OSHA standards on falling

Pennsylvania workers have the right to expect a safe and well-regulated job place. OSHA has issued comprehensive rules regarding the dangers of workers falling in an industrial or construction setting. These rules sanction five classes of protection that must be present at all times and in all locations. The goal of the provisions is to prevent any worker from falling more than six feet without encountering some sort of safety mechanism that will arrest their descent.

Some have found, when designing a fall arrest system, that it was impossible to devise attachment points for a harness that give less than six feet of falling distance. In cases such as that, OSHA goes by the standard of maximum arresting force. So long as the system is devised so that the maximum arresting force is 900 pounds, in the case of a body belt, or 1800 pounds, when the worker is wearing a harness, the workplace will be deemed to be in compliance.

The rules set out by OSHA do not assume that falls can be completely prevented. They only require that the worker be protected from fatalities and work injuries in the event that a fall occurs.

Workers who have been injured by a fall in the course of their duties may be entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits as they recuperate. These benefits can include the provision of medical care as well as a percentage of wages lost during the recovery period. Many in this position find the assistance of an attorney to be helpful when preparing and filing the required claim. Source: OH&S Online, "Fall Protection for Iron Workers", Marty Sharp, July 1, 2015

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