Fall Protection Equipment

Update from Committee Week - April 2020

The session began with a call for a council co-chair, after which the council’s discussion focused on tool tethering when working at height. The chair gave two main reasons for tool tethering: people have died after being hit by a falling tool and many man hours are wasted in retrieving dropped tools. He noted that falling-tool incidents must be recorded with OSHA and that tool tethering is now required by many companies. ANSI is currently testing tool-tethering equipment, which is primarily rated by weight. The chair reviewed the different types of tool-tethering equipment currently available. The next agenda item was a discussion on incorporating rescue procedures and equipment into the workplace. OSHA now states that rescue should take place in less than five minutes, and the chair emphasized that the fire department is not a rescue team but a recovery team and that teams need to be prepared to rescue their own workers. The chair strongly recommended that every harness have a trauma strap and reviewed different types of trauma equipment. Council members discussed the pros and cons of providing guidelines on tool tethering and rescue procedures.

View the CW Presentation Video


The mission of the Scaffold & Access Industry Association (SAIA) Fall Protection Committee is to make a positive difference throughout the industry for both companies and the employees of those companies in their understanding, education and application of working at height issues.

Using research, guidelines, standards and regulations to recommend the best practices possible for the safety and well being of SAIA members and non-members alike.


  • Work jointly with aerial lift manufacturers and fall protection manufacturers to come to a conclusive and definitive answer as to exactly what type of connecting device is best used in an aerial work platform.

  • Continue to educate the members of the SAIA and the industry in general on the most up to date working at heights practices and regulations.

  • Continue to develop and document standard operating procedures for different working at height applications/scenarios. 


There are a number of ways to protect workers from falls, including conventional systems such as guardrail systems, safety net systems, and personal fall protection systems (fall arrest systems, positioning systems, and travel restraint systems) as well as through the use of safe work practices and training.

The use of warning lines, designated areas, control zones, and similar systems are permitted by OSHA in some situations and can provide protection by limiting the number of workers exposed and instituting safe work methods and  procedures. Whether conducting a hazard assessment or developing a comprehensive fall protection plan, thinking about fall hazards before the work begins will help to manage fall hazards and focus attention on prevention efforts.

If personal fall protection systems are used, particular attention should be given to identifying attachment points and to ensuring that employees know how to properly don, use, and inspect the equipment.

Downloads & Tools

Properly Wearing a Body Harness Video – This video demonstrates the proper way to put on and fully adjust a full body harness 

Miller Gravity Kills Video – Overview of fall protection basics, inspection practices, OSHA regs, and harnesses fit

Harness Fit – Six steps to save your life: Proper fit and adjustment of a full body harness

Fall Protection IQ Test

Fall Clearance App – This is also available for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play

FallTech Fall Protection Videos – Aggregated page of various safety videos


Rob Luckey

Matt McKernan