Elements of an effective fall management program

Size up your fall exposures

Consider where your workers will be exposed to heights.

  • Ladders, scaffolds, lifts
  • Near unprotected floors and openings
  • On formwork
  • Walking on narrow surfaces
  • Where falling objects may expose workers below to injury.

Eliminate fall hazards

  • Determine where guardrails and covers can be used to eliminate floor and roof opening exposures.
  • Determine where scaffolds and lifts can be used to eliminate the use of ladders.
  • Determine where stair towers or stairways can be installed to eliminate the need for access ladders.

Control your fall exposures

  • Identify what areas of the project will require the use of personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) — will proper anchor points be available?
  • Identify what PFAS (shock absorbing lanyard/self-retracting lanyard/lifeline) will be required to control falls based on anchorage point availability/location.
  • Determine if different sized full body harness will be needed based on height/weight of workers. Most standard harnesses are limited to total worker weight of 310 lbs. Equipment for heavier workers is available.
  • Consider developing a dropped objects/tools plan that includes the use of tool lanyards to protect workers below.

Identify management controls

  • Create and issue jobsite responsibilities for supervisors detailing expected performance (frequency of inspections, safety meetings, preplanning of work).
  • Create an inspection checklist based on the expected fall exposures at the jobsite.
  • Consider performing a job hazard analysis of common work activities. This can aid in training and identifying equipment necessary to complete the work safely.
  • Designate a competent person to oversee the implementation of the fall protection program/plan and act as a company resource.

Provide training

  • Workers should be trained about the expected fall hazards during the performance of their work and the proper use, inspection, location of all fall protection systems that will be used.
  • Supervisors should be trained on how to preplan for fall hazards, use, inspection and installation of PFAS, guardrails, covers, scaffolds, ladders, lifts.

Write the plan

  • Develop a job-specific plan that identifies the areas on the project where fall hazards are expected and the methods that will be used to eliminate or control fall hazards.
  • Determine rescue procedures based on location/available equipment and local EMS capability.
  • Distribute the plan to all supervisors who will be working on the project with clear instructions about their performance expectations, how to request equipment, guidelines for removing fall protection systems.

Review the plan

  • Set up a review schedule to determine that the plan continues to be effective and performance expectations are met.
  • Update the plan when necessary, such as when new fall exposures are expected, or new equipment will be used.

This material is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide any coverage or guarantee loss prevention. The examples in this material are provided as hypothetical and for illustration purposes only. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries (“The Hanover”) specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations contained herein will make any premises, or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. 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 DEC 2018 2016-149
171-10008 (5/16)