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1926 Subpart M

1926 Subpart M

Overview for Subpart M
Fall Protection

What are the most frequently cited serious violations of the fall protection provisions?

  1. Failure to protect workers from falls of 6 feet or more off unprotected sides or edges, e.g. floors and roofs. (1926.501(b)(1); (b)(10); and (b)(11))
  2. Failure to protect workers from falling into or through holes and openings in floors and walls. (1926.501(b)(4) and (b)(14))

  3. Failure to provide guardrails on runways and ramps where workers are exposed to falls of 6 feet or more to a lower level. (1926.501(b)(6))

What are some effective control measures that can be used for the serious hazards for which OSHA has most frequently cited employers?

  1. Determine if any of the work (even a small portion) can be performed at ground level or if a crane can be used to lift assembled portions (e.g., sections of roofing) into place, eliminating or reducing the number of workers exposed to falling.
  2. Tether or restrain the worker so he or she cannot reach the edge thereby eliminating the fall hazard.

  3. Consider the use of aerial lifts or elevated platforms to provide better working surfaces rather than walking top plates or beams.

  4. Erect guardrail systems, warning lines, or control line systems to protect workers from falls off the edges of floors and roofs.

  5. Place covers over holes as soon as they are created if no work is being done at the hole.

  6. Use safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems (body harness).

What good work practices can be used to provide protection from falls when conventional systems are not feasible?

  1. Designate one of the workers as a safety monitor to observe employees and to alert employees of hazards that could cause them to trip or fall.
  2. Establish a designated area or control zone in which workers when conventional fall protection systems such as guardrails and personal fall arrest systems are not feasible or create a greater hazard.

  3. Store materials in an area away from where workers are exposed to fall hazards.