Inspections, Investigations, and Assessments Exception Appendix to the Fall Prevention Program
For construction or general industry work, fall protection is not required when employees are making an inspection, investigation, or assessment of workplace conditions prior to the actual start of work or after all work has been completed according to paragraphs 2-6 below.
The term “inspection” in this and accompanying procedures refers to performing an inspection, investigation, or assessment.
Inspection, investigation, or assessment means observing, measuring, testing, or examining workplace conditions and may include using small hand tools and minor intrusive or destructive manipulations including removing flashing or opening coverings.
This exception is not permitted for inspections done routinely or frequently.
Where an inspection is done without fall protection, there can be no ongoing construction, repair, replacement, or other work while the inspection is conducted. Once work starts, fall protection is required.
If any type of fall protection is available for use by employees conducting an inspection for general industry or construction work, including administrative controls, it must be utilized. This includes:
Convention fall protection such as guardrails, including free-standing guardrails, personal fall protection systems, or safety nets, and
Non-conventional fall protection systems such as
Designated areas for general industry work and
Warning line systems for construction industry work
To the extent possible, fall protection systems shall be installed prior to any inspection and left in place after work has been completed.
Criteria and considerations for inspections done without fall protection:
Persons conducting inspections should, to the greatest extent possible:
Limit the time exposed to fall hazards for an inspection;
Maintain the maximum possible distance from the fall hazard or danger zone;
Maintain awareness of their proximity to the edge, footing, and slip and trip hazards;
Avoid distractions and activities that might divert attention from the fall hazard, including:
Limit the number of persons conducting inspections
No work other than limited inspection work
Avoid conducting inspections during weather conditions that could create distractions
Employees engaged in inspecting, investigating, and assessing workplace conditions before the actual work begins or after work has been completed should be exposed to fall hazards for very short durations, if at all, since they most likely would be able to accomplish their work without going near the danger zone