SELECTED OSHA FALL REGULATIONS
Fall Protection Requirements for Steel Erection
(OSHA Subpart R1926.760)
(a) General requirements. (1) Except as provided by paragraph (a) (3) of this section, each employee
engaged in a steel erection activity who is on a walking/working surface with an unprotected
side or edge more than 15 feet (4.6m) above a lower level shall be protected from fall hazards by
guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, positioning device systems or
fall restraint systems.
Safety Standards for Fall Protection in the Construction Industry
(OSHA 1926.501 - Duty to have fall protection)
(a) General. (1) This section sets forth requirements for employers to provide fall protection systems.
All fall protection required by this section shall conform to the criteria set forth in 1926.502
of this subpart.
(b)(1) Unprotected sides and edges. Each employee on a walking/working surface (horizontal and
vertical surface) with an unprotected side or edge which is 6 feet (1.8m) or more above a lower
level shall be protected from falling by the use of guardrail systems, safety net systems, or
personal fall arrest systems.
Editors Note: The requirements stated in (b)(1) are similar for: leading edges, hoist area, holes,
formwork and reinforcing steel, ramps, runways and other walkways, excavations, dangerous equipment,
overhead bricklaying and related work, roofing work on low-slope roofs, steep roofs, precast
concrete erection, residential construction and wall openings.
(OSHA 1926.502 - Fall protection system criteria and practices)
(a) General. (1) Fall protection systems required by this part shall comply with the applicable provisions
of this section.
(2) Employers shall provide and install all fall protection systems required by this support for an
employee, and shall comply with all other pertinent requirements of this subpart before that employee
begins the work that necessitates the fall protection.
(d) Personal fall arrest systems. Personal fall arrest systems and their use shall comply with the
provisions set forth below. Effective January 1, 1998, body belts are not acceptable as part of a
personal fall arrest system. Note: The use of a body belt in a positioning device system is acceptable
and is regulated under paragraph (e) of this section.
(5) Snaphooks shall be sized to be compatible with the member to which they are connected to
prevent unintentional disengagement of the snaphook by depression of the snaphook keeper by the
connected member, or shall be a locking type snaphook designed and used to prevent disengagement
of the snaphook by the contact of the snaphook keeper by the connected member. Effective
January 1, 1998, only locking type snaphooks shall be used.
(15) Anchorages used for attachment of personal fall arrest equipment shall be independent of any
anchorage being used to support or suspend platforms and capable of supporting at least 5,000
pounds (22.2 kN) per employee attached, or shall be designed, installed, and used as follows:
(i) as part of a complete personal fall arrest system which maintains a safety factor of at least two;
and (ii) under the supervision of a qualified person.
(16) Personal fall arrest systems, when stopping a fall, shall:
(i) limit maximum arresting force on an employee to 900 pounds (4 kN) when used with a body
belt; (ii) limit maximum arresting force on an employee to 1,800 pounds (8 kN) when used with a
body harness; (iii) be rigged such that an employee can neither free fall more than 6 feet (1.8m),
nor contact any lower level; (iv) bring an employee to a complete stop and limit maximum deceleration
distance an employee travels to 3.5 feet (1.07m); and, (v) have sufficient strength to withstand
twice the potential impact energy of an employee free falling a distance of 6 feet (1.8m), or the free
fall distance permitted by the system, whichever is less.
(e) Positioning device system. Positioning device systems and their use shall conform to the following
provisions: (1) Positioning devices shall be rigged such that an employee cannot free fall more
than 2 feet (.9m). (2) Positioning devices shall be secured to an anchorage capable of supporting
at least twice the potential impact load of an employee’s fall or 3,000 pounds (13.3 kN), whichever
(OSHA 1926.503 - Training requirements)
(a) Training Program. (1) The employer shall provide a training program for each employee who
might be exposed to fall hazards.The program shall enable each employee to recognize the hazards
of falling and shall train each employee in the procedures to be followed in order to minimize these
Fixed Ladders (OSHA 1910.27)
(d.5) Ladder safety devices may be used on tower, water tank and chimney ladders over 20 feet in
unbroken length in place of cage protection. No landing platform is required. All ladder safety devices,
such as those that incorporate life belts, friction brakes, and sliding attachments, must meet the
design requirements of the ladders they serve.
