hatch coverings
- 1918.32, Stowed cargo and temporary landing surfaces
- 1918.33, Deck loads
- 1918.34, Other decks
- 1918.35, Open hatches
- 1918.36, Weather deck rails
- 1918.37, Barges
- 1918.85, Containerized cargo operations. Includes requirements for fall protection
- 1918.87, Ship's cargo elevators
- 1918.97, First aid and lifesaving facilities (life-rings)
- 1918.105, Other protective measures (Personal flotation devices)
For construction-specific information, see the Fall protection - construction standards section.
OSHA Regulatory Agenda
- The OSHA Regulatory Agenda contains an entry related to walking/working surfaces and personal fall protection systems.
OSHA Federal Registers
- Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection Systems). Proposed Rules 75:28861-29153, (2010, May 24).
- Walking and Working Surfaces; Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection Systems). Proposed Rules 68:23527-23568, (2003, May 2). Explanation of reopening of rulemaking record to gather information about advances in technology and industry practice.
- Safety Standards in Shipyard Employment for Scaffolds; Welding, Cutting, and Heating; Access and Egress; and Fall Protection. Proposed Rules 67:13117, (2002, March 21). Explanation for withdrawal of proposed rules for scaffold in shipyard employment.
- Search all available Federal Registers for fall protection.
OSHA Preambles to Final Rules
- Fall Protection. (1994). Landing page for the preamble to the final rule.
- Search all available preambles to final rules.
OSHA Directives; Instructions to OSHA staff
- 29 CFR Part 1910, Subpart I, Enforcement Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment in General Industry. CPL 02-01-050, (2011, February 10).
- Longshoring and Marine Terminal "Tool Shed" Directive. CPL 02-00-154, (2012, July 31). Provides information and instruction relating to the marine cargo handling industry.
- Shipyard Employment "Tool Bag" Directive. CPL 02-00-142, (2006, August 3). Consolidated document that contains links to relevant other documents, as well as lists related interpretations and other resources all in one place.
- Search all available directives for fall protection.
OSHA Enforcement Standard Interpretations
- Guarding of Access Openings to Fixed Ladders. (2009, September 29).
- Guarding requirements for skylights and "grandfather" provisions for buildings constructed over twenty years ago. (2006, September 28).
- Fall protection for the entertainment industry under the OSH Act of 1970. (Corrected 2005, June 2). Explanation of how fall protection standard applies to riggers and others in the entertainment industry.
- Fall protection requirements when working from ladders in the telecommunications industry. (2005, May 23).
- Recommendations for preventing prolonged suspension in personal fall protection systems. (2004, September 8). Explanation of methods and resources for avoiding injury from engagement of fall protection system.
- Rescue of a suspended worker following a fall event. (2004, April 27). Explanation of fall protection requirements in instances where a worker is performing a self-rescue following a fall.
- Maintenance vs. construction; working from fixed ladders. (1999, May 11). Discusses the differences between "maintenance" and "construction" and the applicable standards.
- Search all available standard interpretations for fall protection.
Electric Power Industry
- OSHA's requirements for locking type snaphooks on pole strap systems. (1996, March 13). Provides explanations for multiple questions, including requirements for fall protection during specific work scenarios.
- Fall Protection in the power distribution industry. (1995, September 1). Provides an interpretation of the OSHA standards addressing fall protection in the electric power distribution industry, (29 CFR 1910.269 and 29 CFR 1926.502).
- OSHA and Lamar Bridgeport Alliance Working to Improve Safety and Health of the Outdoor Advertising Industry's Employees. OSHA Region 1 Success Stories, (2004, November 30). Describes how fall protection has helped to save contractors from harm in billboard-related incidents. Through the Region I, and Lamar Alliance, billboard owners are training their contractors on fall protection and fall retrieval.
Consensus Standards and Recommendations from other Professional Organizations
Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
- A1264.1-2007, Safety Requirements for Workplace Walking/Working Surfaces and Their Access; Workplace Floor, Wall and Roof Openings; Stairs and Guardrail Systems. Sets forth safety requirements for areas where danger exists of persons or objects falling through floor or wall openings, platforms, runways, ramps, and fixed stairs, in normal, temporary, and emergency conditions. This standard applies to industrial and workplace situations and is not intended to apply to construction, residential, or commercial occupancies except where necessary maintenance or work station access may be required.
- ANSI/IWCA 1-14.1-2001, Window Cleaning Safety. International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA). Serves as a guide for window cleaners, regulatory agencies, manufacturers, architects, consultants, designers and building owners. Part A focuses on safety guidelines for the use of window cleaning access equipment. Part B is geared toward those who manufacture, distribute, design, install or maintain the equipment.
- ANSI/ASSE A10.8-2001, Scaffolding Safety Requirements
- ANSI ASC A14.1-2007, American National Standards for Ladders - Wood Safety Requirements
- ANSI ASC A14.2-2007, American National Standards for Ladders - Portable Metal- Safety Requirements
- ANSI ASC A14.3-2008, American National Standards for Ladders - Fixed - Safety Requirements
- ANSI ASC A14.5-2007, American National Standards for Ladders - Portable Reinforced Plastic Safety Requirements
- ANSI ASC A14.7-2006, American National Standard for Mobile Ladder Stands and Mobile Ladder Stand Platforms
- ANSl/SIA A92.2-2009, Vehicle-Mounted Elevating and Rotating Aerial Devices
- ANSI/SIA A92.3-2006, American National Standard for Manually Propelled Elevating Aerial Platforms
- ANSI/SIA A92.5-2006, American National Standard Boom-Supported Elevating Work Platforms
- ANSI/SIA A92.6-2006, Self-Propelled Elevating Work Platforms
- ANSl/SIA A92.8-2006, Vehicle-Mounted Bridge Inspection and Maintenance Devices
- ANSl/SIA A92.10-2009, Transport Platforms
- ANSI/ITSDF B56.1, Safety Standard for Low Lift and High Lift Trucks
- ANSI Z359.1-2007, Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Component. Establishes requirements for the performance, design, marking, qualification, instruction, training, inspection, use, maintenance, and removal from service of connectors, full body harnesses, lanyards, energy absorbers, anchorage connectors, fall arresters, vertical lifelines, and self-retracting lanyards comprising personal fall arrest systems for users within the capacity range of 130 to 310 pounds (59 to 140 kg).
- ANSI/ASSE Z359.2-2007, Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program
- ANSl/ASSE Z359.3-2007, Safety Requirements for Positioning and Travel Restraint Systems
- ANSI/ASSE Z359.4-2007, Safety Requirements for Assisted-Rescue and Self-Rescue Systems, Subsystems and Components
- ANSl/ASSE Z359.6-2009, Specifications and Design Requirements for Active Fall Protection Systems
- ANSI/ASSE Z359.12-2009, Connecting Components for Personal Fall Arrest System
- ANSI/ASSE Z359.13-2009, Personal Energy Absorbers and Energy Absorbing Lanyards
- CSA Z259.14-2007, Fall Restrict Equipment for Wood Pole Climbing
- ASTM F887-11, Standard Specifications for Personal Climbing Equipment
Accessibility Assistance: Contact the OSHA Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300 for assistance accessing PDF materials.
*These files are provided for downloading. EPUB is the most common format for e-Books. If you use a Sony Reader, a Nook, or an iPad you can download the EPUB file format. If you use a Kindle, you can download the MOBI file format.