Falls: General Protection and Awareness

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CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training

Summary Statement

This toolbox talk was created by NIOSH and CPWR and covers general fall protection and awareness. The design allows workers to view a graphic while the facilitator presents the information. After the talk, the sheet can be posted on the jobsite with the graphic side out to reinforce the key points.
2013

CPWR Toolbox Talk logoFalls are the leading cause of injuries at work sites. Falls can occur from ladders, scaffolding, vehicles, heavy equipment, aerial lifts, openings, platforms, and roofs.

 

Here is an Example

A supervisor and three employees were placing air handler units on a third floor mezzanine during a building remodel. The supervisor was using a wheeled pry bar to lift the air handler up so the workers could place a 2-inch galvanized pipe under the air handler to serve as a roller. The supervisor was in an area about a foot from the unguarded edge and applying pressure to the pry bar toward the unguarded edge, when the pry bar slipped. The supervisor lost his balance and fell 23 feet to the cement below, causing his death.

  1. How could the fatality have been prevented?
  2. What safety precautions should the individual have taken? What precautions should the company have taken?

Fall Protection

  • Guardrails are required on work surfaces when workers are exposed to falls over six feet.
  • Guardrail must be 42 inches high. A mid-rail is required.
  • The fall protection training program must cover the recognition of potential fall hazards at the workplace for the employee.
  • Body harnesses with lanyards and secure attachment points are used when guard rails cannot be provided.

What Are We Going to Do Today?

What will we do here at the worksite today to prevent injuries due to lack of fall protection?

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2.____________________________________________________________

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3.____________________________________________________________

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OSHA REGULATIONS: 1926.501 and 1926.503

Graphic of a worker on an elevated surface within a guardrail.

  • Guardrails are required on work surfaces when workers are exposed to falls over six feet.
  • Guardrail must be 42 inches high. A mid-rail is required.
  • Body harnesses with lanyards and secure attachment points are used when guard rails cannot be provided.