When you need fall protection

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CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training

Summary Statement

A brief summary of OSHA regulations on when fall protection is required.

OSHA says you need fall protection:

  • When a worker is 6 feet or more above a lower level or can fall into dangerous equipment
  • On scaffolds, when a worker is more than 10 feet above a lower level
  • On fixed ladders whose top is more than 24 feet above a lower level (but not on portable ladders)
For steel erection, OSHA's new fall protection rules took effect January 18, 2001. Fall protection is needed:
  • Above 2 stories or more than 15 feet above a lower level.
  • For connectors at 15 to 30 feet, fall protection may be untied if
For residential construction, OSHA has special rules. Check with OSHA (www.osha.gov).