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Fall Hazards

There are a number of potential situations or conditions that can present a fall  hazard. This policy may not specifically address all possibilities. Therefore,  when employees or supervisors recognize a condition that may present a fall  hazard not specifically addressed by this written program or the University’s  Aerial Platform Lift Policy, they shall involve Risk Management and Safety prior  to addressing the safety concerns surrounding the condition.  The following list of conditions addressed by this written program (note that this is not an all-inclusive list):

  1. Ladders, both permanent and temporary

Ladders shall exhibit the following conditions:

1. Meet OSHA specifications for design and safety.

2. The appropriate type of ladder is being used for the job.

3. Metal ladders are not used near exposed electrical sources.

4. All parts, ropes, fittings and connections are secure and in good condition.

5. Non-slip surfaces are in place on ladder rungs.

6. Gripping safety feet are in place, secure and in sound condition.

7. Ladder has been set up safely:

a) Floor/ground surface is firm.

b) Floor/ground surface is flat.

c) Floor/ground surface is not slippery.

d) Ladder is level. Fall Prevention Program

e) Top of ladder (unless using step ladder) is against a solid, fixed surface.

f) For extension ladders, the 4-to-1 principal is accomplished (the base of the ladder should be placed at a distance from the wall that is equal to one fourth of the height that the ladder is extended. Ie; a ladder that is extended 20 ft high should have its base approximately 5 ft from the wall).

g) When employees are on extension ladders at heights of 20 feet or higher, either a second person is present to steady the ladders base or the top of the ladder is effectively tied off to a sound anchor point.

  1. Stairs (permanent and temporary)

All stairs shall exhibit the following conditions:

1. Meet OSHA specifications for design and safety.

2. All required covers or guardrails are in place, including top rails, midrails and toe kicks or spindles.

3. All hand rails or guardrails are in place.

4. All treads and risers are in good repair.

5. Non-slip surfaces are in place.

6. Adequate headroom is maintained above.

7. Stairs are clear of clutter and slippery materials.

  1. Elevated platforms that are fixed

All elevated platform locations shall exhibit the following conditions:

1. Top guard rail in place, is between 36 and 45 inches from floor, is in sound condition and anchored appropriately.

2. Vertical rails (spindles), a solid surface or a mid rail is in place, is in sound condition and is anchored appropriately.

3. If the railing is not solid down to the floor, a toe kick is present, in sound condition and anchored appropriately.

4. The flooring of the platform has no openings, is properly attached to sound surface and is in sound condition. Fall Prevention Program

5. Walking surfaces are clear from obstruction and are not slippery.

D. Scaffolding

Once erected, scaffolding is an elevated platform and shall meet the same safety requirements. However, due to the complexity of parts and connections, and due to the fact that they are routinely assembled and disassembled, they are far more complex and are potentially more dangerous. Therefore, all employees who erect or use scaffolding shall attend the Scaffold Safety Training Program sponsored by Risk Management and Safety prior to working with or on scaffolding. See section VI of this written program for specific requirements relating to scaffolding.

E.Floor and wall openings

All floor and wall openings that lead to a fall hazard shall exhibit the following conditions:

1. All floor and wall openings are safely covered or blocked from access.

2. If not safely covered or blocked from access, someone is assigned for constant attendance to it.

3. Covers shall be sound, solid and not easily opened.

4. Barricades that are designed to prevent someone from falling into the opening shall be visually noticeable, strong enough to hold the weight of multiple people and shall not, in themselves, have additional openings that create additional fall hazards. If the barricade is not solid from it’s top rail tothe floor, they shall meet the requirements of a guardrail on an elevated platform (top rail, mid rail, toe board).

5. Floor surfaces surrounding the opening shall be clear of clutter or slippery material.

F. Working without a ladder or aerial platform lift at elevations greater than 6 feet in height. Any time an employee works at elevations higher than 6 feet above the floor they shall use an appropriate ladder, an aerial platform lift, scaffolding or assemble an appropriate elevated platform whenever feasible. If these are not feasible, the employee shall be trained in the proper use of fall arrest systems and don their arrest systems appropriately Fall Prevention Program  throughout the duration of time that they work above 6 feet .