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Fall protection for residential sites

Residential fall protection safety talk

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires workers to have a fall protection system when working at the height of six feet or more above a lower level, regardless of the pitch on a roof. Workers face fall hazards in various ways from working around the unguarded edge of a home or building, working from scaffolding to fall hazards related to working from lifts.

Areas to consider:

  • Ensure the appropriate ladder is being used for the task and that it is in good condition as well as ensuring it is properly anchored
  • Maintain 3 points of contact while ascending and descending from the ladder
  • A full body harness should be worn and connected to a lifeline or lanyard
  • Ensure the lanyard is long enough to do work but will not allow the worker to hit the ground if a fall occurs
  • Take swing radius into account and ensure workers are moving the line as they go
  • Connect to a secure and proper anchor point
  • Do not travel to heights with tools in hand; pull tools up afterwards
  • When scaffolds are used, they should be erected, inspected and dismantled by a competent person
  • Any time work is done from an aerial lift, the worker should be tied of with a fall arrest system

Detailed below are some of the conventional methods of fall protection available to protect workers:

Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS)

  • PFAS consists of a worker wearing a full body harness attached to a fixed anchor point via a lanyard or cable.

PFAS + Rope Grabs

  • A rope grab system consists of a worker wearing a full-body harness attached to a fixed anchor point via a rope
  • The harness is connected to the rope by a rope grab that allows the user to move up and down the rope fluidly
  • If the rope is jerked or if a fall occurs, it locks into place and keeps the worker from falling further

PFAS + Horizontal Lifeline

  • When used as part of a PFAS, a horizontal lifeline can be used to increase the area in which a worker is protected
  • A horizontal lifeline consists of a cable connected horizontally between two or more anchors extended along the roof peak


This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for information purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. The information material does not amend the provisions of any insurance policy issued by CompSource Mutual. It is not a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy provisions, and any applicable law.

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