At What Height Do You Need Fall Protection?

Indeed, this is a safety question that everyone wishes they had a simple answer because of the varying height requirements when it comes to fall protection. However, there are laws that guide height and fall protection, OSHA. Although some sites policies and contracts go above and beyond the regulatory requirement, therefore, you have to be aware of what the rules acquainted with your site are.

In addition, any point your workers are exposed to heights equal or greater than the required height, they must have some sort of protection; either fall arrest systems, railings, or other means of protection. With this said, you can take Nouvelle Hauteur heights training course to know the various fall protection you can offer to your team.

The following are heights where you should consider if your employees supposed to go beyond and if so what is the necessary fall protection.

The No Minimum Height Rule

If your employees are working over dangerous equipment or machinery into which they could fall, they must have fall protection at all time or ensure machine guarding is in place. No exception.

Exception to the Basics

There are various exceptions to the basic rules- many in the construction industry. However, construction is dynamic and it’ll be harder to recognize a fail hazard and have a railing system permanently installed. As a result of this, a few exemptions have risen over the years.


According to some construction regulations, fall protection or scaffolding is not necessary until a height greater than 10’ is attained. Scaffold users need not bother themselves about rails or other means of fall protection when setting up every single bay. Most scaffolds are greater than 6’ but less than 10’. This exemption gives chance for unprotected work that happens on the top of a single bay.

Steel Erection

Anyone in use of steel erection activities is not required to have fall protection until they are 15’ in the air. However, they must be putting on the appropriate fall protection gadget and ensure they have an approved anchor point anywhere above after 15’. In this condition, a connector may be selected to not tie off, but the feature to the tie off must exist.

Stairs and Ladders

When it comes to stairs and ladders, a lot of people don’t think about fall protection maybe because the stairwells are enclosed or have some type of railing when in use. In construction, this is not always the case. Temporary stairs built on jobsites or new stairwells installed without railings and walls that enclose them, OSHA requires that all stairways with four or more risers along each unprotected side or edge be equipped with a stair rail.