The Importance Of Fall Protection For Floor Holes

by | Nov 16, 2022

Fall protection is essential in any work setting but is especially important in construction sites. Floor holes represent a significant fall hazard and can cause serious injuries. Therefore, you must adequately cover floor holes to prevent falls. If you want to learn more about floor hole covers, read on.

According To OSHA, What Is Considered A Hole?

OSHA classifies any gap larger than 2 inches across on any walking/working surface as a floor hole. Holes, cracks, or depressions in the ground as little as 2 inches broad can still be hazardous to trip over.

Walking/working surfaces can be horizontal or vertical; they might take the form of:

  • Floors
  • Roofs
  • Ramps
  • Bridges
  • Concrete reinforcing steel, or any other surface on which employees walk or work, as part of their job responsibilities.

Hole Types

OSHA categorizes floor holes into 2 main types:

  1. Holes more than 6 feet deep. These require protection by fall arrest systems, guardrails, or covers.
  2. Holes less than 6 feet deep. These will require employees to be protected from tripping or stepping into the holes by placing covers over them.

Examples of floor holes are:

  • Missing Floor Boards
  • Roof and Floor Drains
  • Chipped or Broken Concrete
  • Precast Concrete Openings
  • Sunken Gravel or Dirt
  • Fully Enclosed Ladder
  • Elevator Shafts
  • Skylights
  • Drilled Pier Holes

How To Deal With Holes

When you’re not using a hole, always remember to put a cover over it or else use a guardrail system around all the unprotected sides. This is important because people could trip and fall without protection.

The floor hole cover should be sturdy and long-lasting enough to support at least twice the weight of workers, equipment, and materials they may put on it at any time. If protective covers aren’t installed or available for floor holes identified during construction, notify appropriate personnel immediately to address the problem.

Skylights require fall arrest systems, guardrails, or covers to prevent lower-level falls. If adequate fall protection is not in place, don’t work near skylights.

What You Shouldn’t Use

Be cautious when closing a floor hole. Don’t use paper, cardboard, a tarp, or a soft covering to fill it in. Immediately plug any new floor holes. If you are required to work near or over any uncovered opening more than 6 feet above a lower level, always use a personal fall arrest system (PFAS).

Get The Most Reliable Concrete Hole Covers In The Industry

At The Hole Solution, we provide the most resistant and OSHA-approved concrete hole covers. We’re the leading manufacturer of concrete hole covers nationwide. We can help ensure your job site is safe and compliant with OSHA standards. Contact us today to learn more about our products!