eTools Home:Construction Users Guide | Glossary | Bibliography | Credits
OSHA Construction eTool

Back to Personal Fall Arrest Systems

Excerpt from Memo to Region VIII

Where an employer is using a fall arrest system that permits a fall of more than six feet, a citation should be issued under 1926.104(d) unless the employer shows that (1) limiting an arrested fall to six feet is infeasible; (2) the arresting fall distance, though more than 6 feet, is as short as feasible; (3) it has taken reasonable steps to determine that (a) the arresting forces will be limited to 1800 pounds and (b) the system will not fail in an arrested fall.

Example of an employer that takes "reasonable steps": An employer calculates the total arresting fall distance and the loads imposed on the system based on measurements, product data and appropriate calculations. Using product data, the employers determines that the components, as used, will have the necessary strength to sustain the loads and that the arresting forces on the worker would be limited to 1800 pounds.

Example of an employer that fails to take "reasonable steps": An employer sets up a system that allows an arrested fall of more than six feet. It asserts that, in its judgment, the system will work. However, it has made no assessment of how far the arrested fall would be, what the loads of an arrested fall would be, and failed to assess the load capacity of the system.

For additional information, see Interpretations and Clarifications - Subpart M -- Fall Protection (29 CFR 1926.500-503)

eTools Home:Construction Users Guide | Glossary | Bibliography | Credits