Shipbreaking >> Fall Protection

Fall hazards are a leading cause of shipyard fatalities. Shipyard employees are often required to work in dangerous environments that may include fall hazards. Accidents involving elevation equipment such as ladders, scaffolds, and aerial lifts are often serious, even fatal.

Potential Hazards

Deck Openings and Edges

  • Falls from deck openings
  • Falls into open holes


  • Falls from ladders
  • Falls from scaffolds

Requirements and Example Solutions

Personal Fall Protection System

  • If fall hazards are identified through the Hazard Assessment required in 29 CFR 1915.152(b), employees must be protected from falls by the use of personal fall protection equipment. [29 CFR 1915.152(a)]
  • Guardrails may be used to protect workers along deck openings or edges, in lieu of personal fall protection, even though they are not required in shipbreaking. For guardrail specifications, see 29 CFR 1915.71(j).

Fall Protection for Scaffold Work

  • Guardrails or other appropriate fall protection must be used when working on scaffolds 5 feet above surfaces. [29 CFR 1915.71(j)]

For more detailed information, review Use of Personal Fall Protection Systems.