Fall protection hierarchy
The fall protection hierarchy must be used when choosing methods to eliminate or control fall hazards. The steps are listed in the order in which they should be considered.
Where fall hazards cannot be eliminated, permanent or temporary guardrails or handrails form a protective barrier around an opening or edge to prevent a fall to a lower level.
After eliminating fall hazards and installing guardrails, a fall restraint system is the next level in the fall protection hierarchy.
Fall restraint systems prevent you from falling through either travel restriction or work positioning. With travel restriction, workers are attached to a fixed-length line that prevents them from travelling to close to an opening or edge.
When it's not possible or practical to use a fall restraint system, the next line of protection is fall arrest.
A fall arrest system (including a lanyard or lifeline, a harness, and, most importantly, an anchor) protects you after a fall by stopping you from hitting the surface below
If guardrails, fall restraint, or fall arrest are not practicable, or will result in greater risk of injury, contact the Prevention Information Line to discuss alternative safe work procedures that are acceptable to WorkSafeBC.