Powered Platforms For Building Maintenance (OSHA 1910.66)
(j) Personal Fall Protection. Employers must provide personal fall arrest systems meeting the
requirements outlined. Requirements include the following:
Anchorages to which personal fall arrest equipment is attached shall be capable of supporting at
least 5,000 pounds (22.2 kN) per employee attached, or shall be designed, installed and used as
part of a complete personal fall arrest system which maintains a safety factor of at least two, under
the supervision of a qualified person.
Personal fall arrest systems shall, when stopping a fall: 1) limit maximum arresting force on an
employee to 900 pounds (4 kN) when used with a body belt; and 2) limit maximum arresting force
on an employee to 1,800 pounds (8 kN) when used with a body harness.
Personal fall arrest systems shall be rigged such that an employee can neither free fall more than 6
feet (1.8m), nor contact any lower level.
Personal fall arrest systems or components subjected to impact loading shall be immediately
removed from service and shall not be used again for employee protection unless inspected and
determined by a competent person to be undamaged and suitable for reuse.
Before using a personal fall arrest system, and after any component or system is changed, employees
shall be trained in accordance with the requirements of paragraph 1910.66(i)(1), in the safe use
of the system.
Personal fall arrest systems shall be inspected prior to each use for mildew, wear, damage and other
deterioration. Defective components shall be removed from service if their strength or function may
be adversely affected.
Permit-Required Confined Spaces (OSHA 1910.146)
(a) Scope and application.This section contains requirements for practices and procedures to protect
employees in general industry from the hazards of entry into permit-required confined spaces.
(k)(3) To facilitate non-entry rescue, retrieval systems or methods shall be used whenever an
authorized entrant enters a permit space, unless the retrieval equipment would increase the overall
risk of entry or would not contribute to the rescue of the entrant. Retrieval systems shall meet the
(i) Each authorized entrant shall use a chest or full body harness, with a retrieval line attached at
the center of the entrant’s back near shoulder level, above the entrant’s head, or at another point
which the employer can establish presents a profile small enough for the successful removal of the
entrant. Wristlets may be used in lieu of the chest or full body harness if the employer can demonstrate
that the use of a chest or full body harness is infeasible or creates a greater hazard and that
the use of wristlets is the safest and most effective alternative.
(ii) The other end of the retrieval line shall be attached to a mechanical device or fixed point outside
the permit space in such a manner that rescue can begin as soon as the rescuer becomes aware
that rescue is necessary. A mechanical device shall be available to retrieve personnel from vertical
type permit spaces more than 5 feet deep.
SELECTED ANSI STANDARDS
Definitions and Nomenclature Used for Fall Protection and Fall Arrest
1.1 Scope - This standard establishes the definitions and nomenclature used for fall arrest and fall
Safety requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems and Components (ANSI Z359.1-
1.1 Scope - This standard establishes requirements for the performance, design, marking, qualification,
instruction, training, inspection, use, maintenance and removal from service of connectors, full
body harnesses, lanyards, energy absorbers, anchorage connectors, fall arresters, vertical lifelines,
and self-retracting lanyards comprising personnel fall arrest systems for users within the capacity
range of 130 to 310 lbs (59 to 140 kg).
1.2.1 This standard addresses only personal fall arrest systems(PFAS) incorporating full body harnesses.
Whenever the term “system” is used in the standard it refers to a personal fall arrest
3.1.4 A PFAS which incorporates a horizontal lifeline (outside the scope of this standard) shall be
evaluated in accordance with acceptable engineering practice to determine that such system will
perform as intended.
