Why Care About Fall Protection?

fall protection


Fall Protection has been the most frequently cited OSHA standard for six consecutive years now. According to the US Department of Labor, falls account for 8% of all work-related trauma injuries leading to death.

“The Top 10 [frequently cited standards] gives employers a place to start for finding and fixing hazards,” said Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs.

It’s important to use this list to implement a structured plan to follow in order to help prevent the biggest safety hazards affecting companies today.

Sure, employees know that they should follow all safety precautions regarding fall protection, especially when working hundreds of feet in the air, but do they always? Workers, even the most experienced, sometimes cut corners and ignore proper safety procedures while working. So how can employers encourage workers to accurately and consistently follow these safety precautions and comply to all fall protection regulations?


  1. Provide proper hands-on training to all employees, not just those frequently at risk. It’s important for all employees to understand the danger of falling. Creating a culture and environment where everyone is aware of the regulations tends to make all employees feel a sense of responsibility for one another’s safety. Providing hands-on training activities is also important for retaining the fall protection information. This will not only educate your workers but will also make it more likely for them to practice these precautions in a real setting, rather than just reading through a pamphlet. Taking the time for in-depth training on how to properly use equipment greatly decreases the likelihood of mistakes. Make safety everyone’s top priority.

  3. Provide easy-to-use, reliable safety equipment. It’s simple. When employees are happy with what they’re working with, it’s easier for them to comply with the standards. Having comfortable, high-quality equipment will encourage workers to use it properly. Safety equipment is constantly evolving and although it may be expensive to keep up with purchasing new products, it will be worth it.

  5. Penalize those who do not follow the standards. Make it a point to show workers that not wearing fall protection is dangerous and these standard should be taken seriously. Those who cut corners need to be penalized before it becomes a habit or starts a chain reaction throughout the company and reward workers who do successfully follow these standards. Constantly emphasizing the danger and penalties that can occur from not following regulations will in turn resonate with workers and become second nature.

“One of the most important steps to increasing safety for workers at heights is for workers to take personal responsibility for their own safety, rather than having safety imposed upon them,” says Thomas E. Kramer, president of the International Society for Fall Protection.

If business owners do not make a point to take fall protection seriously and implement procedures, penalties, and rewards; then your workers will not either. Fall protection is the most cited standard among companies. Don’t let it be yours.