UVa Seal

Policy: Fall Protection 


Date: 07/25/05 Policy ID: SEC-024 Status: Final

Policy Type: University
   
Contact Office: Environmental Health and Safety
   
Oversight Executive: Vice President for Research
   
Applies To:  Academic Division, the Medical Center and the College at Wise.
   
Table of Contents: 

Policy Statement
Departmental Responsibility
Design Specifications and Review
Procedures

   
Reason for Policy:  To protect faculty, staff and students from the risks of injuries or fatality due to falls when working at heights of four feet or greater.
   
Policy Summary: 
   
Definition of Terms in Statement: 

Fall Protection System: A system designed to protect personnel from the risk of falls when working at heights of four feet or greater.

Fall Prevention: A structural design to limit a fall to the same level (e.g., guardrails, aerial lifts with work platforms).

Fall Arrest Equipment: The components of Fall Arrest Equipment include a full body harness, shock absorbing lanyard or self-retractable lifeline and locking snap hooks, all of which must meet Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) criteria. Anchor points must be approved for a static load of 5000 pounds or engineered to meet a 2:1 safety factor.
   
Policy Statement: 

Departments who assign work activities to their faculty, staff or student members that are four feet or more above a lower level must use an appropriate Fall Protection System. This includes: Aerial Lifts, Self Powered Platforms, Suspended and Supported Scaffolds or Fall Arrest Equipment.

Assistance is available from the Office of Environmental Health & Safety to facilitate fall hazard analysis, recommend Fall Protection System options and coordinate personnel training on Fall Arrest Equipment.
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Departmental Responsibility

  1. Departmental management is responsible for providing a safe work place and working conditions for their faculty, staff and students. Departments must review work locations and activities to identify if there are any existing or potential fall hazards. Departments must also identify personnel that are exposed to fall hazards. Common UVA work activities to be evaluated include, but are not limited to:
    1. Roof maintenance and repairs (e.g., roof patching, repairing slates, repairing roof deck, pointing up chimneys, cleaning gutters, painting metal roofs);
    2. Roof renovations (e.g., replacing roof materials, roof deck and gutters);
    3. Building maintenance (e.g., window cleaning, painting);
    4. Building heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (e.g., access for installation, repairs, preventative maintenance and changing filters);
    5. Lighting (e.g., auditoriums, stairwells, pools, stadium lights);
    6. Scoreboards;
    7. Baghouses;
    8. Construction and renovations;
    9. Material storage, high lift reach trucks;
    10. Production lighting and personnel for rigging (e.g., theatres);
    11. Tree climbing;
    12. Utilities.

  2. Departmental management must provide resources for personnel training and procurement of fall arrest equipment or other fall protection system necessary for working safely at elevated heights. Refer to Procedure 14-2 for further information on Design and Installation Guidelines for Anchor Points.

  3. Departmental management must train faculty, staff or student members to recognize fall hazards specific to their work location or assigned activities. Personnel must follow Fall Protection Safety Procedures established by the department to protect them from the risks of falls at elevated heights. Personnel who are assigned Fall Arrest Equipment must follow the equipment manufacturer’s instructions in the proper use, care and inspection of their equipment. Personnel must also understand the equipment’s limitations and when to remove the equipment from service. Refer to Procedure 14-2 for further information on Fall Arrest Equipment.
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Design Specifications and Review
Consideration and review of Fall Protection solutions need to be an integral part of the overall design process of UVA buildings including building systems, please refer to Facilities Management Facility Design Guidelines (page 60), Section GR 5.5 Builiding Systems Access and Equipment. The review process for new construction and major renovations of UVA buildings must include consultation with the appropriate trade areas or other affected personnel. The purpose of this consultation is to:

  1. Identify building maintenance activities or other types of activities that will need to be performed through out the “life” of the building or building system that will occur at elevated heights and expose personnel to fall hazards.


  2. Design appropriate Fall Protection Systems to the extent feasible that will prevent any occurrence of falls. Refer to Procedure 14-2 for further information on design, installation and load test requirements for permanent fall protection anchors. In addition, please refer to Facilities Management Services Guide (Section 2) - Facilities Responsibilities and Building/Project Permits (page 5) .
    • (Excerpt) “The University Department of Facilities Management is responsible for the planning, construction, renovation, maintenance, repair and operation of buildings, structures, grounds and utility systems for all components of the University of Virginia . All University departments are subject to the University of Virginia Design and Construction Guidelines in the planning, construction and renovation of University owned facilities. All construction, renovation or alterations to University facilities must meet conformance to applicable codes and regulations and to University standards."

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Procedures: 

Procedure 14-2, “Fall Protection Procedures.”
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Related Information: 

Facilities Management - Services Guide (Section 2) - Facilities Responsibilities and Building/Project Permits.

OSHA Code of Federal Regulations 1926.501-.503 – Construction Fall Protection Standard.

OSHA Code of Federal Regulations 1910.23 – Guarding Floor and Wall Openings and Holes.

OSHA Proposed Rule 1910 – Walking-Working Surfaces, Federal Register, May 24, 2010.

Virginia Administrative Code 16 VAC 25-60-10; Part III Occupational Safety & Health Standards – section 120 General Industry Standards 21Sept06.

   
Policy Background: 
   
Major Category: Safety, Security and Environmental Quality
   
Category Cross Reference: 
   
   
Process: 
   
Next Scheduled Review: 07/25/14
   
Approved By, Date: Policy Review Committee, 07/25/05
   
Revision History: Updated 8/30/11, 8/22/08. Revised 3/26/08.
   
Supersedes (previous policy):  Fall Protection XIV.H.1.