Falls (From Heights)
Falls are the number one serious hazard for workers in most industries that can result in injuries or even death. This page provides safety and health resource information for employers, supervisors, and workers to keep everyone safe and working.
Fall hazards are a serious problem amongst the growing workforce and accounted for 17 fatalities from 2017-2022 in our state.
Fall hazards can exist in most Industries like:
- Agriculture, and
Regardless of the fall distance in Washington State, ALL employers must protect employees from exposure to serious injuries or death while working at heights, including above or adjacent to dangerous equipment or machinery.
- One of the first steps in preventing falls on job sites is to:
- Develop and implement a written Accident Prevention Program (APP)
- Require use of fall protection systems (fall arrest/restraint, guardrails, etc.)
- Provide necessary personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Check all equipment (Fall protection systems, PPE, power tools, ladders, cords)
- Hold a safety meeting at the beginning of the work day.
Unified Safety Standards for Fall Protection Chapter 296-880, WAC sets forth requirements for employers to provide and enforce the use of fall protection for employees performing activities covered under this chapter.
Requirements in this rule cover:
- Fall protection systems
- Fall protection work plan (FPWP)
- Falls from any height
- And other requirements
L&I is conducting rulemaking to update the requirements for fall protection contained in Chapter 296-880, WAC.
See all the rulemaking activity for Unified Fall Protection on our L&I Rulemaking page
L&I’s safety and health consultants can help you understand if this rule applies to you and how to implement it.
- Personal Protective Equipment (DD 5.15)
Use these resources to train your employees on the Unified Fall Protection rule and other standards that apply.
- A Life-Changing Moment / Un momento puede cambiar la vida
- ABC's of Your Personal Fall Arrest System / El ABC de su sistema personal de prevencion de caidas
- Bridge Decking
- Don't Fall For It! video
- Fall Protection in Construction in Washington State / Protección contra caídas en la construcción
- Fall Protection Guardrail Fail
- Falls in Construction: Skylights
Online Safety Training
- Construction Solutions - Fall Protection (CPWR)
- eTool Unified Fall Protection Comparison
- Fall Protection on Communication Towers
- Falls in Construction/Reroofing (OSHA)
- Roofing Fall Protection Training
- UFP Module 1: General Construction Requirements (PowerPoint)
- UFP Module 2: When is fall protection required? (PowerPoint)
- UFP Module 3: Fall Restraint Systems (PowerPoint)
- UFP Module 4: Positioning Devices and Fall Arrest Systems(PowerPoint)
- UFP Module 5-1: Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PowerPoint)
- UFP Module 5-2: Personal Fall Arrest Systems (Cont.) (PowerPoint)
Publications, Handouts, Checklists
- Competent Person Evaluation - Fall Restraint & Fall Arrest (F417-102-000)
- Construction Checklist – Safety (F418-055-000)
- Fall Protection Basics for Construction Activities (F414-154-000)
- Fall Protection for setting and bracing wood trusses and rafters (Oregon OSHA)
- Fall Protection Lifelines Cut by Exposed Edges Hazard Alert
- Safety Stand-Down Resource Guide (F417-285-000)
- Safety Stand-Down Sticker (FSP1-077-000)
- Accident Prevention Program (APP)
- Fall Protection Work plan (FPWP) (F417-272-000) (under revision)
For topic-specific information, see also:
L&I's Safety and Health Campaigns for Most Industries
- National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction in May
- NUCA Trench Safety Stand Down
- Safe + Sound week in August