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Fall Prevention Checklist

Data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries indicate that falls are one of the leading causes of death in the workplace and many of these are through roof/floor openings. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that “every skylight, floor opening, and hole shall be guarded by a standard skylight screen or a fixed standard railing on all exposed sides”. Supervisors should use this checklist to evaluate their fall prevention program.

Fall Prevention Checklist

Is each worker protected from falling through roof and floor openings (i.e., holes) by a personal fall arrest system (PFAS), covers, or guardrail systems erected around such holes?
Do PFASs consist of an anchorage, connectors, a body belt, or body harness (they may also include a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline, or suitable combinations of these)?
Is the use of body belts for fall arrest prohibited?
Are anchorages used for attachment of personal fall arrest equipment, independent of any anchorage being used to support or suspend platforms?
Are anchorages used for attachment of personal fall arrest equipment capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds (22.2kN) per worker attached?
Are covers located in roadways and vehicular aisles capable of supporting at least twice the maximum axle load of the largest vehicle expected to cross over the cover?
Are covers capable of supporting, without failure, at least twice the weight of workers, equipment, and materials that may be imposed on the cover at any one time?
Are covers secured so as to prevent displacement by the wind, equipment or workers?
Are covers color coded, or marked “HOLE” or “COVER,” to provide warning of the hazard?
When the hole is not in use, is it closed over with a cover or a guardrail system?
When guardrails are used, are they erected on all unprotected sides or edges of the hole?
Are railings around openings made with a top rail, intermediate rail, and posts, with a vertical height of 42 inches (106.7 cm) from top rail to floor, platform, runway or ramp level?
Is the top rail smooth-surfaced throughout the length of the railing? Is the intermediate rail placed halfway between the top rail and the floor surface?
Are the ends of the rails made so they do not overhang the terminal posts except where such overhang does not constitute a projection hazard?
When guardrails are used around holes used for the passage of materials, are not more than two sides provided with removable guardrail sections to allow the passage of materials?
When guardrails are used as points of access are they provided with a gate or offset so that a person can’t walk directly into a hole?
Are skylight screens in good repair? [OSHA requires that they be capable of withstanding a load of at least 200 lb (90 kg)]

Copyright ©2008, ISO Services Properties, Inc.
The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries (“The Hanover”) specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of  any recommendations or advice  contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with The Hanover. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.
LC 10-248 H