Fall Protection in Residential Construction

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In January, 2006, the Kentucky Occupational Safety Program revised the Residential Construction Fall Protection Standard. The trigger height that requires the use of fall protection was raised from 6 feet to 10 feet in numerous situations. However, there are situations where the 6 feet rule still applies.

10’ Rule
Employees working 10 feet or more above a lower level in the following circumstances must be protected by fall protection:

  • Unprotected sides and edge- any side or edge (except at entrances to points of access) of a walking/working surface, e.g., floor, roof, ramp, or runway where there is no wall or guardrail system.
  • Leading edges- the edge of a floor, roof, or formwork for a floor or other walking/working surface (such as the deck) which changes location as additional floor, roof, decking, or formwork sections are placed, formed, or constructed.
  • Performing roofing work on roof slopes three (3) in twelve (12) or less.
  • Floor system construction (Joists and trusses)
  • Roof system construction (Roof trusses and rafters)

6’ Rule
Employees working 6 feet or more above a lower level in the following circumstances must be protected by fall protection:

  • Holes- a gap or void 2 inches (5.1 cm) or more in its least dimension, in a floor, roof, or other walking/working surface.
  • Openings- window openings, studded walls wider than 18 inches, and door openings.
  • Roofing work on steep roofs
  • Ramps and runways
  • Excavations
  • Overhand bricklaying and related work
  • Pre-cast concrete erection
  • Hoist areas

Fall protection requirements are available in Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Program’s Residential Fall Protection Standard for Residential Construction, 803 KAR 2:412.

KEMI does not assume liability for the content of information contained herein. Safety and health remain your responsibility. This information is to be used for informational purposes only and not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for proper training, supervision or manufacturers’ instructions/recommendations. KEMI, by publication of this information, does not assume liability for damage or injury arising from reliance upon it. Compliance with this information is not a guarantee or warranty that you will be in conformity with any laws or regulations nor does it ensure the absolute safety of any person, place or object, including, but not limited to, you, your occupation, employees, customers or place of business.