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Fall Protection

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

 

  1. What is Fall Protection?
  2. Who can I contact for help?
  3. Does UVa have a Fall Protection Policy?
  4. What is Fall Arrest Equipment?
  5. Who is responsible to provide Fall Protection to faculty, staff and/or students?
  6. What steps should I take if I am responsible to provide Fall Protection to my faculty, staff and/or students?
  7. Are resources available to help me identify Fall Hazards and to determine effective Fall Protection measures?

  1. What is Fall Protection?
    • Fall Protection is a system that is designed to protect personnel from the risk of falls when working at elevated heights.
      • FALL PREVENTION is a structural design that limits a fall to the same level. Some examples are platforms with guardrails, Bucket Trucks or Aerial Lifts with work platforms.
      • FALL ARREST EQUIPMENT is designed to significantly limit injuries in the event of a fall. It is very important that the equipment is selected and worn correctly, someone's very life could be "hanging on the line"!
  2. Who can I contact for help?
  3. Does UVa have a Fall Protection Policy?
  4. What is Fall Arrest Equipment?
    • Just remember the ABCs.
      • A is for the Anchor Point. Something has to keep you safely suspended in air! Federal Law requires an Anchor Point that is structurally sound, good for a static force of 5000lbs. Some options are permanent or reusable anchors that can be attached to roof decks or steel beams.
      • B is for the Body Harness. The harness straps around your chest, buttocks and thighs. Newer fabrics make the webbing stretchable providing for a more comfortable fit. In the event of a fall, you would be suspended upright and intact (with some gray hairs of course)!
      • C is for the Connecting Device. This connects the Body Harness to the Anchor Point. Generally these are referred to as Shock Absorbing Lanyards, or Self Retractable Lifelines. A very important part of the Connecting Device is the locking snap hook. Locking snap hooks are required by Federal Law to prevent "roll out". Roll out has resulted in fatalities when the snaphook has become disengaged from the Anchor Point.
  5. Who is responsible to provide Fall Protection to faculty, staff and/or students?
    • UVa Managers and Supervisors have primary responsibility for providing safe working conditions including Fall Protection.
  6. What steps should I take if I am responsible to provide Fall Protection to my faculty, staff and/or students?
    • Follow the steps outlined below.
      1. Identify work tasks or activities that must be done at elevated heights.
      2. Select options that will protect employees and students from these fall hazards.
      3. Identify the employees and students that perform these work tasks and activities.
      4. Train these people to recognize the inherent fall hazards and how to implement the Fall Protection options selected by the department.
  7. Are resources available to help me identify Fall Hazards and to determine effective Fall Protection measures?
    • Yes! Environmental Health & Safety can provide the following assistance: Fall Hazard Assessments, Information on Fall Protection Systems and Fall Protection Training for employees and students exposed to fall hazards. Contact Michelle Whitlock at maw4u@virginia.edu or 434-982-4836 for more information.

For additional information on Safety at Heights go to the J. Nigel Ellis website.