Fall Protection Hole Covers (LC7170)

Fall Protection Hole Covers (LC7170)
LOSS CONTROL SERVICES
Fall protection: Hole covers
Roofing operations, steel erection and other activities that require you to have a personal fall protection
system may not be the only places where you’d need it. Holes occur during the construction process
of any building. All employees must be protected: from tripping, stepping, falling or objects dropping
through holes from holes on walking/working surfaces. (1926.501(h)).
According to OSHA regulations, 1926.502(i): Covers for holes in floors, roofs, and other walking/working
surfaces shall meet the following requirements
nMust
withstand at least twice the maximum load expected to
cross over the covver at any one time. This includes vehicle
traffic, equipment, employees and materials.
nSecure in place when installed.
nColor-code or mark with the word hole or cover to warn of
the hazard.
HOLES OR OPENINGS
Hole covers should be applied as soon as the hole is cut. Examples
of openings or holes that may occur at a job site include, but are not
limited to:
nElevator
shafts
nCut outs for plumbing, electrical, heating ventilation and air conditioning
nRoof hatchways
n Skylights, and
nLadder/stairwell openings
WHAT SIZE HOLE SHOULD BE COVERED?
In general, it is a good practice to cover all holes and mark them accordingly. As a rule of thumb, any
hole larger than 2 inches in diameter should be covered and protected. If you step incorrectly in a 2-inch
diameter hole, you could sustain an injury from twisting your ankle or slipping and falling
PROTECTION THROUGH HOLE COVERS
Hole covers provide two forms of protection if they are structurally sound and fixed in position:
n
Prevent workers, equipment and materials from falling through the hole.
workers and equipment from being injured or damaged from falling objects
n
Prevent
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LC7170-0315
If holes are too large for plywood or other materials to
sustain the rule of twice the foreseeable load, then the
following fall prevention systems should be incorporated:
nGuardrails
nNetting
over the hole
fall protection systems to keep employees
away from the opening (This does not prevent
debris, tools, etc., from falling through the hole and
potentially injuring others.)
nPersonal
REMOVING HOLE COVERS
Employees have sustained serious injuries and even fatalities, stepping into or falling through a hole after
the hole cover has been removed. When taking off a hole cover that is large enough for a person to fall
through, including skylight holes and ladder hatches, personal fall protection equipment should be in
place (1926.502(d)). This situation can become a leading-edge exposure if the fall potential is greater
than 6 feet (1926.501(b)(2)). Whenever a hole cover is removed, the equipment or device that fits over or
through the hole should be installed and secured immediately.
References
OSHA 1926.501 : Duty to have fall protection
OSHA 1926.502: Fall protection systems criteria and practices
OSHA 1926.502(i) Covers.
The information contained in this service bulletin was obtained from reliable sources.
However, United Fire Group accepts no legal responsibility for the correctness or completeness of this information.
LC7170-0315
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