Work At Heights
Working from heights is a necessary part of the job for many workers at facilities across the United States. Employers must protect their workers from the risk of falling from overhead platforms, elevated work stations or into holes in the floors or walls.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to use safe work from heights practices and warning systems to prevent work-related injuries from falls.
Why is it important to comply with the work from heights regulations?
Injuries and deaths from falls are common occupational risks and among the leading types of occupational harm that befall workers. OSHA’s work from heights standards require employers to guard against work from heights hazards. These standards apply to any facility in general industry where employees are working at heights of four feet or more, and impose additional fall protection requirements on some industry sectors.
Implementing OSHA’s height safety procedures, such as installing guardrails and providing work from heights training, can prevent life-threatening injuries from workplace falls. Failing to provide proper work from heights protection subjects the facility to civil fines and potential criminal liability under OSHA’s heights regulations.
Importance of implementing an active regulatory watch on work from heights regulations
Falls from heights is one of the leading causes of workplace injuries. Personal fall protection failure or inadequate guardrails can result in devastating employee injury or death. Given this danger of working from heights, OSHA will continue to revise and improve its work from heights regulations.
Facilities that require employees to work above dangerous machinery or workplaces with heights of four feet or more should be aware of any revisions to OSHA’s height regulations. In addition, a facility subject to the work from heights standard may be located in one of the 28 OSHA-designated states or territories that may impose stricter work from heights requirements than the federal standard.
Learn more about work from heights
What is OSHA?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency that imposes health and safety standards on employers to protect workers from occupational hazards. OSHA enforces the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which establishes regulations to promote safe conditions in the workplace.
What is fall protection?
Fall protection is a system that is designed to protect a worker who could lose his or her balance at a height in order to minimize risk of injury from a fall.
What is a guardrail?
A guardrail is a vertical barrier that is designed to prevent employees from falling to lower levels.
What is personal fall protection?
Personal fall protection is a device or system that may not prevent the employee from failing, but will prevent or minimize injury from a fall. Harnesses or lanyards are examples of personal fall equipment.