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Top OSHA Workplace Violations – Fall Protection Training Requirements, Construction – Regulation 29 CFR 1926.503

Fall Protection Training Requirements, Construction

Regulation 29 CFR 1926.503

Enforcement from Oct 2018-Sept2019

Total citations: 2,168

Total inspections: 2,111

Total proposed penalties: $3,361,214

Most Frequently Violated OSHA Standard Ranking – Number 8

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

Specialty Trade Contractors $3,064,014 (in proposed penalties)

Construction of Buildings $251,036

Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods $15,201

Telecommunications $11,950

Administrative and Support Services $5,364

Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing $2,457

Justice, Public Order, and Safety Activities $4,641

Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing $2,652

Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction $1,875

Waste Management and Remediation Services $569

The following training provisions supplement and clarify fall protection training:

  • 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:
  1. The nature of fall hazards in the work area
  2. The correct procedures for erecting, maintaining, disassembling and inspecting the fall protection systems to be used
  3. 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
  4. The role of each employee in the safety monitoring system when this system is used
  5. The limitations on the use of mechanical equipment during the performance of roofing work on low-sloped roofs
  6. The correct procedures for the handling and storage of equipment and materials, and the erection of overhead protection
  7. The role of employees in fall protection plans
  8. The standards contained in this subpart

Certification of training

  • The employer shall verify compliance with paragraph (a) of this section 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.

Training Benefits

  • Recognize what a fall hazard is, including:
  • Identify fall hazards
  • Describe what a fall hazard is
  • Identify how to prevent injuries from fall hazards
  • Recognize major types of fall hazards, including:
  • List the major types of fall hazards in construction
  • Identify unprotected edges
  • List potential injuries caused by fall hazards
  • List factors contributing to falls
  • Recognize methods for protecting yourself from fall hazards, including:
  • Explain how fall protection is used to prevent injuries
  • List the different types of fall protection systems
  • Explain the proper uses of fall protection systems
  • Describe important aspects of personal fall arrest systems and fall protection
  • Recognize employer requirements to protect workers from fall hazards:
  • Describe ways the employers can protect workers from fall hazards
  • List the general requirements of employers to protect their workers from fall hazards
  • Explain the employers’ requirements for providing worker training

Source: OSHA Education Center

Fall Protection Training Toolbox Talks

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
  2. Print a copy of a relevant Toolbox Talk and think about how the topic relates to your specific
  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

Advice for trainers:

Safety meetings work best if the whole crew actively participates. This makes it more interesting and more likely that people will remember the information you’ve given them. Here are some ways to encourage everyone to get involved:

  • Ask questions, instead of simply giving them information. After you ask a question, wait a short time to let people think. Then, call on volunteers to answer.
  • Ask about personal experience. This can help the group see how the topic is relevant to them. You could ask: “Has anyone here fallen off a ladder? What happened?”
  • Make sure everyone has a chance to talk. If a crew member is talking too much, invite someone else to speak.
  • Never make fun of anyone or put anyone down, especially for asking questions.
  • Don’t fake it. If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t guess. Write the question down and promise to get back to them.
  • Stick to the topic. If the crew’s questions and comments move too far from the topic, tell them that their concerns can be addressed later, either privately or in a future safety meeting.

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