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What is a Fall Protection Plan

A fall protection plan is a safety plan designed to protect the workers in an unprotected elevated work area.

PFAS, or Personal Fall Arrest System, are devices that stop a worker from falling too far. These systems consist of several elements, all of which must be held to high safety standards for the systems to be effective. In general, OSHA believes that it is feasible to use an existing PFAS to prevent accidents. However, there are some situations where an employer may choose to create a site-specific fall protection plan because using the standard PFAS might actually create a larger hazard for the workers. Some of these situations include:

  • Leading edge work
  • Precast concrete erection
  • Residential construction

If there is a need for a site-specific fall protection plan, the development of the plan is the responsibility of the employer.

A fall protection plan must contain the following elements:

  • The plan must be prepared by a qualified person.
  • The plan must be site specific.
  • The plan must be maintained throughout the project.
  • Changes must be approved by a qualified person.
  • A copy of the plan must be maintained at the work site.
  • A competent person must supervise the implementation of the plan.
  • The plan must document why a fall protection plan is in use, and the reasons why a PFAS would create a greater hazard or would be infeasible.
  • The plan must include a written discussion of measures that mitigate the fall hazards present.
  • The plan must include each location where conventional fall protection methods are infeasible.
  • The plan must include a statement that incorporates the name of each individual who is authorized to work in the controlled access zones.
  • The plan must include a method for reevaluation of the plan in the event of a fall or near-fall of a worker.

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

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