3.1.2 When subjected to tests contained in 4.2, a personal fall arrest system in which a full body
harness is used shall produce a maximum arrest force (MAF) of no more than 1,800 pounds (8.0
kN) and shall bring the fall to a complete stop with a deceleration distance of not more than 42
inches (1,067 mm). In suspension, after the fall is arrested, the angle at rest which the vertical center
line of the test torso makes with the vertical shall not exceed 30 degrees.
126.96.36.199 Snaphooks and carabiners shall be self-closing and self-locking and shall be capable of
being opened only by at least two consecutive deliberate actions. When tested in accordance with
188.8.131.52.1, snaphooks and carabiners shall be capable of withstanding a 5,000 pound (22.2 kN) tensile
load without breaking or distortion sufficient to release the gate. When tested in accordance with
184.108.40.206.2, the gate of a snaphook or carabiner shall be capable of withstanding a minimum load of
3,600 pound (16 kN) without the gate separating from the nose of the snaphook or carabiner body
by more than 0.125 inches (3.1 mm). When tested in accordance with 220.127.116.11.3 the gate of the
snaphook or carabiner shall be capable of withstanding a minimum side load of 3,600 pounds (16
kN) applied to a point midway between the nose and gate hinge without breaking, permanent deformation greater than 0.125 inches (3.1 mm), or separating from the nose of the snaphook or carabiner body by more than 0.125 inches (3.1mm). When tested in accordance with 18.104.22.168.4 the gate
of the snaphook or carabiner shall be capable of withstanding a minor axis load of 3,600 pounds (16
kN) applied to a point midway between the nose and gate hinge without breaking or distor
tion sufficient to release the gate. Testing in the minor axis is not required for carabiners or snaphooks
which are designed with a permanent, captive eye.
22.214.171.124 The harness shall provide support for the body harness across the lower chest, over the
shoulders and around the thighs when a tensile load is applied to the fall arrest attachment element.
The harness, when properly fitted and used, shall prevent fallout. The fall arrest attachment shall be
located at the back (dorsal) location.
126.96.36.199 When more than one attachment element exists on a harness, the purpose and limitations of
each element shall be designated by the manufacturer.
188.8.131.52a Harnesses equipped with a front-mounted attachment element for fall arrest shall be used
only as part of a personal fall arrest system that limits the maximum free fall distance to two feet
(0.6m) and limits the maximum arrest force to 900 pounds (4 kN).
184.108.40.206 When energy absorbers are dynamically tested in accordance with 220.127.116.11, the maximum
arrest force shall not exceed 900 lbs (4kN).
18.104.22.168 Static Strength. When tested in accordance with 22.214.171.124, the SRL shall withstand a tensile
load of 3,000 pounds (13.3kN) statically applied directly to the point of SRL line connection to the
126.96.36.199 Dynamic Performance. When tested in accordance with 188.8.131.52, the SRL shall lock and
remain locked until released. The arrest distance shall not exceed 54 inches (1,372mm). Maximum
arrest force shall not exceed 1,800 pounds (8kN).
3.3.4 Lanyard with Integral Energy Absorber (L + EA). The lanyard and Energy absorber constituents
of (L + EA) integral systems, when independently evaluated and tested, shall meet the requirements
of 184.108.40.206 to 220.127.116.11 and 3.2.4, respectively. When the complete integral system is tested in
accordance with 4.2.9, the maximum arrest force (MAF) shall not exceed 1,800 pounds (8.0kN) and
the fall shall be brought to a complete stop with a deceleration distance of not more than 42 inches
3.3.6 Fall Arrester Connecting Subsystem (FACSS). Component comprising a FACSS shall meet the
respective requirements for the FACSS component parts set forth in this standard. Subsystem connectors
shall be geometrically compatible to reduce the possibility of rollout. Integral connections
(e.g. splicing) shall be made in accordance with the requirements for lanyards, vertical lifelines,
vertical lifeline subsystems or energy absorbers, as applicable, set forth herein. The length of that
portion of the FACSS between the fall arrest attachment on the harness shall not exceed 36 inches
5.1.2 The legibility and attachment of required markings shall endure for the life of the component,
subsystem, or system being marked.
