3921 Perry Boulevard, Whitestown, IN 46075

OSHA Regulation 1926-502

A brief overview of what OSHA Regulation 1926-502 requires


Defining Fall Protection

While regulation 501 indicated when fall protection procedures are to be used, regulation 502 explains in detail how they are to be used. Here is a brief overview of what this regulation requires:

  • Fall protection must be in place before any worker starts work.
  • When used, guardrails must be at least 42 inches (+/- 3”) from the walking/working level, with screen or a parapet wall at least 21 inches high. Alternatively, midrails can be used in lieu of the screen/wall, installed between the top edge of the guardrail system and the working surface.
  • When used between posts on guardrails, balusters shall not be more than 19 inches apart. Guardrail structural midrails and architectural panels cannot have a space more than 19 inches apart.
  • Any structural guardrail system must be able to handle a force of at least 200 pounds applied within 2 inches of the top edge; balusters and midrails, 150 pounds.
  • Steel or plastic banding cannot be used as top rails or midrails. Rails must be at least one quarter inch nominal diameter to prevent cuts and lacerations.
  • If guardrails are to protect a hole, they must go all the way around the hole. If necessary, up to two sides can be made removable for the passage of materials through, or to accommodate a gate.
  • Safety nets, when used, should be no more than 30 feet down from the work area, and as close to the work area as possible. They must be inspected weekly for damage or holes.
  • Any connectors used must be drop forged, corrosion proof, pressed or formed steel, or made of equivalent materials.

Maximum Safety. Minimum Fuss.

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