- By standard number
- 1910.29 - Fall Arrest Systems and Falling Object Protection - Criteria and Practices.
Part Number Title:Occupational safety and health standards
lower part:1910 Subsection D
Subsection title:walking worktops
Fall arrest systems and protection against falling objects - criteria and practices.
General Requirements. The employer must:
Ensure that all fall arrest systems and fall protection devices, other than personal fall arrest systems required by this part, meet the requirements in this section. The employer must ensure that any personal fall arrest system meets the requirements in Subpart I of this part; and
Provide and install all fall protection systems and falling-object protection required by this subsection and comply with the other requirements in this subsection before any worker begins any work that requires fall or falling-object protection.
crash barrier systems. The employer must ensure that railing systems meet the following requirements:
The top edge height of the upper railings or equivalent guard rail system elements is 42 inches (107 cm) plus or minus 3 inches (8 cm) above the walking work surface. The top edge height may exceed 114 cm (45 in) provided the railing system meets all other criteria of paragraph (b) of this section (see Figure D-11 of this section).
Center rails, screens, netting, vertical spacers, fixed panels, or equivalent spacers are installed between the walkable work surface and the top of the railing system when there is no wall or parapet that is at least 21 inches (53 cm) high as follows:
Center railings are installed at a level midway between the top of the railing system and the walk-on work surface;
Screens and meshes extend from the walking work surface to the head rail and along the entire opening between the head rail supports;
Intermediate vertical elements (e.g. balustrades) are installed no more than 48 cm (19 in) apart. and
Other equivalent intermediate elements (e.g. additional center rails and architectural panels) are installed so that the openings are no wider than 19 inches (48 cm).
Railing systems are capable of withstanding without failure a minimum of 200 pounds (890 N) of force applied downward or outward within 5 cm (2 in) of the top edge at any point along the head rail.
When the 890 N (200 lb) test load is applied in a downward direction, the top rail of the guard rail system must not deflect to a height of less than 99 cm (39 in) above the walk-on work surface.
Center rails, shields, nets, vertical intermediate members, solid plates, and other equivalent intermediate members can withstand a force of at least 150 pounds (667 N) applied at any point along the intermediate member in any downward or outward direction without failure of the member.
Railing systems have a smooth surface to protect workers from injuries such as punctures or lacerations and to prevent clothing snagging or snagging.
The ends of the top rails and center rails do not protrude beyond the end posts unless the overhang does not pose a projection hazard to employees.
Steel straps and plastic straps are not used for top rails or middle rails.
The top and middle rails are at least 0.6 cm (0.25 inch) in diameter or thickness.
When railing systems are used in lifting areas, a removable railing section, consisting of a top railing and a center railing, is fitted over the access opening between the railing sections when personnel are not lifting. The employer may use chains or gates in place of a removable section of railing in lifting areas if the employer can demonstrate that the chains or gates provide a level of safety equivalent to that of railings.
When railing systems are used around holes, they are installed on any exposed sides or edges of the hole.
For railing systems used around holes through which materials may pass:
If materials are passed through the hole, no more than two sides of the railing system may be removed; and
If no materials are passed through the hole, the hole must be protected by a railing system or closed with a cover on any exposed sides or edges.
When railing systems are used around holes that serve as access points (e.g. ladders), the opening of the railing system must:
has a self-closing gate that slides or swings away from the hole and is fitted with a top rail and a middle rail or equivalent intermediate element that meets the requirements in paragraph (b) of this section; or
is offset to prevent an employee from walking or falling into the hole;
Railing systems on ramps and runways are installed along any unprotected side or edge.
Manila or synthetic ropes used for head rails or middle rails are checked as necessary to ensure that the rope continues to meet the strength requirements in paragraphs (b)(3) and (5) of this Section.
Note on paragraph (b) of this section:
The criteria and procedural requirements for railing systems on scaffolding are contained in 29 CFR Part 1926 Subpart L.
Figure D-11 – Crash barrier systems. Depicts two figures showing two types of crash barrier systems. The first shows the walking work surface, the posts and the center rail for the protection system. Total height measurement 42 IN (±3 IN) (107 CM ±8 CM). The second shows a different guard rail system with several more posts, a top rail and a vertical intermediate element. The distance between each post and the vertical spacer is MAXIMUM 48 CM (19 IN). The height of the railing is 42 IN (±3 IN) (107 CM ±8 CM).
safety net systems. The employer must ensure that any safety net system meets the requirements of 29 CFR Part 1926 Subpart M.
