The majority of jurisdictions demand the use of particular fall protection precautions in addition to or instead of personal protective equipment (PPE). These actions typically include using some of the following: fixed obstacles (e.g., handrails, guardrails) protection for opening surfaces (e.g., covers, guardrails, etc.) Control and warning zones travel restraints or fall protection (i.e., a system to prevent a worker from falling from a work position, or from travelling to an unguarded edge from which the worker could fall) fall prevention system (e.g., safety nets) Fall arrest systems (devices that will prevent a worker from falling before they strike the ground below) Additionally, there can be unique regulatory regulations pertaining to the usage of tools like scaffolding and ladders. In general, workplace health and safety laws demand action when a worker faces a 3 meter fall risk (10 feet). The majority of the time, fall protection is necessary when: working at a height of three meters or greater (permanent or temporary work locations) when other fall protection measures, such as guardrails, are not available or practical operating at a height of less three meters when the ground below could result in injuries that go beyond the fall (e.g., machinery; risk of drowning in water or other liquid; open tanks, vats, or pits containing hazardous materials; materials that can shift) Since there is a chance that a worker could fall through a hole in the work surface, fall protection is deemed important.
What are the sources of the fall protection legislation?
The common scenarios where fall protection is needed are listed in the table below for your reference.
PLEASE NOTE : Acts, rules, or other provisions that are not contained in this table may have additional requirements. Consult the legislation directly for more information. For detailed information, always check with your jurisdiction and the law that is relevant to your circumstance. Regulations, the Jurisdiction Act, etc. extracts from general requirements (Refer to the statute itself for more information.) Sections 12.01 to 12.09 and 12.07 of the Federal (Canada) Canada Occupational Safety and Health Regulations (SOR/86-304) (1) Subject to subsection (2), an employer is required to provide or install a fall-protection system if work is to be done at a height of 3 meters or higher (a) from a structure or on a vehicle; (b) from a ladder at a height of 3 meters or higher if the person performing the work is unable to use at least one hand to hold onto the ladder because of the nature of the work; or © at a height of less than 3 meters if the surface Sections 138 to 161 of the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Code, 191/2021 Part 9 deal with fall protection. Section 139 General defense 139. (1) An employer and a supervisor are responsible for making sure a worker is protected from falling if they are at risk of doing so due to one of the following: (a) falling more than three meters vertically at a temporary or permanent work area; (b) falling less than three meters vertically at a temporary or permanent work area if there is a particularly high risk of injury; © falling into or onto a hazardous substance or object at a temporary or permanent work area; or (d) falling through an Part 11, Fall Protection, Sections 11.1 to 11.10 of the British Columbia Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, B.C. Reg. 296/97 Section 11.2 Obligation to employ fall protection 11.2 (1) A fall protection system must be used, unless otherwise specified in this Regulation, when work is being done in a location where (a) a fall of 3 m (10 ft) or more is possible, or (b) a fall from a height of less than 3 m presents a greater risk of injury than the risk of injury from the impact on a flat surface. Part 14, Fall Protection, Sections 14.1 to 14.29 of the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation, Man. Reg. 217/2006, applies to all workplaces where there is a risk of a worker falling (a) a vertical distance of 3 m or more; (b) a vertical distance of less than 3 m where there is an increased risk of injury due to the surface or item on which the worker might land; © into operational areas. New Brunswick General Regulation, Part VII, Protective Equipment, Sections 49 to 51 (N.B. Reg. 91-191) Chapter 49 System to prevent falls 49. (1) When an employee works from (a) an unguarded work area that is I 3 m or more above water or the nearest permanent safe level, (ii) above any surface or object that could injure the employee upon contact, or (iii) above any open top tank, bin, hopper, or vat, (b) a work area that is 3 m or more above a permanent safe level, the employer shall provide and the employee shall continuously use a fall-protection Regulations for Occupational Health and Safety in Newfoundland and Labrador, 2012, N.L.R. 5/12, Part X, Fall Protection, Sections 138 to 146 Article 141 basic prerequisites 141. Where a worker is exposed to the hazard of falling from a work area that is (a) 3 metres or more above the nearest safe surface or water; (b) above a surface or thing that could cause injury to the worker if the worker were to fall on the surface or thing; or © above an open tank, pit or vat containing hazardous material, Part 7, Personal Protective Equipment, Sections 103 to 109, and Part 9, Safeguards, Storage, Warning Signs and Signals, Sections 118 to 124 of the Northwest Territories Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, R-039-2015. Section 119 Falling-prevention measures 119. (1) If a worker could fall more than three meters or if there is a danger of injury from a fall of less than three meters, the employer must guarantee that workers use a fall protection device at the work site. Sections 21.1 through 21.4 of Part 21 of the Nova Scotia Workplace Health and Safety Regulations (N.S. Reg. 52/2013) deal with fall protection. Section 21.2 Requires fall prevention 21.2 (1) Except as provided in subsections (3) to (5), fall protection is required if a person is at risk of falling from a work area where the fall distance is (a) 3 m or more above the nearest safe surface or water; (b) less than 3 m and the work area is above 1 of the following: (i) a surface or thing that could cause injury to the person on contact that is worse than an injury from landing on a solid, flat surface, (ii) exposed hazardous material, such as in an open tank, pit or vat. Nunavut Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. R-039-2015 , Part 7 Sections 104 to 109, and Part 9, Sections 118 to 122 Section 119 Protection against falling 119. (1) An employer shall ensure that workers use a fall protection system at a work site if (a) a worker could fall 3 m or more; or (b) there is a risk of injury if a worker falls less than 3 m. Ontario Construction Projects, O. Reg. 213/91 Sections 26 - 26.9 And Industrial Establishments, R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 851 Section 85 Construction Regulations: Section 26 26. Sections 26.1 to 26.9 apply where a worker may be exposed to any of the following hazards: 1. Falling more than 3 metres. 