What are the OSHA Guidelines and regulations for Fall Protection?
Over the years, there have been questions that have consistently been raised in regards to fall protection scenarios. We plan to address a few of questions in this section. Firstly, everyone must know that some type of fall protection is required anytime an employee is exposed to a leading edge fall hazard that is greater than 48” (4 foot rule) in general industry, and 6’ in the construction industry. We are going to go over a number of scenarios when fall protection is and is not required.
OSHA Loading Dock Fall Protection
Addressing OSHA loading dock fall protection can be a tricky thing. Often, a loading dock is slightly above, at, or slightly below the 4’ general industry rule requiring fall protection. Now, if your loading dock is at 46”, per OSHA standard on fall protection, fall protection is not required. This elevated work area, is still clearly a hazardous area and you should be proactive in teaching OSHA loading dock safety and general OSHA guidelines for fall protection to personnel and employees working in this hazardous environment because, per OSHA, employers must provide “a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm” (OSHA). Ultimately, if your loading dock is below 48”, but seen by employees or management as a hazard that should be address, then it is the company’s and management’s responsibility to address such a hazard.
Of course, if your loading dock is directly at 48” or above, loading dock fall protection is required. There are a number of products available today that enable workers to work safely and efficiently next to the leading edge, while providing them protection when working at heights. Remember, the best plan to address these concerns starts with thinking safely, acting safely, and then implementing barriers to mitigate fall risks. For specific products that address loading dock fall protection, check out our industrial removable guardrail system. This system is in place when needed, but allows the flexibility of removing railing if unloading or loading a flatbed or other special circumstances. Loading dock safety gates are always a good idea as well during the transition between trucks arriving and leaving. These loading dock safety gates are easily installed and used.
OSHA Skylight Fall Protection
Another unclear topic has been, OSHA skylight fall protection. The short story is, skylights are considered “holes” by OSHA. If an employee can fall through a skylight, they are required to be guarded as such by means of screens, guards, or guardrail that are capable of withstanding a load force of 200 pounds or more. This rule was cleared up in a case that we covered in one of our BLOGS – OSHA Skylight Fall Protection. The case requires OSHA skylight fall protection on skylights, and clears up our confusion on the matter. A number of our products can help your company address your skylight fall protection concerns – give EDGE Fall Protection, LLC a call today.