5.2.1 Connectors. Connectors shall be marked to identify the following: Year of manufacture;
manufacturer’s identification; part number; Load rating of the major axis of the connector stamped
or otherwise permanently marked on the device; Load rating for gate stamped or otherwise permanently
marked on the gate mechanism; markings for connectors shall be sufficient to provide traceability;
For connectors that are non-integral, include the standard number, “Z359.1(07).
5.2.3 Lanyards. In addition to the requirements in 5.1, lanyards shall be marked to identify: the
material of construction; the length; the need to avoid contact with sharp edges and abrasive surfaces;
the need to make only compatible connections. For lanyards with two, integrally connected
legs, a warning to attach only the snaphook at the center of the lanyard to the fall arrest attachment
element of the harness.
5.3.1 Instructions shall be provided to the user printed in English and affixed to the equipment at
the time of shipment from the manufacturer.
Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program (ANSI Z359.2-2007)
1.1.1 This standard establishes guidelines and requirements for a employer’s managed fall protection
program, including policies, duties and training; fall protection procedures; eliminating and
controlling fall hazards; rescue procedures; incident investigations; and evaluating program effectiveness.
18.104.22.168 Employers shall develop and maintain written fall protection and rescue procedures for every
location where an active fall protection system is used to control a fall hazard.
22.214.171.124 Employers shall provide authorized persons with continuous fall protection at locations
owned or operated by the employer.
Safety Requirements for Positioning and Travel Restraint Systems
1.1 Scope. This Standard establishes requirements for the performance, design, marking, qualification,
test methods, and instructions of lanyards and harnesses comprising personal positioning and
travel restraint systems.
1.2.1 This standard addresses minimum guidelines for the system design, manufacture, and testing
of personal work positioning and travel restraint equipment for authorized persons at work weighing
between 130 and 310 pounds including tools.
1.2.3 This standard addresses work positioning systems and travel restraint systems. These systems
shall not be used as a primary fall arrest system. Positioning systems shall be supplemented
with a secondary fall protection system.
1.3.2 Body belts are not addressed by this standard for work positioning or travel restraint unless
incorporated into a work positioning harness or full body harness.
3.2.2 The use of a travel restraint system is only permitted on a walking/working surface that has a
slope between zero and 18.4 degrees.
3.3.2 Lanyards and positioning lines that incorporate a rope adjuster, shall maintain their adjusted
length (disregarding elastic stretch) up to a load of 1,000 pounds (8.8kN) within three inches when
tested in accordance with section 126.96.36.199
3.6.3 The positioning harness shall provide support for the body around the abdomen and around
the thighs when a tensile load is applied to the work positioning attachment elements.
3.8.4 All snaphooks and carabiners used in load bearing components shall comply with the requirements
as outlined in ANSI/ASSE Z359.1
5.1.2 The legibility and attachment of required markings shall endure for the life of the component,
subsystem, or system being marked.
5.1.3 Except for connectors, as set forth in section 5.2.1, equipment shall be marked with the following:
part number and model designation; year of manufacture; manufacturer’s name or logo;
capacity; standard number (Z359.3); warning to follow manufacturer’s instructions included with the
equipment at time of shipment from the manufacturer; for products not meeting the requirements of
ANSI/ASSE z359.1, a statement similar to: “Use this product for positioning only, not for fall arrest.
If possible, the use of fall arrest equipment is highly recommended in addition to this equipment”.
5.2.2 Positioning Harness. In addition to the requirements in section 5.1, Positioning Harnesses and
belts shall be marked to identify: the fiber used in the material of construction; the size of the harnesses
to suit the range of population; the positioning and/or travel restraint and fall arrest attachment
elements; the purpose of any other attachment elements.
5.3.1 Instructions shall be provided to the authorized person, printed in English, and affixed to the
equipment at the time of shipment from the manufacturer.
