Introduction

When fall protection issues are properly addressed, the result is increased safety and reduced risk. To be effective, fall protection programs must strike a balance between cost efficiency, compliance, safety, and usability.

Since major fall protection incidents don't happen often, it's easy for an organization to be lulled into a false sense of security. But managing the major risks presented by falls is a smart and ethical business investment, in addition to a legal requirement.

This paper will cover the necessary elements of an effective fall protection program. Even if a program appears successful—due to low incident or injury rates—this paper provides a "reality check" to challenge the status quo and discover ways to improve.

An effective safety program is framed around the following core elements. This paper offers best practices for each element, based on current guidance provided by the ANSI Z359 family of standards (ANSI/ASSE 2013):

  • Management leadership and employee participation

  • Hazard identification and evaluation

  • Hazard abatement

  • Training

  • Program evaluation

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