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OSHA Fall Protection Hierarchy of Controls

The safest thing an employer can do for the workers is to completely eliminate a hazard. This is not a feasible option in the construction industry. However, the higher in the hierarchy of controls an employer can operate, the safer the employees will be.

The OSHA regulations define a hierarchy of controls to help mitigate hazards, as follows:

  • Elimination or substitution is the best way to deal with a safety hazard and eliminates exposure to a risk altogether before a worker is ever exposed. Elimination, for example, is completing work at a ground level instead of working at a height. An example of substitution is using a lift in order to work at a height rather than having to physically climb to a height.
  • Engineering controls that physically change the workplace to reduce the risk of exposure to a safety hazard.
  • Administrative and work practice controls, such as training and alarm usage, that require a worker or employer to do something that reduces or mitigates the safety hazards.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as fall restraint systems, PFAS, and safety nets, that require workers to wear something that reduces their risk of injury.

To learn more about Fall Protection visit our OSHA Construction Fall Protection Online Training Certification Course web page.

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