Fall Protection

Construction Standards and Resources

Preventing falls in Construction



In 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 991 construction workers died on the job, with 38.7 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 notices (rules and proposed rules), preambles to final rules (background to final rules), directives (instruction to OSHA staff), letters of interpretation (official letters of interpretation of the standards), example cases, and national consensus standards related to fall protection.

OSHA Standards
Frequently Cited Standards
Other Highlighted Standards

Construction Industry (29 CFR 1926)

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.

Preambles to Final Rules
Federal Register Notices
Letters of Interpretation
National 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, Scaffolding Safety Requirements
  • ANSI/ASSE A10.32, Personal Fall Protection Used in Construction and Demolition 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, 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 ASC A14.1, American National Standards for Ladders - Wood Safety Requirements
  • ANSI ASC A14.2, American National Standards for Ladders - Portable Metal- Safety Requirements
  • ANSI ASC A14.3, American National Standards for Ladders - Fixed - Safety Requirements
  • ANSI ASC A14.4, American National Standard Safety Requirements for Job Made Wooden Ladders
  • ANSI ASC A14.5, American National Standards for Ladders - Portable Reinforced Plastic Safety Requirements
  • ANSI ASC A14.7, American National Standard for Mobile Ladder Stands and Mobile Ladder Stand Platforms
  • ANSl/SAIA A92.2, Vehicle-Mounted Elevating and Rotating Aerial Devices
  • ANSI/SAIA A92.3, American National Standard for Manually Propelled Elevating Aerial Platforms
  • ANSI/SIA A92.5, American National Standard Boom-Supported Elevating Work Platforms
  • ANSI/SAIA A92.6, Self-Propelled Elevating Work Platforms
  • ANSl/SIA A92.8, Vehicle-Mounted Bridge Inspection and Maintenance Devices
  • ANSI/SIA A92.9, Mast-Climbing Work Platforms
  • ANSI/SAIA A92.10, Transport Platforms
  • ANSI/ITSDF B56.1, Safety Standard for Low Lift and High Lift Trucks
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.2, Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program
  • ANSl/ASSE Z359.3, Safety Requirements for Positioning and Travel Restraint Systems
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.4, Safety Requirements for Assisted-Rescue and Self-Rescue Systems, Subsystems and Components
  • ANSl/ASSE Z359.6, Specifications and Design Requirements for Active Fall Protection Systems
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.7, Qualification and Verification Testing of Fall Protection Products
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.12, Connecting Components for Personal Fall Arrest System
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.13, Personal Energy Absorbers and Energy Absorbing Lanyards
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.14, Self-Retracting Devices for Fall Arrest and Rescue Systems
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.15, Safety Requirements for Single Anchor Lifelines and Fall Arresters for Personal Fall Arrest and Rescue SystemsASTM F887-11, Standard Specifications for Personal Climbing Equipment
  • CSA Z259.14, Fall Restrict Equipment for Wood Pole Climbing
Evaluating and Controlling Exposure

Occupational fatalities caused by falls remain a serious public health problem. The U.S. 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 Resources
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. OSHA Safety and Health Information Bulletin (SHIB) 09-01-2004, (September 1, 2004).
  • Construction. OSHA eTool. Also available in Spanish. 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.