1926.501 Fall Protection
2,411 Total # of Citations Issued by OSHA Related to the Fall Protection Standard 29 CFR 1926.500
1,023 Average Monetary Penalty Issued by OSHA per Citation, for a Total of $2,467,721
1,121 Total # of Deaths in the Construction Industry
370 Total # of Deaths in the Construction Industry Related to Falls
46 Total # of Deaths Due to Falls for Residential Contractors
Today’s Topics • What Causes Falls in Construction • Duty to Have Fall Protection • Fall Protection Criteria for Residential vs. Non-Residential Contractors • Conventional Fall Protection Systems • Alternative Methods • STD 3.1 (Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction) • Rescue Plans / Suspension Trauma • Hands-on Demonstration
Causes of Fall in Construction • 91% - no fall protection worn • 82% - no fall protection in place • 79% - wore harness or belt but not attached • 75% - loss of footing, balance, or grip Sixty percent (60%)of all falls were preventable by fall protection.
Requirement to Have Fall Protection • Work 6 feet above lower levels to which you could fall shall be protected by the use of guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems. • Alternative fall protection systems are available for Roofing, Leading Edge Work, & Overhand Brick Laying. • OSHA has separate“Residential Construction” fall protection guidelines available in STD 3-0.1A
The Fall Protection Standard Applies to: • (1) "Unprotected sides and edges.“ • (2) "Leading edges." • (3) "Hoist areas." • (4) "Holes." • (5) "Formwork and reinforcing steel." • (6) "Ramps, runways, and other walkways." • (7) "Excavations." • (8) "Dangerous equipment." • (9) "Overhand bricklaying and related work.“ • 10) "Roofing work on Low-slope roofs." • (11) "Steep roofs." • (12) "Precast concrete erection." • (13) "Residential construction." • (14) "Wall openings." • (15) "Walking/working surfaces not otherwise addressed."
Definitions • "Guardrail system" means a barrier erected to prevent employees from falling to lower levels.
Guardrail Systems • Top rail, mid-rail, and toeboard • Top rail shall be 42" (plus or minus 3 inches) • Must withstand 200 pounds of force outward or downward • Surfaced to prevent injury • No projection hazard at rail ends • All rails at least 1/4" thick • Mid rail shall be ½ the distance between top rail and working/walking surface • Must withstand 150 pounds of force outward & downward • May be substituted with mesh screen, balusters <19” apart • Toe board shall be at least 3 ½” wide (2”x4”) • Wood guardrails (2”x4”) shall have vertical supports a maximum of eight (8) feet apart (Appendix B)
Definitions • "Personal fall arrest system" means a system used to arrest an employee in a fall from a working level. • It consists of an anchorage, connectors, a body belt or body harness and may include a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline, or suitable combinations of these. • The maximum allowable force applied to the body cannot exceed 1,800 pounds • As of January 1, 1998, the use of a body belt for fall arrest is prohibited.
Personal Fall Arrest Systems "Deceleration distance" means the additional vertical distance a falling employee travels, excluding lifeline elongation and free fall distance, before stopping, from the point at which the deceleration device begins to operate. 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. If one of these parts fails, the system fails.
Calculating Free Fall Distance • Freefall = 6 feet maximum • Deceleration Distance = 3.5 feet maximum • Lifeline elongation = 2 feet maximum • Total fall before stopping = 11.5 feet • Portion of body landing below attachment point approximately 5 feet minimum • Harness effect = 1 ft. • Total clearance below attachment point required to avoid contacting lower level may be as great as 16.5 feet or more!
Alternative Methods • Subpart M allows three alternatives for pre-cast concrete, leading edge work, overhead bricklaying, roofing and residential construction. Controlled Access Zone Warning Line System The employer must prove conventional protection is infeasible or would cause a greater hazard and then develop a written fall protection plan – except in roofing, overhand bricklaying, and residential construction. No other trades may utilize alternative methods
Warning Line System / Monitors • "Warning line system" means a barrier erected on a roof to warn employees that they are approaching an unprotected roof side or edge, and which designates an area in which roofing work may take place without the use of guardrail, body belt, or safety net systems to protect employees in the area. • "Safety-monitoring system" means a safety system in which a competent person is responsible for recognizing and warning employees of fall hazards. • Safety Monitors must receive specialized training, and may not perform alternative duties that distract them from the monitoring function.
