What are the most frequently cited serious violations of the fall protection provisions?

  1. Failure to protect workers from falls of 6 feet of more off unprotected sides or edges, e.g. floors and roofs. (1926.501(b)(1); (b)(10); and (b)(11))
  2. Failure to protect workers from falling into or through holes and openings in floors and walls. (1926.501(b)(4) and (b)(14))
  3. Failure to provide guardrails on runways and ramps where workers are exposed to falls of 6 feet or more to a lower level. (1926.501(b)(6))


  • Fall protection is required when working at or above 6′ per OSHA.
  • Effective January 1, 1998, body belts are not acceptable as part of a personal fall arrest system. The use of body belts for positioning and restraint is acceptable.
  • Personal fall arrest systems must be rigged in such a way that an employee can neither free fall more than 6′ nor contact a lower level. (OSHA)
  • Effective January 1, 1998 only locking type snaphooks shall be used.
  • Personal fall arrest systems must bring an employee to a complete stop and limit the maximum deceleration distance an employee travels to 42″.
  • Lanyards are to be secured… limiting the fall distance to 6′.
  • Personal fall arrest systems must limit the maximum arresting force on an employee to 1800 pounds.
  • Anchorage points must be capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds per person.
  • All fall protection equipment must be inspected twice annually in California. (CalOSHA)

Source: OSHA