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OSHA is increasingly using the judicial system to enforce its safety standards. During a previous U.S. District Court hearing, the Court sentenced an owner of a construction company to 30 days in prison. The owner pled guilty to willfully violating OSHA’s fall protection standards, resulting in a worker fatality. Workers at the jobsite didn’t have access to fall protection systems and weren’t trained properly on how to recognize fall hazards. This is a reminder to inspect your jobsite for these things.

Here are tips on what to inspect:

  • Review your fall protection plan and make sure it addresses the current needs of your jobsite. Are there any new work activities that require a different type of fall protection?
  • Have your workers been trained about how to recognize fall hazards and what to do when they identify one? Do they know what fall protection is required when there’s a six foot fall, or greater, to a lower level?
  • Schedule a refresher class in 2022 to discuss fall protection with your workers. Talk about your current fall protection devices on your jobsite and if they’re effective or not.
  • Has your fall protection been inspected for 2022? Make sure workers understand what to look for while inspecting devices and how to remove defective devices from service.
  • Make sure that workers’ fall protection devices are properly adjusted. For example, the D-ring on harnesses should be positioned between workers’ shoulder blades.
  • Check all jobsite guardrails. Are they capable of supporting 200 pounds of force within 2-inches of the top edge, in any inward or outward direction?

Doing these things will help make sure your jobsite is compliant with OSHA’s fall protection safety standards.

Key to remember: Train your workers properly how to recognize fall hazards and make sure adequate fall protection devices are available.