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Construction Standards and Resources

State Standards

There are twenty-eight OSHA-approved State Plans, operating state-wide occupational safety and health programs. State Plans are required to have standards and enforcement programs that are at least as effective as OSHA's and may have different or more stringent requirements.

In 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 751 construction workers died on the job, with 35 percent of those fatalities resulting from falls. [More...]


Fall protection is addressed in OSHA's standards for the construction industry. This section highlights some of the OSHA standards, Federal Registers (rules, proposed rules, and notices) 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.

OSHA Standards

Construction Industry (29 CFR 1926)

Most Frequently Cited Standards

OSHA Federal Registers

  • Employer Payment for Personal Protective Equipment. Final Rules 72:64341-64430, (2007, November 15). OSHA issued a final rule in 2007 requiring employers to pay for required PPE, with limited exceptions.
  • Safety Standards for Steel Erection. Final Rules 66:5317-5325, (2001, January 18). Contains requirements for hoisting and rigging, structural steel assembly, beam and column connections, joist erection, systems-engineered metal building erection, fall protection, and training.
  • Safety Standards for Fall Protection in the Construction Industry. Advanced Notice of Proposed Rules 64:38077-38086, (1999, July 14). OSHA addressed ten issues, most of which have been raised by interested parties who believe that alternatives to some of the existing fall protection rule's provisions should be permitted. They generally recommend that OSHA allow work practices rather than personal fall arrest systems and guardrails to protect employees against falls.
  • Search all available Federal Registers for fall protection.

OSHA Preambles to Final Rules

Working with rebar

National Safety

Find Out More!
Safety Pays. Falls Cost - Preventing Falls in Construction



OSHA Directives; Instructions to OSHA staff

Communications Industry

Construction Industry

Steel Erection Industry

OSHA Enforcement Standard Interpretations

Electric Power Industry

Fall Protection


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)

  • ANSI/ASSE A10.8-2001, Scaffolding Safety Requirements
  • ANSI/ASSE A10.32-2004, Fall Protection Systems for Construction and Demolitions Operations. Establishes performance criteria for personal fall protection equipment and systems in construction and demolition and provides guidelines, recommendations for their use and inspection.
  • ANSI/ASSE 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 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 A14.4-2009, American National Standard Safety Requirements for Job Made Wooden Ladders
  • 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
  • ANSI/SIA A92.9-2011, Mast-Climbing Work Platforms
  • ANSl/SIA A92.10-2009, Transport Platforms
  • ANSI/ITSDF B56.1, Safety Standard for Low Lift and High Lift Trucks
  • 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
  • ASTM F887-11, Standard Specifications for Personal Climbing Equipment
  • CSA Z259.14-2007, Fall Restrict Equipment for Wood Pole Climbing
  • Search other ANSI standards.
Evaluating and Controlling Exposure

Occupational fatalities caused by falls remain a serious public health problem. The US Department of Labor (DOL) lists falls as one of the leading causes of traumatic occupational death, accounting for eight percent of all occupational fatalities from trauma. Before you can begin a fall protection program, all potential fall hazards must be identified. The following references aid in recognizing and evaluating hazards and possible solutions in the workplace.

Additional Information


Other Resources

  • Construction. OSHA's Alliance Program. This is one of OSHA's Strategic Management Plan Focus Areas.
  • Hazards of Misusing Wire Form Anchorage Connectors for Fall Protection (PDF). OSHA Safety and Health Information Bulletin (SHIB), (2004, September 1).
  • Construction. OSHA eTool. A Spanish version is also available. Contains information that helps workers identify and control the hazards that cause the most serious construction-related injuries.
    • Falls. Provides possible solutions to unprotected openings, improper scaffold construction, unguarded rebars, and misuse of portable ladders.
  • Scaffolding. OSHA eTool. Provides illustrated safety checklists for specific types of scaffolds. Hazards are identified, as well as the controls that keep these hazards from becoming tragedies. An estimated 2.3 million construction workers, or 65 percent of the construction industry, work on scaffolds frequently.
  • Steel Erection. OSHA eTool. Contains information that helps workers identify and control the hazards that cause the most serious steel erection-related injuries.
    • Fall Protection. Describes general fall protection requirements, and special requirements for steel erection.

*Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300 for assistance accessing PDF materials.

All other documents, that are not PDF materials or formatted for the web, are available as Microsoft Office® formats and videos and are noted accordingly. If additional assistance is needed with reading, reviewing or accessing these documents or any figures and illustrations, please also contact OSHA's Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300.

**eBooks - 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.

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