What is a Fall Hazard Survey Report?

Before preparing and implementing fall protection procedures, it’s essential to perform a fall hazard survey for every workplace activity where workers are exposed to a fall hazard. Once you have identified potential fall hazards, the next step is to develop a fall hazard survey report. The point of this report is to identify methods to eliminate or control each identified hazard.

The American National Standard for Fall Protection, ANSI/ASSE Z359.2-2007, outlines what type of information a fall hazard survey report should provide and to what degree. The report should provide your fall protection program administrator with all of the following information for each specific fall hazard surveyed:

1. The Type of Hazard:

  • Trip Hazards (extension cords, air hoses, tools, equipment, etc.)
  • Falls to a Level Lower 
  • Unprotected Roof Edges
  • Roof/Floor Openings
  • Structural Steel and Leading Edges
  • Unsafe Portable Ladders

2. The Basic Design of the Hazard

  • Graphics/Drawings

3.  The Exposure Rating

  • High, Medium, or Low

4. The Job Frequency
5. The Height of the Potential Fall
6. The Suggested Corrective Solutions
7. The Type of Rescue Equipment to be Used

When multiple types of fall hazards are identified, the survey should cover them all in one comprehensive list—from highest to lowest priority. This will help to arrange solutions for each hazard type that presents the greatest risk of fall exposure and potential for injury.

Your fall hazard survey should be conducted by a competent or qualified person who is familiar with your local work processes, application and environment, policy, and best industry practices. He or she should also collect input from the workers who are most familiar with workplace activities. According to OSHA, it is the employer’s responsibility to provide appropriate resources, assistance, and personnel to complete a comprehensive survey.

Based on the list of identified hazards, the fall hazard survey should outline all current and predictable workplace paths, all fall hazards along each path, and the locations and distances to all obstructions in potential fall paths. It’s essential to document any swing fall hazards or obstructions in the potential fall path that could be impacted during side-to-side (pendular) fall motions.

The fall hazard survey report should also identify environmental factors that could possibly impact the installation, use, inspection, maintenance, and dismantling of any fall protection system. At a minimum, the report should identify the following:

  • Hot Objects: sparks, flames, and heat-producing operations
  • Chemicals hazardous to workers or the fall protection system itself
  • Electrical Hazards
  • Environmental Contaminants of Any Form
  • Sharp Objects and Abrasive Surfaces
  • Moving Equipment and Materials
  • Unstable, Uneven, and Slippery Walking/Working Surfaces
  • Unguarded Openings
  • Climatic and Weather Hazards/Factors
  • Other Materials or Circumstances (that could adversely affect the fall protection system)
  • Foreseeable Changes (in any of these conditions)

Once you have identified environmental factors, the fall hazard survey report should outline risk factors to assist in the ranking of fall hazards. When preparing the fall hazard survey report, your qualified or competent person should consider the following risk factors:

  • Reason for exposure
  • Severity of the fall
  • Frequency, duration, and occurrence of the task
  • Existing fall protection systems or equipment
  • Access to the task
  • Environmental conditions
  • Other workers
  • Proximity to the fall hazard
  • Other safety hazards (moving equipment, work process, electrical)
  • History of accidents or incidents related to the task or structure

Once the fall hazard survey report is completed, it should be given to the program administrator. Such fall hazard survey reports must be revised or re-written any time there’s a change to the task, process, structure, equipment, or legislation.

Before preparing and implementing fall protection procedures, it’s essential to perform a fall hazard survey for every workplace activity where workers are exposed to a fall hazard. Once you have identified potential fall hazards, the next step is to develop a fall hazard survey report. The point of this report is to identify methods to eliminate or control each identified hazard.


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Kristina Harman

Senior Technical Writer | Rigidlifelines.com
Kristina Harman was formerly a senior technical writer and content manager for Rigid Lifelines, a division of Spanco, Inc. Kristina has twelve years of experience in content development, technical communications, and copyediting. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in English from Towson University and a Master of Education Certification in English from Johns Hopkins University. She is a member of the Society for Technical Communication and the American Medical Writers Association.