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FAQs

What is the minimum height to wear safety harness?

Currently, OSHA requires that employers provide fall protection for construction workers on a walking or working surface with an unprotected edge that is 6 feet or more above a lower level. Fall protection approved by OSHA includes guardrails, safety net systems, and personal fall arrest systems (i.e. safety harnesses). Employers are permitted to use any or all of the three prescribed fall protection systems in most instances, not specifically safety harnesses as Gilbane recommends.

The rule covers a number of areas and activities where fall protection is required and the fall protection systems allowed. For example, protecting workers from falls into holes, such as skylights, another acceptable means of fall protection is installing a cover over the opening. When working on the face of reinforcing steel or formwork above 6 feet, employees can use a personal fall arrest system, safety net, or positioning device system.

The rules are also different when it comes to working on scaffolding and for steelworkers. For scaffold work, employees must have fall protection when working at a height of 10 feet or more above a lower level. The type of fall protection required by OSHA varies depending on the type of scaffold being used. A ladder jack scaffold or a float scaffold requires a personal fall arrest system (aka: safety harness) while a single-point or two-point adjustable suspension scaffold requires both a safety harness and a guardrail system.

Workers performing steel erection work aren’t required to use fall protection until they are working at heights of 15 feet or more above a lower level. Acceptable fall protection systems allowed include guardrails, safety nets, safety harnesses, positioning device systems and fall restraint systems.

OSHA has not responded to Gilbane’s safety harness proposal and doesn’t have any proposed rulemaking currently to make any changes to their fall protection standards. OSHA’s reasoning for having different height thresholds for fall protection for different aspects of construction such as scaffold work and steel erection was cited as being in line with consensus standards at the time and with the difficulty for deploying fall protection at the 6-foot threshold for these activities.

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What height is fall protection required?

There must be a starting point from which to work so that when nothing else seems to fit, you can know what the default answer is. OSHA says: General Industry requires fall protection for any worker over 4’. OSHA: 1910.28(b)(1)(i) Construction requires fall protection for any worker over 6’. OSHA: 1926.501(b)(1). This means that at any point your employees are exposed to heights equal to or greater than these, they must have some sort of protection.

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What is safety equipment?

Safety Equipment, as implied by its name, includes the gadgets that are used (worn, used, suspended etc.) for the protection of life and to avoid injuries or casualties.

Generally, safety equipment is the protection that is used by workers to avoid injuries, casualties, life threatening situations etc. Different types of safety equipment are used by workers depending upon the nature of risk involved in the work. For example, in a welding operation the dark welding helmets are used as a piece of safety equipment. In construction operations, hard hats, foot gear and coveralls are considered safety equipment. All these types of safety equipment fall under the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) category.

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What is industrial safety?

Industrial safety refers to the management of all operations and events within an industry in order to protect its employees and assets by minimizing hazards, risks, accidents, and near misses.

Industrial safety is overseen by federal, state, and local laws and regulations. The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) is the primary regulatory body in the United States dedicated to ensuring industrial safety.

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What is safety?

The definition of safety the state of being “safe” (from French sauf), the condition of being protected from harm or other non-desirable outcomes. Safety can also refer to the control of recognized hazards in order to achieve an acceptable level of risk.

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