Fall Protection Plan

OSHA (29 CFR 1910 Subparts D & F, 29 CFR 1926 Subpart M)


 I.              PURPOSE AND SCOPE

Falls are among the most common causes of serious work related injuries and deaths. Employers must set up the work place to prevent employees from falling from elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, six feet in construction, and ten feet above a lower level in construction when using scaffolding.

Written fall protection procedures establish guidelines to be followed whenever an employee works on, erects or dismantles scaffolding, works on ladders, at heights, or with fall protection at University of Saint Francis. The rules established are to be followed to:

  • provide a safe working environment, and
  • govern use of fall protection procedures and equipment,

These written fall protection procedures establish uniform requirements designed to ensure that fall protection training, operation and setup, and practices are communicated to and understood by the affected employees. These requirements are also designed to ensure that procedures are in place to safeguard the health and safety of all employees.

It is the policy of University of Saint Francis to permit only employees trained in fall protection procedures to work in areas where fall hazards occur.


Floor Opening (general industry) – gap or void equal to or greater than 12 inches in a floor, platform, pavement or yard including open manholes, pits, stair/ladder openings, hatchways 

Hole (construction) – gap or void two or more inches in a floor, roof or other walking/working surface

Hole (general industry) – gap or void one to twelve inches in a floor, platform, pavement or yard

Low-slope roof – A roof having a slope less than or equal to 4 in 12 (vertical to horizontal).

Opening (construction) – a gap or void 30 inches or more high and 18 inches or more wide in a wall or partition.

Scaffold – any temporary elevated platform (supported or suspended) and it’s supporting structure (including points of anchorage), used for supporting employees or materials or both.

Stairs – a series of steps with three or more risers leading from one level to another, including floors, platforms, pits, crossovers; may be in boiler rooms, around machinery, tanks or other equipment.

Steep roof – A roof having a slope greater than 4 in 12 (vertical to horizontal).

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 39 inches (1 meter) high.

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, runways, formwork, and concrete reinforcing steel. Does not include ladders, vehicles, or trailers on which employees must be located to perform their work duties.

Wall Hole (general industry) – any size opening between one and thirty inches high on any wall or partition

Wall Opening (general industry) – gap or void at least 30 inches high and eighteen inches wide in a wall or partition from which a fall of four feet could result


Administrative Duties

The Director of Safety and Security is responsible for developing and maintaining this written Fall Protection Plan and has full authority to make necessary decisions to ensure the success of this plan. The Director of Safety and Security is also qualified, by appropriate training and experience to conduct the required evaluations of plan effectiveness. 

If, after reading this plan, you find that improvements can be made, please contact The Director of Safety and Security.

List of Affected Areas

The following lists all areas with fall hazards where the individual working is more than four feet (general) or six feet (construction) above the lowest level of floor that can be fallen to:

North Campus – gym and auditorium

Downtown Campus – auditorium

Hutzell – foyer and gym

Achatz Hall – foyer and auditorium

Brookside, Doermer, JPII, Clare Hall – foyers


Rolland Bldg #18 – Wood Shop, sculpture room, boiler room

Trinity Chapel

All buildings – roof

Pre-Work Check

Prior to beginning work in any area or on any device where fall hazards exist, a pre-work check must be completed that includes the following items:

With the exception of entrances to stairways, every floor opening including, but not limited to open manholes, hatchways, chutes, pits, must be securely covered (with equal or less than 1 inch opening), or surrounded by a railing and toeboard if open, or constantly attended by someone when open.

Every wall opening where there is a drop of more than four feet must be guarded by an appropriate barrier such as a rail, fence or door.

Open-sided platforms or runways four feet or more above the floor must be surrounded by a railing and toeboard (except at the entrance).

All stairs with four risers or more shall have standard OSHA approved handrails. Refer to OSHA (29 CFR 1910.23(e)).


  • All required covers or guardrails must be in place.
  • All handrails or guardrails are in place on stairways.
  • All treads and risers on stairs are in good repair.
  • Non-slip surfaces are in place on stairs.
  • All stairs meet OSHA and ANSI specifications for design and safety.


  • All ladders meet OSHA specifications for design and safety
  • Gripping safety feet in place and secure on ladders.
  • All parts and fittings on ladders are secure.
  • Non-slip surfaces are in place on ladder rungs; ladders should be free of oil, grease and other slippery materials.
  • In the event of a tip over, all rungs, hardware and rivets must be checked for damage.
  • When setting ladder up, footing of ladder is secure on a firm, level, and non-skid surface and top of ladder is placed against a solid, stationary object.
  • Fixed ladders and associated cages, wells, grab bars and hatch covers must meet OSHA regulations.


