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What are some Fall Protection Key Terms?

Competent Person: A person who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions that are unsafe to workers and who has the authority to correct or eliminate them.

Controlled Access Zone (CAZ): An area where certain work may be performed without the use of guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, or safety net systems, and access to the zone is controlled.

Deceleration Device: Any mechanism that serves to dissipate a substantial amount of energy during a fall arrest, or that limits the amount of energy a worker experiences during a fall arrest.

Leading Edge: The edge of a floor, roof, or formwork for a floor or other walking or working surface, which changes location as additional sections are placed. A leading edge is considered to be an 'unprotected side and edge' during periods when it is actively under construction.

Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS): A system used to arrest a worker in a fall from a working level. Personal fall arrest systems contain an anchorage, connectors, and a body harness but may also include a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline, or any combination of these as is necessary for the worker's utmost safety.

Qualified Person: A person who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training and experience, has successfully demonstrated their ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the work or project.

Safety Monitoring System: A safety system in which a competent person is responsible for recognizing and warning workers of fall hazards.

Toeboard: A low protective barrier that prevents the fall of materials and equipment to lower levels and provides workers with protection from falls.

Unprotected Sides and Edges: Any side or edge, with the exception of entrance points, of a walking or working surface where there is no guardrail system or wall at least 39 inches in height.

Warning Line System: A barrier erected on a roof to warn workers that they are approaching an unprotected side or edge. This barrier designates an area that roofing workers may work within without fall protection.

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

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