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An overview of Subdivision M
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About Subdivision M

Subdivision M, which covers Oregon OSHA’s fall protection requirements for the construction industry, has four parts:

• Scope, application, and definitions: 1926.500

• Duty to have fall protection: 437-003-1501

• Fall protection systems, criteria, and practices:
1926.502, 437-003-0502, 437-003-1502, and 437-003-2502.

• Training requirements: 437-003-0503

Also included in Subdivision M are four non-mandatory appendices:

• Guidelines for complying with safety-monitoring systems for roofing work: Appendix A

• Guidelines for complying with guardrail systems: Appendix B

• Guidelines for complying with personal fall-arrest systems: Appendix C

• Guidelines for complying with positioning-device systems: Appendix D

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Scope, application, and definitions

Covered in 1926.500 are the scope and limitations of Subdivision M rules and the definitions of key words.

  • Subdivision M’s requirements do not apply to workers who
    inspect, investigate, or assess workplace conditions before
    construction work begins or after all construction work has been completed.

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Duty to have fall protection

The requirements in 437-003-1501(1), establishes the general fall protection requirement for workers who walk or work at
heights of six feet or higher when performing construction activities.

  • The general fall-protection requirement is 10 feet. When workers are exposed to a hazard that could cause them
    to fall 10 feet or more, they must be protected by a fall-protection system described in 1926.502, Fall-protection systems criteria and practices.

  • The exception to the general requirement is six feet. In some cases, workers must be protected from falls if they are working at heights of six feet or more. Table 10 describes the exceptions.

Fall protection requirements not covered in Subdivision M. Subdivision M does not cover fall protection requirements
for the activities shown in Table 10.

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Fall-protection systems, criteria, and practices

The requirements in 1926.502, 437-003-0502, 437-003-1502, and 437-003-2502, Fall protection systems criteria and
practices, cover installing, constructing, and using the following:

• Guardrail systems: 1926.502(b)

• Safety-net systems: 1926.502(c)

• Personal fall-arrest systems: 1926.502(d)

• Personal fall-restraint systems: 437-003-0502

• Positioning-device systems: 1926.502(e)

• Warning-line systems for roofing work: 437-003-1502 and 1926.502(f)

• Safety-monitoring systems for roofing work: 437-003-2502

• Slide-guard systems: 437-003-3502

• Covers for holes in walking/working surfaces: 1926.502(i)

• Protection from falling objects: 1926.502(j)

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Training requirements

The requirements in 437-003-0503, cover workers who may be exposed to fall hazards.

Training program. Workers must be trained to recognize fall hazards and to know procedures that minimize the hazards.
Workers must be trained before they begin tasks that could expose them to fall hazards or before they use fall protection
systems. The trainer must be a competent person who understands the fall hazards and can explain to the workers how to protect themselves.

Certification of training. Each employee’s name, training date, and the trainer’s signature must be documented in the training record.

Retraining. Employees must be retrained when they don’t recognize fall hazards, when they don’t follow safe practices for
using fall protection systems, and when changes in the workplace or in the fall protection systems used make their previous training obsolete.

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