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One Airman or Guardian lost to a fall mishap is one too many. Since 2011, there have been 19 on and off-duty fall fatalities in the Department of the Air Force. We encourage you to take steps year-round to integrate fall prevention and awareness efforts in your work areas and at home.
Fall Prevention is something we can all participate in every day whether we are at work or at home!
The Department of the Air Force and Occupational Safety and Health Administration partner in the National Safety Stand-Down to highlight reducing slips, trips and falls. We encourage Airmen and Guardians to find and correct fall prevention issues whether they are at work or at home.
Check equipment or look for hazards
1. Check your equipment – Are there any recalls for your harnesses? Check here. Are your ladders and step stools safe?
2. Review your fall prevention program – Is your program in compliance with DAFMAN 91-203?
3. Ensure understanding – Have you spoken with your family members about fall prevention? Are they aware of everyday household slips, trips and falls? Do they know how to inspect or use a ladder or step stool properly?
If you need help, use the resources on this page and from our Occupational Safety SharePoint. You can choose from videos, graphs, statistical analysis, materials from past Fall Prevention Focuses, resources by topic, downloadable material, and resource submissions.
Click for a list of fall prevention gear recalls. NOTE: List is not exhaustive - check your PPE manufacturer for possible recalls
AFI 91-203, Air Force Consolidated Occupational Safety Instruction and OSHA Standard 1910, General Industry and OSHA Standard 1926, Construction.
Your supervisor needs to perform an in-depth risk assessment. 29 CFR 1910.28, Duty to have fall protection and falling object protection, and AFI 91-203, chapter 13 require fall protection/prevention for the following:
a. Walking-working surface with an unprotected side or edge that is 4 feet (1.2m) or more above a lower level
b. Less than 4 feet above dangerous equipment that is not protected
c. 4 feet or more above dangerous equipment must be protected from falling
d. Any hole (including skylights) that is 4 feet or more above a lower level
Most people will receive fall protection training as part of their initial job safety training. However, your supervisor must ensure you are trained IAW AFI 91-203, chapter 13 prior to performing work in a location where specified fall protection procedures or equipment is needed, such as working from heights above four feet.
For most workers it is not. However, for anyone who uses a Personal Fall Arrest System, AFI 91-203 states, "Recurring training shall be conducted annually, when work conditions change or new fall arrest systems are used, and documented on AF Form 623, Individual Training Record Folder, AF IMT 55, Employee Safety and Health Record, or civilian equivalent, IAW AFI 91-202."
It depends. If you perform work on a small ladder and are exposed to a fall due to any of the following:
- Walking-working surface with an unprotected side or edge that is 4 feet (1.2m) or more above a lower level
- Less than 4 feet above dangerous equipment that is not protected
- 4 feet or more above dangerous equipment must be protected from falling
- Any hole (including skylights) that is 4 feet or more above a lower level
If the small ladder is only used in an environment where the only hazard is falling from the ladder, then you do not need fall protection; however, ladder training is required regardless of the working height.
NSC Slips Trips & Falls
NIOSH Ladder Safety App
OSHA Safety with Scissor Lifts
OSHA eTools on Scaffolds
CDC Falls in the Workplace
OSHA Stairways & Ladders
OSHA e-Tools Ladder Safety
Pennsylvania Dept of Labor
CDC STEADI - Older Adult Fall Prevention