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February 25, 2022

Fall Protection Regulations

Because falls are among the most common reasons for workplace injuries and fatalities in California, fall protection is a very important thing to learn and understand. According to California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, there are two kinds of key systems when it comes to fall protection. A passive system and an active system.

man in bucket

Passive Systems

A passive system is a system that does not work until it is called to action. A few examples are listed below.

  • Guard Rails – these are required at 7.5 feet. They are required to be installed on elevated platforms, floor and roof edges, scaffolds, etc. Guard rails also need to be used at wall openings that are less than 36 inches above the working surface and greater than 30 inches high and 18 inches wide.
  • Safety Nets - Must be installed according to manufacturer’s instructions. They are most efficiently used on high entry ways and cathedral ceilings of residential homes.
  • Floor Covers – Regardless of the fall height, floor covers need to be used for all floor openings, hatchways, and even skylight openings.

Active Systems

An active system is a system that is always in action. A more immediate response to a fall. The following systems must be used by any person whose work has a fall risk of above 7½ feet.

  • Personal Fall Arrest System - This is a system that is used to catch an employee in a fall. This system consists of:
    • Harnesses, not body belts
    • Shock absorbing lanyard with 2 locking snap hooks
    • An anchorage point that must support 5,000 pounds
    • An inspection before use
  • Personal Fall Restraint System – is a system that prevents an employee from stepping into a fall hazard. A personal fall restraint system includes:
    • Equipment that should be set and adjusted so there is no free fall over the edge
    • A harness or body belt
    • An anchorage point that needs to support 4 times the weight
  • Positioning Device System – is a system that is used for an employee working on an elevated vertical surface. This system uses:
    • A harness or body belt
    • The device must be set and adjusted so there is no more than 2 feet of free fall
    • The anchorage point must support 3,000 pounds

Training

There are many companies, like Click Safety Training, that provide more training on this topic. But, for more information on specifically CAL OSHA fall regulations you can visit our Hard Hat Training Series course; CAL OSHA Fall Protection Training. Good luck out there! Stay Safe!

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