  • Each employee on a steep roof with unprotected sides and edges 6 feet (1.8 meters) or more above lower levels shall be protected by guardrail systems with toeboards, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems.
  • Each employee engaged in roofing activities on low-slope roofs with unprotected sides and edges 6 feet (1.8 meters) or more above lower levels shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems or a combination of a warning line system and guardrail system, warning line system and safety net system, warning line system and personal fall arrest system, or warning line system and safety monitoring system. On roofs 50 feet (15.24 meters) or less in width, the use of a safety monitoring system without a warning line system is permitted.


  • Guardrails are in place and securely attached.
  • Toeboards are in place and secure.
  • All platforms meet OSHA specifications for design and safety.

Arial or Scissor Lifts

  • Inspect any lift before using.
  • Strictly follow all safety criteria in lift manual.
  • Do not overload.
  • Do not use gasoline powered lifts indoors.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. (power lines, tree limbs, cables)
  • Block off area below. (protect others from falling tools or other items)
  • Wear all appropriate equipment.

 Scaffolds (when used in construction)

  • Each scaffold and scaffold component used will support, without failure, its own weight and at least four times the maximum intended load applied or transmitted to it.
  • Scaffolds shall be designed by a qualified person and shall be constructed and loaded in    accordance with that design.

Floor & Wall Openings

  • All floor and wall openings are safely covered or blocked from access.
  • If not safely covered and blocked from access, the opening has someone assigned for constant attendance to it.

Work Procedures

If any one of the conditions described in Pre-Work Check is not met for the area or piece of equipment posing a potential fall hazard, then employees may not perform that work until the condition is met. If the condition cannot be remedied immediately, the supervisor or the Director of Operations must be notified of the problem.

If the situation calls for use of fall protection devices, such as harnesses, or positioning or restraining devices, such as belts, then the employee must put on such protective equipment before beginning the work and use it as intended throughout the duration of the work.

Only employees trained in such work are expected to perform it.

To prevent slipping, tripping, and falling, all places of employment, passageways, storerooms, and service rooms must be kept clean and orderly and in a sanitary condition. The floor of every workroom 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 practicable.

To facilitate cleaning, every floor, working place, and passageway will be kept free from protruding nails, splinters, holes, or loose boards.

Work Procedures: Scaffolding

All work in the construction, working on, and disassembling of all scaffolding will be done in accordance within OSHA guidelines (29 CFR 1910 Subpart D)

Platform Construction

  • Type of Scaffold: Tubular welded frame sections, folding aluminum, and roof brackets.
  • Type of Planking: Aluminum and plywood deck.
  • Fall protection used: Guard rails

The following safety rules apply for this scaffold platform construction:

  • Each scaffold plank will be installed so that the space between adjacent planks and the space between the platform and uprights is no more than one inch wide. If, in certain situations, we need to make this space wider, we will attach our demonstration in the appendix to this plan.
  • Scaffold planks shall extend over their end supports not less than 6 inches nor more than 18 inches.
  • Except for outrigger scaffolds (3 inches) and plastering and lathing operations (18 inches), the front edge of all platforms will not be more than 14 inches from the face of the work, unless we have a guardrail or personal fall arrest system in place that meets regulations.

The following additional construction and safety information is included depending on the type of scaffold being erected.

Supported Scaffolds

  • Supported scaffolds with a height to base width ratio of more than four to one (4:1) must be restrained from tipping by guying, tying, bracing, outriggers or equivalent means.
  • Supported scaffold poles, legs, posts, frames, and uprights will always bear on base plates and mud sills or other adequate firm foundations.
  • Unstable objects such as barrels, boxes, loose brick or concrete blocks shall not be used to support scaffolds or planks.

Gaining Access to Scaffolds

Getting to the working platform is critical to the safety of our employees. This section outlines the mechanical requirements for gaining access to scaffold platforms such as: (1) ladders, (2) ramps and walkways, (3) stair rails, and (4) direct access from another scaffold. This section is divided into two parts. The first part is for workers gaining access to scaffold platforms to do work; the second part is access for employees erecting and dismantling scaffolds.

Working Employees:

  • Portable, hook-on, and attachable ladders will be positioned so as not to tip the scaffold.
  • All stair rail systems and handrails will be surfaced to prevent injury from punctures or lacerations, and to prevent snagging of clothes.
  • Access will be gained using built in ladders.

Erectors and Dismantlers:

The university shall provide safe means of access for each employee erecting or dismantling a scaffold where the provision of safe access is feasible and does not create a greater hazard. We shall have a competent person determine whether it is feasible or would pose a greater hazard to provide, and have employees use a safe means of access. This determination shall be based on site conditions and the type of scaffold being erected or dismantled.

