University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Policy Name: Fall Prevention Program
Policy Number: LR 701.16
Effective Date: October 3, 2008
Revised Dates: November 3, 2023
Most Recent Review Date: November 3, 2023
This safety program has been implemented to prevent employee injuries suffered as a result of falls while working on elevated surfaces.
Reason for Program/Purpose
The purpose of this program is to specify procedures and training for the safety of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) employees while working on elevated surfaces and ladders. Employees are required to be familiar with UALR’s fall protection program. Additionally, those employees working on aerial platforms, powered lifts or other elevated platform equipment must receive training on the use of such equipment prior to use. Other possible hazards include, but are not limited to:
- Leading edges
- Open-sided floors
- Uneven floors
- Window ledges
- Permit required confined spaces
Who Needs to Know This Program
This program applies to all UALR employees who perform duties on any elevated work surface and may be exposed to fall hazards during their daily activities.
Exceptions: The following exemptions exist where employees may be allowed to work without fall protection:
- At the working sides of loading docks.
- At the exposed perimeters of theater stages.
- When using portable ladders up to 6 feet in length.
- When working on the edge of an excavation up to 6 feet in depth.
Additionally, this program shall apply to all employees in order to minimize slips, trips and falls on the same elevation. All employees shall control fall hazards in their work area by maintaining good housekeeping and shall report conditions that may lead to slips, trips, and falls to the appropriate supervisory personnel.
Managers and Supervisors
- Responsible for ensuring that all requirements listed in the written program for fall protection are met.
- Responsible for ensuring new and existing employees are familiar with the fall protection program as applicable to their job duties.
- With the assistance of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), are responsible for identifying fall hazards.
- Responsible for arranging for required training of University employees in fall protection and in the safe use of elevating personal platforms.
Employees whose duties involve working at elevated locations are required to comply with the rules of operations and accepted safety practices outlined within this written program.
Environmental Health and Safety Manager
- Responsible for conducting periodic visits to elevated work locations. The purpose of these visits is to inspect equipment and to observe employees’ procedures while working at elevated levels.
- Evaluate other elevated work locations identified by managers and supervisors for fall protection requirements.
- General oversight of this program.
The following work situations are covered by this program for fall protection:
- Ladders. Fixed, free standing, temporary, or roll away type.
- Elevating Personal Platforms. Scaffolds, aerial platforms, scissors lifts, forklift-mounted platforms, cherry pickers, etc.
- Elevated Surfaces. Roofs (closer than 6 feet to the edge), catwalks, skylights, boilers, chillers, etc.
- Vertical Opening. Ground level entry into excavations, trenches, holes, pits, vessels, and other confined spaces.
Fall protection is required whenever work is performed in an area 6 feet above its surroundings and can generally be provided through the use of fall protection systems including:
- Guardrails. Standard guardrails consist of a top rail, located 42 inches above the floor, and a mid-rail. Screens and mesh may be used to replace the mid-rail, so long as they extend from the top rail to the floor.
- Personal Fall Arresting Systems. Components of a personal fall arresting system include a body harness, lanyard, lifeline, connector, and an anchorage point capable of supporting at least 5000 pounds.
- Positioning Device Systems. Positioning device systems consist of a body belt or harness rigged to allow work on a vertical surface, such as a wall, with both hands free.
- Warning Line Systems. Warning line systems are made up of lines or ropes installed around a work area on a roof. These act as a barrier to prevent those working on the roof from approaching it edges.
- Covers. Covers are fastened over holes in the working surface to prevent falls.
Where it can be clearly demonstrated that the use of these systems is infeasible or creates a greater hazard, alternative fall protection measures may be implemented.
Situation Specific Guidelines
The following are guidelines for university employees using specific equipment:
Employees who work on ladders shall be knowledgeable of the following:
- How to inspect ladders for visible defects.
- How to use ladders properly.
Fall Arrest Systems
Employees who use personal fall arresting systems to control fall hazards in their work area shall be knowledgeable of the following:
- The application limits of the equipment.
- The proper hook-up, anchoring, and tie-off techniques, including determination of elongation and deceleration distance.
- Methods of use, inspection, and storage of equipment.
