Fall Protection Roles and Responsibilities

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Sreenivasa Hassan Jayaram
Manager-Projects, Jones Lang LaSalle India, Bangalore, Karnataka

Introduction:Fall protection is the standby system provided for aemployee who could lose his or her equilibrium at height, in order to control or eradicatedamage potential. The fall protection is required to restraint or arrest the fall from heights. The person falling from height may lose balance or grip or may slip, or may trip or may misstep at any point of time. Fallen from height or elevated place results in serious injuries and it could be the most serious injury than any other accident in the industries.

Fall Protection Roles

Employees –
Employees who are required to perform work at heights shall have a working knowledge of the hazards present in their work area as well as how to use, inspect and care for the personal fall protection systems they are required to use.

Employer –
Any manager, supervisor, or owner of a company that has employees who are required to perform work at heights.

Competent Person –
Competent Persons means a person who is capable of identifying hazardous or dangerous conditions in the personal fall arrest system or any component thereof, as well as in their application and use with related equipment. Competent Persons may be working at heights instructors, managers, supervisors, 3rd party suppliers, employers of employees or employees.


Qualified Person –
Qualified Persons design fall protection systems. They have a professional degree; certificate, professional standing or extensive knowledge, training, or experience related to fall protection design.

Site Working at Heights Program Owner or Site EHS –
Working at Heights Program owners or site EHS have oversight and administration responsibilities related to the sites working at heights program and must be a competent person per the definition above.

Fall Protection Responsibilities

Employees –

  • Not create slip or trip hazards with debris or improper storage.
  • Work within the boundaries of guardrails and other equipment used as protective barriers.
  • Properly use and care for fall protection equipment in accordance with manufacturer’s requirements.
  • Complete the training.
  • Have a working at heights assessment and Rescue Plan for all work where the risk of a fall is present. Such as where the use of fall arrest is required.

Employer –

  • Ensure that employees performing work at heights meet current training requirements and have the skills necessary to perform the work.
  • Understand the scope and hazards associated with the work to be performed.
  • Resource the team’s fall protection solution needs.
  • Ensure that the hierarchy of controls is applied when evaluating work at heights
  • Ensure fall arrest is the used only when all other options have been exhausted.
  • Ensure that a prompt rescue is planned for and resourced for all work when the risk of a fall is present.
  • Stop any work that is being performed in an unsafe manner.

Competent Person –

  • Ensure that employees performing work at heights meet current training requirements and that employees have the skills necessary for safe performance.
  • Develop working at height and rescue plans as needed for employees.
  • Perform periodic inspections of fall protection equipment and systems in accordance with manufacturer’s requirements.
  • Stop any work that is being performed in an unsafe manner.

Qualified Person –

  • Design and supervise the installation of certified fall anchorages and fall protection systems.
  • Provide system capability, use, limitation and care requirements for certified fall arrest anchors.
  • If needed provide post-install verification and training on designed system.

Site Working at Heights Program Owner or Site EHS –

  • Assist in developing fall prevention strategies using the fall protection hierarchy of controls.
  • Document and hold the site accountable to regulatory requirements more stringent than this standard in the Site Regulatory Requirements Inventory and site self-assessment.
  • Assist site management in the application of the co-occupancy policy when employees are working on a construction project under the terms of the Corporate Services Construction EHS Minimum Performance Requirements and Construction EHS Processes & Procedures Manual.
  • Ensure fall protection provisions are considered when designing, installing, de-installing, renovating, relocating, or demolishing equipment or machinery for any project.
  • Verify, during the programming and design phases of a project that the specifications for fall protection are included and consistent with this guideline as well as current codes and local standards.


Reference and Acknowledgement
[1] Fall Protection Program by OSHA guidelines

[2] Working At Height Guidelines, Version II, 21st September 2011

We at are thankful to Sir Sreenivasa Hassan Jayaram for submitting this paper to us.

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