Safety Requirements for Assisted-Rescue and Self-Rescue Systems, Subsystems and Components
1.1 This standard establishes requirements for the performance, design, marking, qualification,
instruction, training, use, maintenance,, and removal from service of connectors, winches/hoists,
descent control devices, rope tackle blocks, and self-retracting lanyards with integral rescue capability
comprising rescue systems, utilized in pre-planned self-rescue and assisted-rescue applications
for 1-2 persons.
3.2 The capacity of a one person rescue system shall range from 130 to 310 pounds (59 to 140kg).
The capacity of a two person rescue system shall range from 130 to 620 pounds (59 to 280kg).
The maximum and minimum rated working loads for each system component shall encompass the
capacity range of the assembled system.
188.8.131.52 Operation. It shall be possible to engage the RSRL (Self-Retracting Lanyard Component
with integral Rescue Capability) into its rescue mode of operation at any time, subject to the
manufacturer’s instructions. It shall not be possible to inadvertently change to or from rescue mode.
The RSRL shall be capable of raising or lowering the load to effect rescue. The minimum mechanical
advantage offered by the RSRL in rescue mode shall be 3:1, neglecting frictional losses. When in
rescue mode, the RSRL device shall automatically stop and hold the load if the rescuer intentionally
or unintentionally relinquishes control. The RSRL devise shall have a means to stabilize the device
during use in rescue mode.
184.108.40.206 Powered Operation Devices that are operational by use of a power source other than manual,
shall have means to limit applied lifting force and speed. A manual back-up means of operation
shall be provided.
220.127.116.11 Rope tackle blocks shall have a secondary means to prevent uncontrolled lowering of the
load. Rope tackle blocks shall have a minimum theoretical mechanical advantage of 3:1.
18.104.22.168 Descent Energy and Capacity The capacity of decent devices addressed by this standard
shall be 310 pounds (140kg), see capacity,
Ladder Safety Devices (ANSI A14.3-2002)
7.1.3 The ladder safety system shall be designed to absorb the impact of a solid object weighing at
least 500 pounds in a free fall of 18 inches.
7.1.4 Design and installation of mountings shall not reduce the strength of the fixed ladder.
7.3.1 The safety sleeve shall be a type which can be operated entirely by the person using the ladder
safety system. It shall permit the person using the ladder safety system to ascend or descend
without having to continually manipulate the safety sleeve.
7.3.3 The maximum length of the connection between the centerline of the carrier and the point of
attachment to the full body harness shall not exceed 9 inches.
Standard for Personal Fall Protection Used in Construction and Demolition Operations (ANSI A10.32-2004)
1.1 Scope - This standard establishes performance criteria for personal fall protection equipment and
systems in construction and demolition and provides guidelines, recommendations for their use and
inspection. It includes, but is not limited to; fall arrest, restraint, positioning, climbing, descending,
rescue, escape and training activities.
1.4.1 - Only full body harnesses shall be used for fall arrest. The fall arrest attachment point of the
body harness shall be at the center of the user’s back near shoulder level.
1.4.2 - Maximum arresting force imposed on the user’s body shall not exceed 1000 lbs.
3.4 - Fall protection equipment shall be removed from service upon evidence of defects, damage or
deterioration; once it has been subjected to impact loading; or upon expiration of the manufacturer’s
specified service limits, whichever comes first.
4.1 Anchorage - Anchorage shall be capable of supporting at least 5,000 lbs. per user attached, or
shall be designed, installed and used under the supervision of a Qualified Person as part of a complete
system which maintains a safety factor of at least two.
4.2.1 - Personal fall arrest systems, when stopping a fall, shall be rigged such that an employee can
neither free fall more than 6 feet (1.8m), nor contact any lower level or obstruction.
6.1.1 - The employer shall provide a training program for each employee who might be exposed to
6.3.2 - Formal inspections shall be made by either a Competent or Qualified Person on at least a
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