Spot The Safety Violation: 6 Elements of a Fall Protection Plan
What key type of PPE should this worker be using to prevent him from falling off this roof?
One of the most common—and serious—type of safety incident is falls from heights, particularly in the construction industry. Because of their nature, workers involved in such falls often suffer serious injuries, such as paralysis, or are killed.
As a result, the OHS laws generally require the use of appropriate fall protection when workers are working at elevations above three metres. And many jurisdictions have begun conducting inspection blitzes specifically focusing on preventing falls from heights.
The worker in this picture from the Health and Safety Executive, Great Britain’s OHS regulator, is working on a roof without any safety measures in place. For example, he isn’t wearing appropriate PPE and there aren’t any guardrails or other measures in place to keep him from falling off the roof.
6 Elements of a Fall Protection Plan
To protect your workers from falls from heights, implement a fall protection plan that covers these six key elements:
- The fall hazards at the workplace;
- The fall protection systems to be used, making sure to follow the hierarchy of fall protection equipment;
- The anchors to be used;
- The procedures to be used to assemble, maintain, inspect, use and disassemble the fall protection systems;
- Confirmation that the clearance distances below the work area are sufficient to prevent a worker from hitting the ground or an object or level below the work area, if applicable; and
- The rescue procedures to be used in an emergency.
Your fall protection plan should be in writing and available at the worksite to which it applies. And you should train workers on the plan. Use this Fall Protection Plan Template to develop your plans.
In addition, ensure that workers’ fall protection equipment is inspected before use by a competent person for worn or damaged straps, buckles, D-rings or lines. (Use this fall protection equipment inspection checklist.)