2. Falling more than 1.2 metres, if the work area is used as a path for a wheelbarrow or similar equipment. 3. Falling into operating machinery. 4. Falling into water or another liquid. 5. Falling into or onto a hazardous substance or object. 6. Falling through an opening on a work surface. Industrial Regulations Section 85 85. Where a worker is exposed to the hazard of falling and the surface to which he or she might fall is more than three metres below the position where he is situated Prince Edward Island Fall Protection Regulations, EC2004-633 Section 2 Employer required to provide means of fall protection 2. (1) Where a worker is exposed to the hazard of falling from a work area that is (a) 3 m or more above the nearest safe surface or water; (b) above a surface or thing that could cause injury to the worker if the worker were to fall on the surface or thing; or © above an open tank, pit or vat containing hazardous material, Quebec Regulation respecting occupational health and safety, O.C. 885-2001 Division XXX, Means and Equipment for Individual and Group Protection Sections 347 - 354.1 And Safety Code for the construction industry R.R.Q. 1981, c. S-2.1, r. 6 Division II, General Provisions Sections 2.9.1 to 2.9.3, Safety measures Safety Code for the construction industry Section 2.9.1 Safety measures 2.9.1. Workers shall be protected against falls in the following cases: (1) if they are at risk of falling more than 3 metres from the place where he is working; (2) if they are at risk of falling: (a) into a dangerous liquid or substance; (b) on a moving component; © on equipment or material that constitute a danger; (d) from a height of 1.2 metres or more where they use a wheelbarrow or a vehicle. Saskatchewan Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2020 Sections 9-2 - 9-5 Fall protection plan 9?3 (1) An employer or contractor shall develop a written fall protection plan if: (a) a worker may fall 3 metres or more; and (b) workers are not protected by a guardrail or similar barrier. Yukon Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, O.I.C. 2006/178 Protective Equipment and Clothing - Fall Arrest Sections 1.37 to 1.43 Section 1.37 Provision and use 1.37 Where it is not practical to protect a worker by guards, guardrails, safety nets or other devices, the worker shall be provided with and required to use the appropriate fall arrest protection (a) when working at a place from which a fall of i. 3 m (10 ft.) or more may occur, or ii. less than 3 m (10 ft.), if it involves an unusual risk of injury, (b) where there is a possibility of falling into a pit, shaft, machinery, water or bulk material that could shift, © when climbing or descending from utility poles, communication and transmission towers or single point suspension equipment, (d) when working on a swing stage or thrust out scaffold, elevating work platform or basket or suspended platform or cage, (e) when barring or scaling loose material from a wall in an open pit or an earth work, or (f) when working on a roof i. having a slope of 2 vertical to 3 horizontal or steeper, or ii. where the surface is slippery.
What are the applicable standards for fall protection?
See below for the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards that may acceptable in Canadian workplaces concerning fall protection. Other standards or other editions of that standard may apply. Standards are enforceable when adopted by law. Always check the legislation in your jurisdiction to determine which specific standards are appliable for your area. Certain CSA Group standards are available for online viewing. To access these, you must first create an account with “CSA Communities”. Go to: https://community.csagroup.org/login.jspa?referer=%252Findex.jspa Once you are logged in, click on the text below the “OHS Standards / View Access” graphic. Click on the jurisdiction of your choice to see the CSA Standards as referenced in that legislation. Standards on fall protection include: Z259.1-05Body belts and saddles for work positioning and travel restraint (R2020) Z259.2.2-17Self-retracting devices Z259.2.3:16(R2020) Descent devices Z259.2.4-15(R2020) Fall arresters and vertical rigid rails Z259.2.5-17Fall arresters and vertical lifelines Z259.10-18Full body harnesses Z259.11-17Personal energy absorbers and lanyards Z259.12-16(R2021) Connecting components for personal fallarrest systems (PFAS) Z259.13-16(R2020) Manufactured horizontal lifeline systems Z259.15-17Anchorage connectors Z259.16: 21 Design of active fall-protection systems Z259.17:21 Selection and use of active fall-protection equipment and systems ANSI/ASSP Z359.1-2020 The Fall Protection Code ANSI Z359.2-2017 Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program And others.
Where can I find more information from CCOHS about fall protection and working at heights?
Further information is available in OSH Answers, including: Body Belts, Harnesses and Lanyards Fall Prevention - Fall Arrest Systems Fall Prevention - Methods of Fall Protection (General) Fall Protection - Fall Protection Plan (General) Fall Protection - Guardrails Fall Protection – Legislation for Anchor Strength Fall Protection – Legislation for Training Requirements Fall Protection - Safety Net Systems Fall Protection - Travel Restraint System Fall Protection – Toeboards Forklift Trucks - Work Platforms to Elevate Personnel"""