Of a fall protection rescue plan

What do rules and regulations teach us about a fall protection rescue plan? We have taken OSHA and ANSI into the equation;


OSHA rule 1926.502 (d) (20) officially states that:
“The employer shall provide for prompt rescue of employees in the event of a fall or shall assure that employees are able to rescue themselves.”

Unfortunately ‘prompt rescue’ is not described anywhere and therefore the maximum amount of time is not defined. Because there is no exact time defined, organizations cannot be cited on that factor alone, but if negligence can be proven after an incident occurred, citations can be given.

OSHA rules and regulations
Training fall protection plan

OSHA Rescue plan

OSHA also requires employers to provide a rescue plan especially written for the worksite. This rescue plan needs to include three things;

  • Step by step response procedures for self-rescue
  • Assisted rescue procedures
  • Multi person evacuation

All three scenarios need to describe the rescue equipment that needs to be used, the place where this equipment is stored and how to use and inspect this equipment. Inspection of rescue equipment is also a very important point that needs to be taken into account.


The ANSI Z359 standards address rescue in greater detail than OSHA regulations. In ANSI Z359.2, the standard also calls for prompt rescue and encourages at least verbal contact with the fallen victim within six minutes. The standards also calls for written rescue procedures for all active fall protection systems, as well as detailed descriptions of the procedures for summoning rescue services.

More information from ANSI about specific rescue equipment and systems is stated in reference ANSI Z359.4.

Consistent Training

Besides what rules and regulations teach us, proper training is absolutely critical! If a rescue becomes a reality, workers need to know how to use the rescue equipment and how to initiate the rescue protocol.

ANSI specifications


We’ll get back to you within 1 working day