Personal fall arrest components including harnesses and lanyards shall be inspected prior to each use for mildew, wear, damage, and other deterioration. Defective components shall be removed from service. Fall arrest systems including harnesses shall be inspected at least twice each year or according to manufacturers’ recommendations. Records shall be kept and maintained showing date of purchase, dates when attachments were renewed, and dates when the entire harness assembly was inspected and by whom. Each department/shop will be responsible for maintaining these records. Copies of these records should be forwarded to the Environmental Health and Safety Office.
Employees who use aerial lifts shall be knowledgeable of the following:
- The manufacturer’s operating instructions.
- Pre-start inspection of the lift.
- Inspection of the work area for dangerous conditions such as uneven surfaces, overhead obstructions such as power lines, or other hazards.
- Load capacities of the equipment.
- How to safely move the equipment.
- How to prevent falls and use appropriate fall protection personal protective equipment.
- Minimum safe approach distances to energized power lines.
All Working Surfaces
All employees should be aware of guidelines to minimize slips, trips, and falls on the same elevation of walking/working surfaces.
- To prevent slipping, tripping, and falling, all work environments including passageways, storerooms, and service areas must be kept clean, orderly, and in a sanitary condition.
- The floor of every work area will be maintained in a clean and, so far as possible, dry condition.
- Where wet processes are used, drainage will be maintained and false floors, platforms, mats, or other dry standing places are provided where necessary.
Constant awareness of and respect for fall protection procedures and compliance with all applicable safety rules of UALR is mandatory.
- Representatives of Environmental Health and Safety are authorized to issue warnings to employees and stop unsafe work from continuing.
- Supervisors may issue warnings and implement disciplinary actions for failure to follow the guidelines of this program.
- Employees shall report any safety concerns to their supervisor and/or Environmental Health and Safety.
Training Requirements and Competency Assessment
Under no circumstances will any university employee work in areas of high fall hazards, perform work requiring fall protection devices, or use fall protection devices until he or she has attended training in fall protection. This includes all new employees regardless of previous experience. The training program includes but is not limited to:
- The fall hazards in the workplace: How to identify hazards and how to report them.
- How hazards are to be controlled – engineering controls, administrative controls, or fall protection systems.
- Policies and procedures for working around fall hazards.
- The written Fall Protection Program.
- Enforcement of rules and disciplinary action to be taken for noncompliance.
- Personal fall protection systems: How to use, maintain, and inspect.
Employees will require retraining under any of the following conditions:
- Changes in the workplace render previous training obsolete.
- Changes in the types of fall protection systems or equipment to be used render previous training obsolete.
- Inadequacies in an employee’s knowledge of use of fall protection systems or equipment or observed behavior indicate that the employee has not retained the required training.
Documentation of training will be kept at:
Environmental Health and Safety Office
UALR Facilities Management
2801 S. University Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72204
Records should include the following information:
- Date of training.
- Employee printed name and signature.
- The agenda or a list of the topics covered.
The written Fall Protection Program will be evaluated on a continual basis and at least annually. All updates, changes, additions will be documented and will be kept with the written program. When evaluating the program, the following items will be reviewed to measure the programs overall effectiveness.
- Accident/incident reports
- Medical records
- Management/employee compliance
- Training records
- Contractor guidelines
- Administrative/engineering controls
Visit the Fall Protection Website for current contact information
OSHA 29 CFR 1926 Subpart M – Fall Protection
OSHA 29 CFR 1910 Subpart D – Walking and Working Surfaces
OSHA 29 CFR 1910 Subpart F – Powered Platforms, Vehicle-Mounted Platforms
OSHA 29 CFR 1926 Subpart L – Scaffolds
OSHA 29 CFR 1910.67 – Vehicle-Mounted Elevating and Rotating Work Platforms OSHA 29 CFR 1926.453 – Aerial Lifts
UALR Aerial Lift Program
Aerial lift device. Equipment such as powered platforms, vehicle-mounted elevated and rotating work platforms, extendable boom platforms, aerial ladders, articulating boom platforms, vertical towers, and powered industrial truck platforms.
Anchor point. A secure point of attachment for lifelines, lanyards or deceleration (grabbing) devices.
