OSHA requirements for falls protection

Discover OSHA requirements to prevent or protect from falling workers or tools on construction sites

The Occupational Safety and Health Adminsitration (OSHA) from the United States Department of Labor establishes a series of requirements and measures to prevent the falls of workers or tools on construction sites.

At what height is fall protection required?

OSHA states that employers must provide fall protection on jobsites where workers are exposed to falls of more than 6 feet.

Thus, before beginning work on the site, the employer must secure the site and the workers using one of these routes.

  • Using railings around the dangerous area.
  • Through personal fall arrest systems for people.
  • Installing protection or safety nets systems. At Visornets, we have a extensive catalog of safety and protective nets. In this regard, the sales team of Visor Fall Arrest Nets can advise you on the best system for your case. You can contact us at [email protected].

One or the other options should be used depending on the location of the job.

How should safety nets be installed according to OSHA?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administation states that safety nets must be installed as close as possible to the level at which employees work. In no case should they be placed more than 30 feet below the surface.
Among OSHA requirements for falls protection is the indication to extend safety nets outwards from the outer end of the work surface according to the following table:

Extending safety nets outward from the outermost projection of the work surface

What does the drop test consist of?

OSHA requirements for falls protection determine that the test involves the precipitation of a 400-pound bag of sand.  The bag should be between 28 and 32 inches in diameter.

The mass should be thrown into the safety net from the level where workers are exposed to the risk. This distance should not be less than 42 inches.

How often should safety nets be inspected?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the employers will examine safety nets when they see wear, damage or after every incident.

Objects falling onto the net (debris, equipment, and tools) should be removed from the net as soon as possible.

What requirements must safety nets meet according to OSHA?

As per OSHA, the maximum mesh size should not exceed 6 inches by 6 inches. In addition, each safety net must be lined with rope with a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 pounds.


For more information about the OSHA requirements for falls protection, you can visit the Occupational Safety and Health Adminsitration’s web.

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