When erecting or dismantling tubular welded frame scaffolds, (end) frames, with horizontal members that are parallel, level and are not more than 22 inches apart vertically may be used as climbing devices for access, provided they are erected in a manner that creates a usable ladder and provides good hand hold and foot space.

Cross braces on tubular welded frame scaffolds shall not be used as a means of access or egress.

Working Employees:

This fall protection plan for our working employees is for the following type(s) of scaffold(s):

  • Tubular frame, folding, and roof bracket scaffolds.

Self-contained adjustable scaffold supported by the frame structure. We will protect each employee on our self-contained, frame structure supported, adjustable scaffolds by a guardrail system. The guardrail system:

  • Has a minimum 200-pound top rail capacity.
  • Will be installed before use by our employees.

Falling Object Protection

All employees must wear hardhats when working on, assembling, or dismantling scaffolds. This is our primary protection from falling objects. Additionally, we will:

  • Install all guardrail systems with openings small enough to prevent passage of potential falling objects.
  • Prevent tools, materials, or equipment that inadvertently fall from our scaffolds from striking employees by barricading the area below the scaffold.

Using Scaffolds

Site preparation, scaffold erection, fall protection, and gaining access to the working platform are only some of the requirements for scaffold work. While this all takes concentration and safe work practices, the most dangerous time can be when employees are concentrating on their work and not particularly aware of the hazards of working from scaffolds. It is critical that employees who use scaffolds be trained, among other things, in the recognition of the hazards associated with the type of scaffold being used and to understand the procedures to control or minimize those hazards. All scaffolds will be inspected for visible defects before each work shift, and after any occurrence that could affect a scaffold’s structural integrity. However, in addition to that, all users of scaffolds in this company will know and understand the following safety rules:

  • Scaffolds and scaffold components will never be loaded in excess of their maximum intended loads or rated capacities.
  • Debris must not be allowed to accumulate on platforms

IV.          TRAINING

Under no circumstances will an employee work in areas of high fall hazards, perform tasks requiring fall protection devices, or use fall protection devices until he/she has successfully completed the university’s fall protection program. This includes all new employees, regardless of claimed previous experience.

The training program includesinstruction on how to recognize hazards and how to minimize them and operational training on each specific area of fall hazard involved in the work of the employee. The immediate supervisor is responsible for conducting the training.

Individuals in the following departments receive training: All maintenance, facilities, stage crew, and select technology services employees.

The Supervisor of Maintenance, Director of Facilities, Executive Director of University Technology Services, and the Wood Shop Director will identify all new employees in the Employee Orientation Program and make arrangements to schedule the classroom instruction for those employees previously identified in this procedure.

Classroom training consists of:

  • the nature of fall hazards in the work area;
  • employees’ role in fall protection plans;

            and, as needed,

  • the correct procedures for erecting, maintaining, disassembling, and inspecting fall protection systems;
  • the use and operation of controlled access zones and guardrail, personal fall arrest, safety net, warning line, and safety monitoring systems;
  • the role of each employee in the safety monitoring system when the system is in use;
  • the limitations on the use of mechanical equipment during the performance of roofing work on low-sloped roofs;
  • the correct procedures for equipment and materials handling and storage and the erection of overhead protection
  • Successful completion of examination

Operational training consists of:

  • Pre-operational check.
  • Operational review of use of lanyards and belts, accessing of areas with fall hazards.

Retraining may be required in the event of changes to the workplace or the fall protection equipment or evidence of lack of employee knowledge of the fall protection plan.


The Risk and Safety Management Committee maintains training records which include the following information:

  • the date the training was provided,
  • employee identification
  • signature of the employee receiving and person instructing the training.

Disciplinary Procedures

 Constant awareness of and respect for fall protection procedures and compliance with all safety rules are considered conditions of employment. Supervisors and individuals in the Safety reserve the right to issue disciplinary warnings to employees, up to and including termination, for failure to follow the guidelines of this program.

Program Evaluation

Although we may not be able to eliminate all problems, we try to eliminate as many as possible to improve employee protection and encourage employee safe practices. Therefore, the Director of Safety and Security is responsible for evaluating and updating this written plan. The evaluation will include a review of reported accidents, as well as near misses, to identify areas where additional safety measures need to be taken.

The Director of Safety and Security will conduct a periodic review to determine the effectiveness of the program. This review may include a walk-through of the facility. Annual safety checks will be sent to Risk and Safety Management Committee.


In accordance with 29 CFR 1910 and 1926, the university reserves the right to request evidence of the contractor’s fall protection plan.

The University of Saint Francis will not erect scaffolding or provide fall protection for third party service providers.

 Revised 9-11-2013 RSMC