Magazine article Occupational Hazards

How to Create an ANSI Z359.2-Complaint Fall-Protection Plan: Capital Safety

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

How to Create an ANSI Z359.2-Complaint Fall-Protection Plan: Capital Safety

Article excerpt


Any company with personnel who work at heights must have a fall protection plan to be in compliance with the new ANSI Z359.2 standard. The recently approved ANSI Z359.2 standard, "Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program," requires a written fall protection program whenever one or more person(s) are routinely exposed to fall hazards and need to be protected with a fall protection system.

A well-written and implemented plan not only reduces worker risk and saves lives, it stands as evidence that an employer is making every effort to comply with regulations. It can help prevent the economic consequences of an incident, including fines, liability and increased insurance costs. Capital Safety has developed a seven-step fall protection plan development guide to assist companies in creating a comprehensive plan. The steps are as follows:

1. Develop a policy and define the scope of the program.

2. Identify fall hazards through a well-developed hazard analysis of work area.

3. Determine appropriate methods of protection, including:

* Eliminate fall hazards;

* Prevent fall hazards; and

* Controlling the fall.

4. Conduct education and training to ensure effective employee understanding of fall hazards and precautions.

5. Perform inspection and maintenance of fall arrest equipment.

6. Administer and audit the program for compliance and continuous improvement.

7. Develop a specific fall protection work plan for each work site or work project.

Duties and Responsibilities

Before proceeding with further discussion on what the fall protection plan should consist of, it would be wise to discuss who should be responsible for putting the plan together and implementing it. ANSI Z359.2 defines the roles and responsibilities of a program administrator, qualified person, competent person and authorized person.

The program administrator is responsible for all phases of the fall protection plan, including its development, implementation and ongoing monitoring. Additionally, the administrator must have a working knowledge of fall protection regulations, standards, equipment and systems. He or she must provide guidance to all those affected by the fall protection plan including employees and departments such as purchasing, assign all duties and responsibilities, provide training programs, participate in accident investigations and evaluate the effectiveness of the plan. The person who serves as the program administrator may also be the qualified or competent person.

The qualified and competent persons must have knowledge of fall protection regulations, standards, equipment and systems being used at the work place. The qualified person's main responsibilities include supervising the design, selection, installation and inspection of certified anchorages and horizontal lifelines and participating in accident investigations and being a subject matter specialist to the competent person and program administrator.

The competent person is the day-to-day supervisor, ensuring that all personnel required to work at heights are trained, and will implement the proper fall protection procedures. He or she conducts the fall hazard survey and identifies new and existing fall hazards as work progresses and how to protect employees exposed to each hazard.

The competent person also may supervise the selection, installation, use and inspection of non-certified anchorages in jurisdictions where this is permitted and verify that current systems are in compliance with applicable standards. He or she also ensures a rescue plan is in place for a fallen worker, participates in accident investigations, inspects equipment and removes from service damaged or otherwise unusable equipment.

The authorized person is the worker who utilizes fall protection equipment on a regular basis to complete his or her assigned duties. …

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