If the employer uses a designated area, the employer must ensure that:
Employees remain within the designated area during work operations; and
The perimeter of the designated area is defined by a warning line consisting of a rope, wire, ribbon or chain that meets the requirements of paragraphs (d)(2) and (3) of this section.
For each warning line, the employer must ensure that:
Has a minimum breaking strength of 200 pounds (0.89 kN);
installed so that its lowest point, including sag, is no less than 34 inches (86 cm) and no more than 39 inches (99 cm) above the walking work surface;
is supported so that pulling on any section of line will not cause adjacent sections to sag and cause the line to fall below the limits specified in paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section;
Easily visible from a distance of 7.6 m (25 ft) from anywhere within the designated area;
Placed as close to the work area as the task will allow; and
Erected at least 1.8 m (6 ft) from roof edge for temporary and infrequent work or at least 4.6 m (15 ft) for other work.
When mobile mechanical equipment is used to perform work that is both temporary and infrequent in a designated area, the employer must ensure that the warning line is erected at least 1.8 m (6 ft) from the unprotected side or edge parallel to the direction in which the mechanical equipment is operated and not less than 3 m (10 feet) from the unprotected face or edge perpendicular to the direction in which the mechanical equipment is operated.
covers. The employer must ensure that any hole in a walk-on work surface is covered:
is capable of supporting at least twice the maximum design load that may be applied to the cover without failure; and
Is secured against unintentional movement.
Handrails and banister systems. The employer must ensure:
Handrails are no shorter than 30 inches (76 cm) and no longer than 38 inches (97 cm) measured from the front edge of the stair step to the top of the handrail (see Figure D-12 of this section).
The height of stair railing systems meets the following values:
The height of stair railing systems installed prior to January 17, 2017 shall be no less than 30 inches (76 cm) from the front edge of the stair step to the top railing surface; and
The height of stair railing systems installed on or after January 17, 2017 is not less than 42 inches (107 cm) from the front edge of the stair step to the top railing surface.
The top railing of a stair railing system may only serve as a handrail if:
The height of the stair railing system shall be no less than 36 inches (91 cm) and no more than 38 inches (97 cm) measured from the front edge of the stair step to the surface of the top rail (refer to Figure D-13 of this section); and
The top rail of the stair railing system meets the other handrail requirements in paragraph (f) of this section.
freedom of fingers. The minimum distance between handrails and other objects is 5.7 cm (2.25 inches).
surfaces. Handrails and stair railing systems have a smooth surface to protect workers from injuries such as punctures or lacerations and to prevent clothing snagging or snagging.
Openings in banisters. No opening in a stair railing system exceeds 48 cm (19 inches) in its smallest dimension.
grab handle. Handrails are of the required shape and dimension to allow workers to grip the handrail firmly.
projection dangers. There are no splash hazards from the ends of handrails and banister systems.
strength criteria. Handrails and the top rails of stair railing systems are capable of withstanding without failure a force of at least 200 pounds (890 N) applied in any downward or outward direction within 5 cm (2 inches) of any point along the top edge of the rail.
Figure D-13 - Combined handrail and stair railing. Showing a set of stairs and a combination of handrail and stair rail installed. Measurement 36 IN - 38 IN (91 CM - 97 CM) between stair and handrail.
Figure D-13 - Combined handrail and stair railing.
Cages, wells and platforms used with fixed ladders. The employer must ensure:
Cages and wells installed on fixed ladders are designed, constructed and maintained to allow easy access to and egress from the ladder they enclose (see Figures D-14 and D-15 of this section);
Cages and wells are continuous along the entire length of the fixed ladder, except at entry, exit, and other transfer points;
Cages and fountains are designed, built and maintained to catch employees in the event of a fall and direct them to a lower landing; and
Platforms used with fixed ladders provide a minimum horizontal area of 24 in. x 30 in. (61 cm x 76 cm).
