1910.29(k) – the employer must ensure workers are protected from falling objects (1910.28(c) also relevant)

OSHA defines falling object protections as the need to ensure:

  1. Toeboards used for falling object protection are:
    • Of sufficient length where erected, along the exposed edge of the overhead walking-working surface, to protect employees below.
    • Have a minimum height above the surface of 3.5 inches, with a gap of no more than 0.25-inch.
    • Capable of withstanding without failure, a force of at least 50 lbs. applied, in either any downward or outward direction, at any point along the toeboard.
  2. Paneling or Screening considerations if materials are piled higher than the toeboard:
    • To be installed from the toeboard to the midrail of the guardrail system.
    • Also installed to the top rail, if items are piled higher than the midrail.
    • Must have openings small enough to prevent objects from falling through the opening.
  3. Canopies if used for protection below: employers must ensure canopies used for falling object protection, are strong enough to prevent collapse or penetration by falling objects.
  4. Barricading Area Below into which objects could fall, prohibiting workers from entering the barricaded area, and keeping objects far enough away from the edge to help prevent them from falling to a lower level.
  5. Equipment Tethers or Lanyards: though not specified in the ruling, a beneficial proactive measure is to tether or use lanyards on tools or equipment, to prevent them from falling to a lower level.

Provided by Ken Kempa