This GBCA Safety Toolbox Talk discusses general Fall Protection Safety. Scroll down to read it. Click below to download the Toolbox Talk as a one-page handout.

Fall Protection Safety

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, each year, several hundred workers die as a result of falls at construction sites. One of the biggest issues we face as a group is recognizing when fall protection is needed. Here are some general and commonly asked questions:

At what height do you need protection?

  • OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of six feet in the construction industry.
  • OSHA requires that fall protection be provided when working over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of the fall distance.

Do you need fall protection working on a scaffold since it’s fully enclosed?

  • If an employee is working on a scaffold, the height requirement for fall protection is 10 feet, and this protection usually is provided by a built-in guardrail. If there are openings in the scaffold, however, this changes the rule and the employee must be protected.
  • If openings are more than 6 feet in height, a compliant system MUST be used. This can be personal fall arrest, restraint or a barrier such as a wall or guard rail system. All fall protection equipment must be compliant with the OSHA standard for the application.

What are the employers’ responsibilities?

Employers need to…

  • Select systems and equipment appropriate for the situation.
  • Properly construct and install safety systems.
  • Train workers in the proper selection, use and maintenance of fall protection systems.

What are the employees’ responsibilities?

Employees need to…

  • Use safe work practices.
  • Use fall protection equipment properly.
  • Always wear provided fall protection equipment.

Safety planning and preparation may take a few minutes, but incidents can happen in just seconds.

Take the time to be safe.

Remember to record the attendees of your toolbox talk!

Access GBCA’s full library of toolbox talks: