Confined Space Attendant and Fall Protection

Consider for a moment the issue of fall protection and the confined space attendant overseeing entry operations for workers in a vault or manhole (top down entry). A question I often ask our students is: "Does the confined space attendant need to be tied off?" That is, if the fall hazard is greater than four feet (which it almost always is), does OSHA require the attendant to use some sort of fall protection? In this imaginary scenario we need … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson October 18, 2016
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Fall Protection on Roofs: How Close Can You Get?

Providing fall protection on flat or low-sloped roofs (defined as roofs with a slope of 0 in 12 to 4 in 12) has always been a hot topic of discussion in our Fall Protection Competent Person classes. And the discussion starts by trying to figure out: How close can a worker get to the edge of a roof before they are exposed to a fall? And what about the use of warning line systems for workers other than roofers? Let's look at each of these issues in … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson March 10, 2016
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Fall Hazards and Permit-Required Confined Spaces

Does the presence of a fall hazard turn a confined space into a permit space? When Oregon re-wrote its confined space rules last year one issue of interest among those attending the stakeholder's meeting hosted by OROSHA, was the question of fall hazards and permit spaces. In other words, if you had a pit twenty feet deep and the only hazard was posed by using a fixed ladder to enter this pit, would the fall hazard be serious enough to make the … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson January 7, 2016
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Intent of the OSHA Standard: Important or Not?

Understanding the importance of the intent of the OSHA standard. We spend a fair amount of time fielding questions about confined space, fall protection and excavation safety. Most of time people describe a scenario and ask us whether we would consider it safe or compliant. Generally their questions hinge on an activity that is not directly addressed by the OSHA regulations. As a trainer and consultant I rarely tell them that something is … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson July 9, 2014
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Scissors Lift Fall Protection Questions

Does working on a scissors lift require fall protection? Recently a vigorous online discussion erupted over this question when it was asked on an online message board. When I last checked over 140 people had expressed a wide variety of fact and opinion. The question itself was simple to answer: "No, OSHA doesn't require an employee to use fall protection when using a scissors lift (i.e., work platform that cannot be positioned completely … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson July 9, 2014
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