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Develop Fall Protection Plan Following New Osha Rules

Oct 26th 2015 at 6:22 AM

Since the advent of workplace safety laws, fall protection rules are in place for both the general and the construction industries but with the publication of OSHA’s new final rule regarding this, fall protection rules in the country have considerably changed. Contractors will no longer have industry specific provisions for operating under fall protection exemption for poles and other similar structures as they were previously allowed. OSHA’s intention behind the introduction of these new rules is to protect every utility worker from fall while performing their tasks at every workplace and the administration has also stated it time and again that it is the duty and also obligation of the employer to offer his workers complete fall protection. That is the reason worksite safety managers are now required to develop fall protection plans and choose fall protection products from this perspective and this can really save them from a lot of possible trouble later on.

According to new OSHA fall protection rules, climbing without protection is acceptable only in situations when climbing with protection is more risky than climbing without it. OSHA does actually recognize that there are certain specific workplaces conditions where using fall protection products and systems would be needless and impractical or may involve some potential risk issue. OSHA expects the employer to conduct a duly diligent analysis before deciding that free climbing is a better and less dangerous option.

In its new rulings OSHA has also clearly stated that it is the responsibility of the employer to decide which fall protection products or equipments is to be used through an expert analysis of the work environment. It has now become immensely important to develop and have a fall protection plan in place that is in compliance with the new rules. There is one more important thing that requires to get mentioned here and that is work positioning equipments for fall protection is still accepted by OSHA but using the equipments alone is not acceptable unless they are rigged to prevent a fall of more than 0.6m or 2 feet. The new rules also require the fall anchorage of the work positioning equipment to have the ability of supporting at least double of the potential impact load or minimum 3000 pound force. Using practical facilities like cross-arm braces, guy-attachments, insulator brackets etc. as anchorage, are also permitted by the new OSHA rules.

While developing the right fall protection plan for your worksite you need to keep in mind that according to the new OSHA rules, all employees working on poles or similar structure at a height of 4 feet and above require to have fall protection in place. Another major development has taken place with the new rules and that is OSHA now recognizes fall restraints as a method of offering employees fall protection. While selecting fall protection products you are required to know the differences between the systems and also their limitations. It has been clearly told by OSHA that a fall can never be arrested at the waist, for it can cause severe injury and full body harnesses must be used instead of body belts. On order to know more about the new OSHA worksite fall protection rules, visit

About The Author

Brent Owens is a safety expert who works hand in hand with many construction companies across the country to ensure that employees are always protected while at work. He recommends as the best name to trust for high quality fall protection systems.

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