Active fall protection system: A fall protection system that requires authorized persons to wear or use fall protection equipment or administrative controls and that requires fall prevention training.

Anchorage / Anchorage system: A secure point of attachment or a terminating component for equipment such as lifelines, lanyards, or deceleration devices, capable of safely supporting the impact forces applied by a fall protection system or flexible or rigid anchorage subsystem. The anchorage system can include the anchorage, lifeline, rigid rails, ladder safety systems, and connecting devices (29CFR1910.140(b) & ANSI Z359.0.2-2016, Section 4)

    • Anchorages for fall arrest, travel restraint, or positioning systems shall be: 
    • capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds per person attached, or
    • designed, installed, and used under the supervision of a qualified person, as part of a complete personal fall protection system that maintains a safety factor of at least two. 
    • Temporary anchorage system: A portable or job-installed anchorage capable of supporting the predetermined anchorage forces. A temporary anchorage system can be free-standing or attached to a structure and may support one or more authorized persons. A temporary anchorage system shall be designed by a qualified person.
    • Certified anchorage system: An anchorage for fall arrest, positioning, restraint, or rescue systems that a qualified person certifies to be capable of supporting the potential fall forces that could be encountered during a fall or that meet the criteria for a certified anchorage. (ANSI Z359.0-2018, Section 2.30)
    • Non-certified anchorage system: An anchorage not based on a qualified person calculation that a competent person has selected to be capable of supporting the predetermined anchorage forces (ANSI Z359.0-2018, Section 2.130)

Authorized Person: A person assigned to work where they will be exposed to a fall hazard (ANSI Z359.0-2018, Section 2.11) An authorized person is required to complete training and periodically demonstrate the ability to properly use appropriate fall protection equipment.

Body harness (Full Body Harneess): Straps that secure about the employee in a manner to distribute the fall arrest forces over at least the thighs, pelvis, waist, chest, and shoulders, with a means for attaching the harness to other components of a personal fall protection system

Competent Person-Fall Protection: An individual designated by the employer to be responsible for the immediate supervision, implementation, and monitoring of the Department’s managed fall protection program who, through training and knowledge, is capable of identifying, evaluating, and addressing existing and potential fall hazards, and who has the authority to take prompt corrective action with regard to such hazards (ANSI Z359.0-2018, Section 2.40)

Controlled access zone: Available only for leading edge, overhand bricklaying, or related work, the controlled access zone is a delineated area defined by a control line 6 – 25 feet from the edge and attached to a wall or guardrail. It must meet the requirements of 29CFR1926.502(g)

Designated area: A distinct portion of a walking-working surface delineated by a warning line in which employees may perform work without additional fall protection. (29CFR1910.21(b)) See the Designated Area Appendix

Elevating Equipment (lifts):

Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP): Machine/device intended for moving persons, tools, and material to working positions, consisting of at least a work platform with controls, an extending structure, and a chassis. Examples include aerials lifts, manual or self-propelled lifts, push-around vertical, track mount, scissor lifts, articulating booms, telescoping booms, and vehicle mounted articulating booms.

    • Group A MEWPs are those on which the vertical projection of the center of the platform area, in all platform configurations at maximum chassis inclination specified by the manufacturer, is always inside the tipping lines.
      • Example: Scissor lift – Equipment designed to move under its own power to a work location and elevate personnel only in a vertical plane. A scissor lift is a Group A MEWP. 
    • Group B MEWPs include all MEWPs that aren’t Group A.
      • Example: Aerial lift (aerial device)
        • A mobile or manually propelled device that has an adjustable position platform, supported from ground level by a structure.
        • Includes extensible or aerial ladders, extensible boom platforms, and vertical towers.
    • Type 1 MEWPs are those that can only be moved in the stowed position
    • Type 2 MEWPs are those for which traveling in the elevated position can only be controlled from a point on the chassis. Type 2 and Type 3 MEWPs can be combined
    • Type 3 MEWPs are those for which traveling in the elevated position can be controlled from the work platform. Type 2 and Type 3 MEWPs can be combined.

Fall hazard assessment (“Fall hazard survey”): A fall hazard survey shall be conducted to identify each potential fall hazard to which an employee working at elevation may be exposed. The survey shall consider fall hazards at the specific work area as well as fall hazards encountered while accessing the work area. The survey shall identify one or more methods to eliminate, prevent exposure to, or control each identified fall hazard. The survey shall be prepared by a competent person and documented in a report. (ANSI Z359.2-2017, Section 6)

Fall protection plan: The use of a Fall Protection Plan, as described under 29CFR1926.502(k), or 29CFR1910.28(b)(1)(ii), is not recognized as permissible by NC-OSHA and is not permitted at NC State.

Fall protection procedure: Written fall protection procedures are required whenever employees working at elevation are exposed to any fall hazard while using active fall protection systems. The written fall protection procedures shall be site-specific. (ANSI Z359.2-2017, Section 8)

Guardrail: A barrier erected along an unprotected or exposed side, edge, or other areas of a walking-working surface to prevent employees from falling to a lower level.