Definitions • "Controlled access zone (CAZ)" means an area in which certain leading edge work may take place without the use of guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, or safety net systems and access to the zone is controlled.
Control Lines Where leading edge and other operations are taking place the controlled access zone shall be defined by a control line Control Line Distances shall be 39”-45” high, withstand 200 pounds of force (tensile strength, and flagged every six feet
Vertical Wall Openings • Vertical openings 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels where the inside bottom edge of the wall opening is less than 39 inches above the walking/working surfaces shall be protected by a fall protection system
Low-slope Roofing • Use guardrails, safety nets, personal fall arrest systems, or warning line system, safety monitor, or combination there of. • Warning line systems and safety monitors cannot be utilized on steep roofs (pitch greater than 4 to 12) } Rise 4 12 [ <----------Run----------> ] Low sloped roofs rise four units or less for every run of 12 units
STD 3-0.1A Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction • Fall protection requirements for residential construction are listed in 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13). In general, that provision requires fall protection for work at or over six feet. • However, OSHA Instruction STD 3.1 modifies those requirements. It permits employers engaged in certain residential construction activities to use alternative procedures routinely instead of convention fall protection. • STD 3.1 does not require the employer to demonstrate infeasibility of convention fall protection, does not the fall protection plan to be written or site specific. • Different alternatives are available for specific tasks.
“Residential Construction” • An employee is engaged in residential construction where the working environment, materials, methods and procedures are essentially the same as those used in building a typically single-family home or townhouse. • Residential construction is characterized by: • Materials: Wood framing (not steel or concrete); wooden floor joists and roof structures. • Methods: Traditional wood frame construction techniques • In addition, the construction of a discrete part of a large commercial building (not the entire building) such as a wood frame, shingled entrance way to a mall.
Availability of Alternative Procedures • Alternative procedures are available to employers who are: • Engaged in residential construction, and • Doing one of the the listed activities
Listed Activities • Group 1. Installation of floor joists, floor sheathing, and roof sheathing; erecting exterior walls, setting and bracing roof trusses and rafters. • Group 2. Working on concrete and block foundation walls and related formwork. • Group 3. This group consists of the following activities, when performed in attics and on roofs: installing drywall, insulation, HVAC systems, electrical systems, plumbing, and carpentry. • Group 4. Roof work (removal, repair, or installation of weatherproofing roofing materials such as shingles, tile, and tar paper)
General Requirements • Training: employee must • Understand the plan • Be able to recognize hazards and how to report them • Implementation/Supervision • The employer must designate a Competent Person to monitor the plan • Controlled Access Zone • Develop boundaries • Monitor workers inside CZA • Restrict Unauthorized Access • Plan Administration • Employer Enforcement • Change plan as necessary • Review Accidents
Rescue Plans 1926.502(d)20) • The fall protection standard states: “The employer shall provide for the prompt rescue of employees in the event of a fall or shall assure that employees are able to rescue themselves. • Generally “Prompt Rescue” means within 15 minutes, starting from the time of the incident to the time medical treatment is provided. • Rescue Plans should be practiced: most self rescue attempts fail, wasting several minutes before medical rescue is contacted.
Suspension Trauma • Suspension Trauma can occur any time a person’s legs become immobile, with the worker in the upright position (dehydration and heat stress are also factors) • When blood pools in the legs, the hearts natural reaction is to slow down, reducing the blood flow to the brain. • Failure to provide prompt rescue, or provide adequate foot support, which reduces pressure on the legs and allows blood to flow normally, serious damage to the vital organs can occur.
Suspension Trauma Prevention • Never permit employees to work alone in a harness • Workers should be trained to try to move their legs in the harness and try to push against any available footholds. • If possible, workers should try to get horizontal (raise the legs & lower the head) • Effectively communicate the EMS personnel the length of the time the employee has been suspended in the harnesses, the possibility of suspension trauma, and the serious/fatal health effects. • Do not immediately stand fall victims up vertically, keep them horizontal or let them sit-up slowly. • Limit up-right suspension to five minutes