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Fall Protection Training Requirements, Construction – Regulation 29 CFR 1926.503

Enforcement from October 2021-September 2022

Total citations: 1,752

Total inspections: 1,687

Total proposed penalties: $3,503,863

Most Frequently Violated OSHA Standard Ranking – Number 8

Industries most often violating fall protection training requirements in construction standard:

  • Construction: 1,698 violations, 1,637 inspections, $3,391,341 in proposed penalties
  • Wholesale Trade: 15, 14, $26,916
  • Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services: 9, 8, $32,527
  • Utilities: 8, 7, $15,114
  • Manufacturing: 7, 7, $21,743
  • Retail Trade: 4, 4, $329
  • Accommodation and Food Services: 3, 2, $4,351
  • Other Services (except Public Administration): 2, 2, $1,567
  • Public Administration: 1, 1, $5,000
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting: 1, 1, $3,277
  • Real Estate and Rental and Leasing: 1, 1, $1,700

Employer Responsibilities Under the Standard

The employer shall provide a training program for each employee who might be exposed to fall hazards. The program shall enable each employee to recognize the hazards of falling and shall train each employee in the procedures to be followed in order to minimize these hazards.

The employer shall assure that each employee has been trained, as necessary, by a competent person qualified in the following areas:

  • The nature of fall hazards in the work area;
  • The correct procedures for erecting, maintaining, disassembling, and inspecting the fall protection systems to be used;
  • The use and operation of guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, safety net systems, warning line systems, safety monitoring systems, controlled access zones, and other protection to be used;
  • The role of each employee in the safety monitoring system when this system is used;
  • The limitations on the use of mechanical equipment during the performance of roofing work on low-sloped roofs;
  • The correct procedures for the handling and storage of equipment and materials and the erection of overhead protection; and
  • The role of employees in fall protection plans, and
  • The standards contained in this subpart

Certification of Training

The employer shall verify compliance by preparing a written certification record. The written certification record shall contain the name or other identity of the employee trained; the date(s) of the training; and the signature of the person who conducted the training or the signature of the employer. If the employer relies on training conducted by another employer or completed prior to the effective date of this section, the certification record shall indicate the date the employer determined the prior training was adequate rather than the date of actual training. The latest training certification shall be maintained.


When the employer has reason to believe that any affected employee who has already been trained does not have the understanding and skill required by paragraph (a) of this section, the employer shall retrain each such employee. Circumstances where retraining is required include, but are not limited to, situations where:

  • Changes in the workplace render previous training obsolete
  • Changes in the types of fall protection systems or equipment to be used render previous training obsolete
  • Inadequacies in an affected employee’s knowledge or use of fall protection systems or equipment indicate that the employee has not retained the requisite understanding or skill.

Using Toolbox Talks for Fall Protection Training

OSHA recommends that employers reach workers with short and direct toolbox talks. Delivering the information effectively takes preparation and a desire to involve the workers in health and safety at the workplace. Employers may train workers to lead the training or have supervisors provide the training. Studies have shown peer-to-peer training is effective, participatory and well-retained. After giving a Toolbox Talk, it is important to get feedback from the workers who heard it. Did they understand the material? Was it well presented? How could the training be more relevant to their work? Encouraging discussion will yield valuable information, include ways to improve training going forward. Active participation makes it more likely that people will remember the information you’ve given them.

How Toolbox Talks are formatted:

  • Each Toolbox Talk begins with an example of the types of incidents that are possible if workers do not follow the fall prevention guidelines outlined in the training.
  • Following the job site example, the Toolbox Talk lists guidelines for preventing falls related to the topic (e.g., ladders).
  • Finally, each training sheet includes blank lines for workers to include ways that the topic is applicable to their job site.

Preparing to teach the training sessions:

  1. Spend about 15 minutes to become familiar with the Toolbox Talk.
  2. Print a copy of a relevant Toolbox Talk and think about how the topic relates to your specific worksite.
  3. Look through the educational materials and resources listed at the end of the training guide, along with other materials on OSHA’s web site, to find materials to supplement the Toolbox Talk. WMHS


Fall Prevention Training Guide:

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