NIOSH ALERT – Preventing Falls of Workers



WARNING! Fatal Falls and serious injuries may result from inadequate guarding and fall protection for work around skylights and roof and floor openings.

WORKERS should take the following steps to protect themselves from falls through skylights and roof and floor openings:
• Never sit on, lean against, or step on a skylight or any covering placed over a hole in a roof or floor. The material may not support your weight.
• Guard or securely cover all holes you have created or uncovered before you leave the work area. Other workers might not notice an uncovered hole and fall through.
• Ask your supervisor for safety procedures to follow when covering or guarding a hole.
• Obtain fall protection information form your employer or from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) office (call 1-800-321-6742 or visit
• Always use a personal fall arrest system that includes a full-body harness, lanyard, connectors and appropriate anchorage points when working over an unguarded or uncovered opening more than 6 feet above a lower level- for example, while you are installing a skylight or ventilation unit in an opening that cannot be guarder or covered.
• If you use a PFAS, inspect it daily and report any damage or deficiencies to your supervisor. Tie off only to those anchorage points that your employer has identified as safe.
• Immediately tell your supervisor about any unguarded skylights, roof or floor openings, or other fall hazards in your workplace.
• Participate in all safety and health training programs offered by your employer.
• Ask your employer for instructions if you do not know how to perform your job safely.
• If you are under the age of 16, do not perform any type of construction work; if you are under the age of 18, do not perform any roofing work (including repair work) in any nonagricultural work setting. Note that certain exemptions exist for student learners and apprentices. For more information about Federal child labor laws, bvisit; or call 1-866-4-USADOL. For links to State labor offices, visit or; or call 1-888-4-US-WAGE.

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