Employers have the GENERAL DUTY to provide a safe and healthy workplace.
The first question to ask when assessing a situation where there is an exposure to falls is “Does the work have to be done?” If the answer is “yes” then these are the options to consider before going straight to a Personal Fall Arrest System.
- Determine if any of the work (even a small portion) can be performed at ground level or if a crane can be used to lift assembled portions (e.g., sections of roofing) into place, eliminating or reducing the number of workers exposed to falling.
- Tether or restrain the worker so he or she cannot reach the edge thereby eliminating the fall hazard.
- Consider the use of aerial lifts or elevated platforms to provide better working surfaces rather than walking top plates or beams.
- Erect guardrail systems, warning lines, or control line systems to protect workers from falls off the edges of floors and roofs.
- Place covers over holes as soon as they are created if no work is being done at the hole.
- Use safety net systems.
If none of these options are feasible, then it is time to implement the use of a Personal Fall Arrest Systems.