The Guardian Fall Team Blog

A fall protection plan is a safety plan for workers who will be at elevated work areas. Having a detailed fall protection plan is essential to ensure the highest degree of worker safety. The plan aims to provide a safe working environment and to administer the use of fall protection measures, techniques, and equipment. 

Below are 8 things to always make sure to address in your organizations fall protection plan.:

1. Assess all fall hazards in the work area.

An essential step to take when developing a fall protection plan is identifying all existing and potential fall hazards in the work area. There are many different types of hazards that are detrimental to worker safety. The 5 fall hazards to watch for, include: holes, skylights, platforms, sharp edges, and debris. 

2. The fall protection applications employees will be working in, and the equipment needed to work safely.

Potential fall protection applications include:

  • Fall Arrest
  • Fall Restraint
  • Work Positioning
  • Rescue/Confined Space

Potential equipment includes: 

3. Correct procedures for assembly, maintenance, inspection, and disassembly of fall protection systems used.

Assembly and disassembly of all equipment must be done according to the product manufacturer’s recommended procedures. Inspection of all safety equipment must be done by the end user before each use. Additionally, a Competent Person needs to inspect the user’s equipment in intervals of no more than one year (or more frequently if required by the manufacturer). An organization must have a plan for inspection in order to comply with OSHA 1926.502(d)(21), and any defective equipment must be tagged and removed from use immediately.

For more information on how to inspect your personal protective equipment (PPE), be sure to check out these other blog posts from our F.I.R.S.T. Choice Training team!:

4. Correct procedures for handling, storage, and securing of tools and materials.

Organizations must have a plan to ensure that their fall protection equipment is handled and secured properly. If not stored properly, equipment can become contaminated or otherwise damaged and will not be safe to use. Contamination can include rust, corrosion, discoloration, and deformation, etc. Even though an organization’s plans for storage will be jobsite specific, remember to still always avoid heat, moisture, and chemicals when storing your equipment.

5. Training methods for the employees working on the jobsite.

All new and current employees should be given instructions on the proper use of fall protection devices before they begin to work. Prior to permitting employees into areas where fall hazards exist, all employees must also be trained regarding fall protection plan requirements.

6. The method for prompt, safe rescue of injured workers (i.e., your rescue plan).

A plan for the rescue and recovery of fallen workers is essential to include in all fall protection plans. OSHA requires that employers shall provide for prompt rescue of employees in the event of a fall, or shall ensure that employees are able to rescue themselves. If employees are not rescued in a timely manner they can experience serious injuries related to suspension trauma.

Keep an eye out for an upcoming, in-depth post on rescue plans from Guardian.

7. The fall protection plan must be jobsite specific.

Every job is different and will present different types of fall hazards. It is extremely important that each jobsite is analyzed for these hazards, and that they are eliminated prior to the beginning of any work. Just because a fall protection plan works for one site, it does not mean that it will work for the next.

8. The fall protection plan must be available to employees.

Your written fall protection plan should be reviewed before work begins on any jobsite. Guardian recommends that you have a sheet for employees to sign at the jobsite stating that they have been trained in and understand the fall protection plan. Having weekly safety meetings where fall protection equipment and safety procedures are reviewed can also help ensure that your employees will stay as safe as possible.

Providing this information to everyone helps us carry out our mission of educating the community to protect the workforce and save lives. We hope that you can utilize this when drafting up a fall protection plan for your company or organization to keep your workers safe.

For assistance with your fall protection plan, please ask our Safety Experts or call us at (800) 466-6385.

Fall Protection Plan