Note on paragraph (g):
Section 1910.28 establishes the requirements employers must follow when using cages and wells as a means of fall protection.
Figure D-14 – Clearances for fixed ladders in wells. Shows a well squared off. The ladder should be placed at least 18 cm (7 in) in the center and at least 38 cm (15 in) from the left or right side with a total clearance of 69 cm to 76 cm (27 in to 30 in) to open the well
Figure D-15 – Example of a general construction of cages. Shows five charts. The first is access to the landing platform via the ladder. The second is a side ladder, access from the side of the ladder. The third is Hoop and See. The fourth is the cross section of a Basket Guard Hoop with bar measurements. The fifth is Basked Guard Hoop showing Angle from Ladder
outdoor advertising. This paragraph (h) applies only to employers engaged in outdoor advertising (see §1910.28(b)(10)). Employers must ensure that any worker climbing a fixed ladder without fall protection:
Is physically able, as demonstrated by observation during actual climbing activities or by physical examination, to perform any assigned duties, including climbing fixed ladders without fall protection;
Has successfully completed a training or education program that includes hands-on training in safe ladder climbing and will be retrained as necessary to obtain the required skills;
Has the ability to climb ladders safely as demonstrated through formal classroom or on-the-job training and performance monitoring; and
Performs climbing tasks as part of routine work activity.
Safety systems for ladders. The employer must ensure:
Each ladder safety system allows the worker to ascend and descend using both hands and does not require the worker to constantly hold, push or pull any part of the system while climbing;
The connection between the carrier or lifeline and the attachment point on the harness or belt must not be longer than 23 cm;
Rigid beam brackets are fitted at each end of the beam, with intermediate brackets distributed along the full length of the beam as needed to give the system the strength to prevent falls by workers;
Flexible beam fasteners are installed at each end of the beam and flexible beam cable ducts are installed at a minimum of 7.6 m (25 ft) but no more than 12.2 m (40 ft) along the entire length of the beam ;
The design and installation of brackets and cable ducts does not reduce the structural strength of the ladder; and
Ladder safety systems and their support systems can withstand a drop test consisting of an 18 inch (41 cm) fall and a 500 pound (227 kg) weight without failure.
Personal fall protection systems. Body harnesses, harnesses, and other components used in personal fall arrest systems, work positioning systems, and travel restraint systems must meet the requirements of Section 1910.140.
Protection against falling objects.
The employer must ensure that toe boards for fall protection:
Are positioned along the exposed edge of the overhead walk-over work surface at a length sufficient to protect workers below.
Have a minimum vertical height of 3.5 inches (9 cm) measured from the top of the footboard to the height of the walking work surface.
Do not leave more than 0.25 inch (0.5 cm) of clearance or opening above the walking work surface.
1910.29 (k) (1) (iv)
are solid or have no opening exceeding 3 cm (1 inch) at their greatest dimension.
1910.29 (k) (1) (v)
Have a minimum height of 6 cm (2.5 in) when used near vehicle repair, service or assembly pits. Toe boards may be omitted near vehicle repair, service, or assembly pits if the employer can demonstrate that a toe board would prevent access to a vehicle located over the pit.
Are able to withstand without failure a minimum of 222 N (50 pounds) of force applied at any point along the toeboard in any downward or outward direction.
The employer must ensure:
When tools, equipment or materials are stacked higher than the top of the toeboard, a shroud or screen is fitted from the toeboard to the center rail of the railing system and for a length sufficient to protect workers below. If items are stacked higher than the center rail, the employer must also fit a shroud or screen to the top rail and of a length sufficient to protect workers below; and
All openings in railing systems are small enough to prevent objects from falling through the opening.
The employer must ensure that canopies used to provide protection against falling objects are strong enough to prevent collapse and ingress of falling objects.
grab handles. The employer must ensure that each handhold:
1910.29 (l) (1)
is not less than 30 cm long;
1910.29 (l) (2)
Mounted so that there is a clearance of at least 8 cm from the frame or opening; and
1910.29 (l) (3)
Capable of withstanding a maximum horizontal pull-out force of twice the maximum design load or 200 pounds (890 N), whichever is greater.
[81 FR 82994-82998, Nov 18, 2016; 84 FR 68796, Dec. 17, 2019]