Thursday, April 12, 2012

4 feet triggers the need for guardrails / PPE

Contributed by Eric Tofte, Director of Training

Do you have employees that work on top of a retaining wall 4 feet or more above the ground to weed-eat or perform other grounds maintenance?  

Well, if the surface the employee is working on is greater than 45 inches in all direction, then WAC296-24, Part J-1 comes into play, which is the walking-working surface rule.  

So, if you answered, "Yes" it is time to protect them from falling by such things as standard slats, standard grill work (as specified in WAC 296-24-75011(11)), or standard railing.  You could also put them in a fall protection harness and make that part of your PPE program.

Yes, you heard right.  You have an employees exposed to a fall hazard of 4 feet or more at a permanent place of employment, they have to be protected.  This would also include a loading dock, etc. 

So, take action today.  Get the guardrails or other PPE out of the storage closet, or put safety into design issues and keep walking surface less than 4 feet.

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