Infrequent and Temporary: 

    • Ladder: A device with rungs, steps, or cleats used to gain access to a different elevation. There are several different types of ladders including, fixed ladders, mobile ladders extension ladders, step ladders, and combination ladders. Each type of ladder has specific uses and applications. See the Ladder Safety Program
    • Lanyard:
    • A flexible line of rope, wire rope, or strap that generally has a connector at each end for connecting the body belt or body harness to a deceleration device, lifeline, or anchorage. Lanyards can be fixed length, adjustable length, or automatically or manually controlled self-retracting.
    • Shock absorber (Deceleration device) any mechanism that serves to dissipate energy during a fall.
    • Lifeline: A component of a personal fall protection system consisting of a flexible line for connection to an anchorage at one end so as to hang vertically (vertical lifeline), or for connection to anchorages at both ends so as to stretch horizontally (horizontal lifeline), and serves as a means for connecting other components of the system to the anchorage. (29CFR1910.14(b))

Passive fall protection system: Fall protection that does not require the wearing or use of personal fall protection equipment.  Examples of passive protection include permanent or temporary guardrails and rooftop parapet walls equivalent to guardrails, which provide a physical barrier between the authorized person and fall hazard; covers over holes that provide a load-bearing barrier; and working platforms with guardrails or barrier protection.

Personal Fall Protection System: A system (including all components) an employer uses to provide protection from falling or to safely arrest an employee’s fall if one occurs. Examples of personal fall protection systems include personal fall arrest systems, positioning systems, and travel restraint systems.

Positioning system (Work-positioning system): A system of equipment and connectors that, when used with a body harness or body belt, allows an employee to be supported on an elevated vertical surface, such as a wall or window sill, and work with both hands-free. Positioning systems also are called “positioning system devices” and “work-positioning equipment.”

Positioning device system: A body harness system used in construction work only, and rigged to allow an employee to be supported on an elevated vertical surface, such as a wall, and work with both hands-free while leaning.

Ladder safety system: A system designed to eliminate or reduce the possibility of falling from a ladder. A ladder safety system usually consists of a carrier, safety sleeve, lanyard, connectors, and body harness. Cages and wells are not considered ladder safety systems.

Fall restraint system (Travel restraint system, Personal Fall Prevention System): A combination of an anchorage, anchorage connector, lanyard (or other means of connection), and body support that an employer uses to eliminate the possibility of an employee going over the edge of a walking-working surface.

Fall arrest (Personal fall arrest system): A system used to arrest an employee in a fall from a walking-working surface. It consists of a body harness, anchorage, and connector. The means of connection may include a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline, or a suitable combination of these.

Qualified Person-Elevating Equipment: An individual designated by the employer to be responsible for conducting a risk assessment of the job or task for which MEWP use is planned (including using a MEWP for operator training or evaluation), selecting the appropriate MEWP for the task, developing a safe work plan and ensuring operator, supervisor, and occupant competencies for each task, and conducting frequent and annual inspections on any MEWP she or he is qualified to inspect. The Qualified Person shall also monitor, supervise, and evaluate operators on a regular basis.

Qualified person-Fall Protection: A person with a recognized degree or professional certificate and with extensive knowledge, training, and experience in the fall protection and rescue field who is capable of designing, analyzing, evaluating, and specifying fall protection and rescue systems to the extent required by applicable standards (ANSI Z359.0-2018, Section 2.150)

Safety Factor:

    • The ratio of the design load and ultimate strength of the material. 
    • Generally, the structural capacity of a member, material, equipment, or system beyond actual or reasonably anticipated loads; that is, how much stronger the member, material, equipment, or system is than it usually needs to be to support the intended load without breaking or failing. A safety factor is an additional or extra margin of safety that provides assurance the system or equipment is able to support the intended load (e.g., a safety factor of two).


    • Any temporary elevated or suspended platform and its supporting structure, including anchorage points, used to support employees, equipment, materials, and other items. 
      • Scaffolds shall be erected, moved, dismantled, or altered only under the supervision and direction of a competent person. (29CFR1926.451(f)(7))
      • Scaffolds shall be inspected before initial use and before each shift. (29CFR1926.451(f)(3))
    • A crane-suspended or derrick-suspended personnel platform or a rope descent system is not considered a scaffold.
    • A scissor lift is considered a type of powered mobile scaffold
    • A manual personnel lift is considered a type of non-powered mobile scaffold

Warning line:

    • A warning line is a rope, wire, chain, or barricade used to delineate a designated area (see definition above, or Designated Area Appendix) or; 
    • Only for roofing work on low-sloped roofs, and only in conjunction with another approved element (29CFR1926.501(b)(10)), to delineate all sides of a roof work area. Warning lines may never be closer than 6 feet to the edge and must meet the criteria specified for the application. 29CFR1010.29(d), and 29CFR1026.502(f).