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What Fall Protection is Required When Working on Scaffolding?

Scaffolding is a common part of many commercial and residential job sites that require consistent access to high areas. Though useful, there are many rules and regulations governing the safe use of scaffolds. To ensure the safety of workers, it is important to understand what fall protection is required when working on scaffolding. At United Scaffold Supply, we are experts in residential and commercial scaffolds and the safety requirements for working on them. That is why our team has compiled a list of required fall protection equipment and training to help minimize the risk of injury.

Required Fall Protection Equipment for Scaffolding

In most cases, fall protection must be used in areas from which a fall of 10 ft or more may occur. There are some exceptions to this rule, as some surfaces may be hazardous to land on regardless of the height. Most sites require the use of fall protection systems even if guard rails are in place to keep the risk of injury to a complete minimum. The following equipment is often required for scaffolding fall protection:

  • A full-body harness. This is a support device consisting of connected straps that are designed to distribute the force from a fall. The harness is worn over the thighs, shoulders, and pelvis.
  • A lanyard. This is a flexible line of wire, rope, or webbing that is used to secure a safety belt or full-body harness to an anchor.
  • A lifeline or other connection between the worker and the anchor. Multiple lifelines can be used and attached to multiple anchor points.

Each of these systems must be provided by the employer and meet applicable CSA or ANSI standards. In addition to equipment, an employer must ensure that operators are properly trained in how to use fall protection when on scaffolding.

Required Fall Protection Training for Scaffolding

When discussing fall protection training, there are two types of courses: general and industry specific. A general fall protection course provides workers with a solid foundation for safe operating techniques, but it does not delve too deep into site-specific procedures. Industry-based courses focus on the challenges and procedures associated with the specific application (construction, window washing, etc.). This provides workers with more detailed knowledge that can be applied to their daily tasks. Fall protection training courses often cover:

  • The manufacturer’s instructions (or a professional engineer’s instructions) related to the fall protection system and equipment.
  • Proper methods of donning, adjusting, and interconnecting any personal protective equipment that is part of the fall protection system.
  • Proper attachment points on the equipment.
  • Compatibility of components and potential limitations of the system.
  • Anchor installation, use, attachment points, maintenance, inspection, strength, and layout.
  • Site-specific fall protection procedures (if applicable).
  • Fall protection plans and emergency response procedures.

For more information on fall protection equipment and training for scaffolding, please reach out to the experts at United Scaffold Supply. We can be reached by phone at 1-866-820-6341 or through our online contact form.