Following the Hierarchy of Fall Protection to Avoid Fall Protection Misuse

08 Feb

The Hierarchy of Fall Protection is the accepted order of control to remove or minimize fall hazards. This approach echoes regular safety practices for hazard reduction, from elimination all the way to administrative controls. Utilizing the data gathered from the fall hazard assessments, solutions in the hierarchy can be implemented on the hazards.

1. Hazard Elimination

The preferent solution to each fall hazard is elimination. The causes for exposure to the fall hazard is examined to see if altering the procedure, practice, location or equipment will remove exposure to the fall hazard. Indicating HVAC (Heating, Venting and Air Conditioning) equipment be installed on the ground, or in an equipment room instead of by the edge of the roof, is one demonstration of hazard elimination.

2. Passive Fall Protection

Physical barriers - for example, guardrails for unprotected edges and covers on holes - are types of passive fall protection. Passive protection is essentially employed to increase level of safety because the chance for error is lower than with using personal protective equipment (PPE). The upfront costs of passive protection, though likely high, are typically more justified than long-term PPE costs. But passive protection may not be ensured with limited fall hazard exposure frequency and length of exposure. A comprehensive hazard assessment delivers the information necessary to make such types of decisions to enhance cost-effectiveness. Check this site to know more!

3. Fall Restraint Systems

Fall restraint systems are intended to prevent a fall from happening. Fall restraint systems rely on PPE to control the worker's range of movement to keep them from physically moving towards the fall hazard. Although fall restraint systems are usually underutilized for the reason they are not particularly mentioned in various regulations, they are still preferred over fall arrest systems. Free fall distance is not a problem for fall restraint systems, so clearance requirements, arresting forces, secondary injuries, etc. are virtually ruled out.

4.Fall Arrest Systems

Fall restraint systems are intended to let a fall occur but be arrested within non-hazardous clearance and force margins. Fall arrest systems have more risks to them, as the falling worker needs to be stopped with a harmless  amount of force and also prevented from hitting the ground or any surrounding structure. Adequate training for fall restraint as well as fall arrest systems is a must. Discover more facts about safety at

5. Administrative Controls

Administrative controls are preventive actions taken to decrease the chances of a fall. Such include warning horns, control lines, safety monitors, and more. Also, it has to be noted that OSHA regulates the use of multiple administrative controls, and it is the job of the fall protection program administrator to know the jurisdictions and regulations that are applicable. Be sure to read more now!

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