Fall protection training is not only important, but necessary to protect workers’ lives. According to OSHA, “Falls are among the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths”. In order to help reduce these falls, employers must be proactive in preventing employees from falling while working at heights. How does an employer do this? It all starts with training. Knowledge can be the difference between life and death. In fact, with the right type of fall protection training, employers should see a drastic improvement in their workplace falls.
Who needs fall protection training?
Fall protection training is required for anyone who uses personal fall protection equipment and work in high hazard situations. A qualified person must conduct training to employees before they’re exposed to fall hazards. According to the Walking Working Surfaces Regulation, employers must ensure employees are trained in fall protection. Still need to train your employees? You can still register your employees to undergo training to stay in accordance with OSHA.
What are the types of fall protection training?
At HySafe, we offer three different types of fall protection training courses.
Fall Protection Awareness (4 Hours)
Fall protection awareness training is a basic-level course that provides an overview of fall hazards and fall protection equipment. However, this usually does not include hands-on training.
Authorized Worker (8 Hours)
Authorized Worker training is designed for those who are working at heights and using fall protection equipment on a regular basis. This course will usually include hazard recognition and elimination, regulations, procedures, and hands-on demonstrations.
Competent Person (16 Hours)
Competent Person training is designed for those at a managerial level such as a facility supervisor or environmental health and safety officer. OSHA defines a competent person as “one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them”. Typically, the course will go over everything covered in the authorized worker plus rescue procedures, selecting the right equipment and equipment inspections.
Each training program must review:
- The nature of fall hazards and how to identify them in the workplace.
- Procedures on how to minimize fall hazards.
- Procedures on how to install, inspect, operate, maintain, and disassemble the personal fall protection systems.
- The correct use of equipment such as proper hook-up, anchoring, tie-off techniques, equipment inspection and storage
Who can conduct fall protection training?
Only a qualified person can conduct fall protection training. You might be asking yourself, what is a qualified person? A qualified person is someone who has a recognized degree, certificate, professional standing, or through extensive knowledge, training, and experience has successfully demonstrated the ability to solve problems relating to fall protection. Be sure to choose a reputable company with qualified personnel when registering for fall protection training courses.
How often is fall protection training required?
Training is always required before an employee begins working at heights. However, because there is no regulation on how often an employee must undergo further fall protection training, the employer must determine when an employee needs to be retrained. If the employer has reason to believe the employee does not have proper understanding after being trained, then retraining is necessary. Retraining also applies for situations where there are changes in the workplace or changes in the fall protection systems and equipment rendering previous training obsolete. However, it’s important to remember every training provider is different so please be sure to ask if your certificate of course completion expires.
How much is fall protection training?
Training courses will vary depending on the type of course and the company who offers them. However, always keep in mind training is an investment that will pay for itself with fewer injuries, deaths, legal costs, and hospital bills. Remember, you can’t put a price on saving a life.