Body harness (also referred as full-body harness). An interconnected set of straps that may be secured about a person in a manner that distributes the fall arrest forces over at least the thighs, pelvis, waist, chest, and shoulders with a means for attaching the harness to other components of a personal fall arrest system.
Deceleration device. Any mechanism, such as a rope, grabbing device, rip stitch lanyard, specially woven lanyard or automatic self-retracting lifeline/lanyard, which serves to dissipate a substantial amount of energy during a fall arrest, or otherwise limits the energy imposed on an employee during fall arrest.
Deceleration distance. The additional vertical distance a falling person travels, excluding lifeline elongation and free fall distance, before stopping, from the point at which a deceleration device begins to operate.
Designated area. A space which has a perimeter barrier erected to warn employees when they approach an unprotected side or edge, and serves also to designate an area where work may be performed without additional fall protection.
Fixed ladder. A ladder, including an individual rung ladder, which is permanently attached to a structure, building, or equipment.
Guardrail. A barrier at least 42 inches high erected to prevent personnel from falling from working levels more than 30 inches above the floor, ground, or other working areas of a building.
Hole. A void or gap 2 inches or more in its least dimension in a floor, roof, or other walking/working surface.
Ladder. A device typically used to gain access to a different elevation consisting of two or more structural members crossed by rungs, steps, or cleats.
Lanyard. A flexible line of rope or strap that generally has a connector at each end for connecting the body harness to a deceleration device, lifeline or anchor point.
Lifeline. A component consisting of a flexible line for connection to an anchorage at one end to hang vertically (vertical lifeline), or for connection to anchorages at both ends to stretch horizontally (horizontal lifeline). This serves as a means for connecting other components of a personal fall arrest system to the anchorage.
Lower levels. Those areas or surfaces to which an employee can fall. Such areas include, but are not limited to, ground levels, floors, platforms, ramps, runways, excavations, pits tanks, material, water, equipment, structures, or portions thereof.
Opening. A gap or void 30 inches or more high and 18 inches or more wide in a wall or partition, through which personnel can fall to a lower level.
Positioning device system. A body harness system rigged to allow an employee to be supported on an elevated vertical surface such as a wall and work with both hands free while leaning.
Personal fall arrest system. A system used to arrest an employee in a fall from a working level. It consists of an anchorage, connectors, and body harness and may include a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline, or suitable combinations of these.
Restraint line. A device, which is attached between the employee and an anchorage to prevent the employee from walking or falling off an elevated surface.
Roof. Exterior surface on the top of a building.
Rope grab (grabbing device). A deceleration device that travels on a lifeline and automatically, by friction, engages the lifeline and locks to arrest a fall.
Scaffold. Any temporary elevated or suspended platform, and its supporting structures, used for supporting employees or materials or both.
Self-retracting lifeline/lanyard. A deceleration device containing a drum-wound line which can be slowly extracted from, or retracted onto, the drum under minimal tension during normal movement and which, after onset of a fall, automatically locks the drum and arrests the fall (usually within two feet or less).
Standard railing. A vertical barrier erected along exposed edges of a floor opening, wall opening, ramp, platform, or runway to prevent falls of persons.
Snap hook. A connector consisting of a hook-shaped member with a normally closed keeper, or similar arrangement, which may be opened to permit the hook to receive an object and, when released automatically closes to retain the object. Only locking snap hooks are permitted.
Toe board. A low protective barrier that prevents material and equipment from falling to lower levels and which protects personnel from falling.
Tie-Off. A procedure of connecting directly or indirectly to an anchorage point.
Unprotected sides and edges. Any side or edge (except at entrances to points of access) of a walking/working surface, e.g., floor, roof, ramp, or runway where there is no wall or guardrail system at least 42 inches high.
Vertical lifeline. A component consisting of a vertically hanging flexible line for connection to an anchor point at one end that serves as a means for connecting other components of a personal fall arrest system to the anchor point.
Walking/working surface. Any surface, whether horizontal or vertical, on which an employee walks or works including, but not limited to floors, roofs, ramps, bridges, and runways.
Work area. That portion of a walking/working surface where job duties are being performed.
Source: Environmental Health and Safety
Approved By: Environmental Health and Safety Committee, Oct. 3, 2008
Custodian: EHS Committee