Ideally, you are working through an effective managed fall protection program to address the fall risk for your workers at heights. But, what do you do when an unforeseen fall protection need arises? Do the right people know what to do when work requires an unexpected need to perform a task at heights?

While it's critical to work through a coordinated, proactive fall protection program, it is just as important to react appropriately when an unanticipated issue surfaces. More specifically, you want to proactively plan how to respond—so you aren't simply reacting—when these situations arise. This paper summarizes options to consider when planning methods to address unexpected fall protection needs.

These options include:

  • Doing nothing (although this is not really an option)

  • Portable guardrail

  • Scaffolding

  • Lifts

  • Personal protective equipment

While PPE options are often selected for addressing unexpected fall protection needs, it's important to note that simply giving people fall protection equipment is not enough to protect them from unpredicted fall hazards.

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