Know the Standards: OSHA Fall Protection Compliance

Most informed industry professionals are aware that OSHA has emphasized the importance of awareness and compliance to fall protection safety standards that are designed to reduce injury risk and fatalities from falls from heights.  What may be less clear to business owners in both construction and general industry is OSHA’s dedication to proactively prosecute violations to the letter of the law.  Several recent examples of OSHA’s commitment to fall protection injury prevention have shed light on risk areas for small business owners to be aware of.

OSHA Fall Protection Policy Enforcement

In February this year, OSHA drafted and delivered a warning to the communication tower industry of the increasing fatality rate in that industry, it’s relationship to fall protection, and how strictly OSHA will be enforcing fall protection standards as a result.  Another example of OSHA’s firmness on fall protection is in their willingness to prosecute compliance gaps even when a business has taken significant precautions to protect employees.  OSHA attempted to prosecute Ryder Transportation Services for an injury to a subcontractor at their site for a fall fatality through a roof skylight that was safely inaccessible to employees.

OSHA Fall Protection Standards

The most important point for concerned business owners in light of OSHA’s increased emphasis on fall protection compliance is their strictness and strategy for standard enforcement.  OSHA may potentially cite your business not only for injuries resulting from a failure to provide fall protection, but also in cases where the business did not conduct an appropriate hazard assessment, even at seemingly low-risk heights of 4′. This result is effectively a double whammy effect for a single employee fall incident.

As a result, while it’s important to provide proper fall protection, it’s even more critical to conduct and document the proper precautionary procedures for any potential risk area, to save money and administrative battles in the case that a fall injury does occur.  Here’s a brief summary of OSHA’s fall protection standards policy, with this in mind.  Of course, anyone subject to OSHA violations should fully research the topic on their own with OSHA or a certified compliance consultant.

Construction Industry Fall Protection Compliance

Found in Section 1926.501, these can generally be summed up to require businesses to provide fall protection (guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems) on walking or working surfaces with an ‘unprotected side or edge which is six feet or more above the lower‘.

General Industry Fall Protection Compliance

General industry standards are also stringent, with Section 1910.23 stated to include ‘every wall opening from which there is a drop of more than four feet‘, with that also applying to open-side floor or platforms.  This requirement stipulates that risk areas be guarded by a standard railing or other means of fall protection.

And remember, the typical fall protection standards citations could be coupled with a citation for Section 1910.132 for failing to conduct a hazard assessment.

Fall Protect Your Business for Compliance

The application of these OSHA standards and enforcement policy strategies can thus be applied to a variety of settings, ranging from loading docks and flatbed truck beds to onsite or offsite machinery and equipment.  Business owner/operators should be aware that even for fall hazards of 4′ or less, a hazard assessment must be conducted and fall protection compliance equipment provided.

Trucker® & IAS Custom Access Fall Protection Products

Of course, we at Innovative Access Solutions are well-prepared to help with your flatbed truck and loading dock fall protection, starting with safety engineered Trucker trailer access ladders and working platforms.  In addition, IAS has a great deal of experience providing custom fall protection access equipment to machinery/equipment and multi-level walking or working surfaces at manufacturing facilities, dockyards, construction and mining sites, and public/retail settings.

To learn how IAS can design a fall protection access solution for your business, call our engineering team at (800) 388-6884 or submit our Contact form on

Celebrating 15 Years of The Trucker® (…and Still Trucking!)

In 2014 Innovative Access Solutions (IAS®) is excited to celebrate 15 years of The Trucker® Series, made possible by a focus on safety and customer relationships. We would like to thank our loyal customer base for helping us achieve the goal of making The Trucker® an established and respected name in fall protection safety, and we invite you to contact the IAS® sales team to learn more.


The Trucker® Trailer Access

The Trucker® Series through the Years

September 1999
— The Trucker I 6900 flatbed trailer ladder introduced

2004: The original Cast Aluminum mounting hooks changed to CNC Billet Aluminum, an ‘unbreakable’ hook that added durability and improved safety to The Trucker I

2007: Roll Tarp Trucker was introduced, designed to provide access to Tarp Trailers

2007-2009: With the brand strengthened as a result of the ‘unbreakable’ mounting hooks and having developed several strong relationships with large established businesses, Trucker® began to take off.  Drop Deck Trucker was introduced and the four step ECO Trucker was developed and ANSI rated @ 375 lbs.

2010: The 4 Step Trucker ladder was created for access to crane trucks and taller trailers

2011: As The Trucker® grew, Storage and Mounting Options were developed

  • Ladder Storage Racks were developed in Upright and Shelf variations
  • The Utility Trucker was introduced as a mounted ladder option that pivots up 180⁰
  • A Steel Mounting Bracket was developed for mounting ladders without pockets

2011-2012: Mobile Flatbed Work Platforms with Safety Rails were engineered as a custom product request and became a standard product in use at several Construction, Transportation, and Manufacturing companies

  • October 2011: The 4’ Platform designed and ANSI rated at 3-Man (3000 lb.)
  • August 2012: 8’ Work Platform designed and ANSI rated at 3-Man (3000 lb.)

2013: All Trucker Series ladders were ANSI rated at 375 lbs. Type IAA Special Duty, the highest available Extra Heavy Duty rating for specialty ladders

2014: This year The Trucker® Series was granted an official trademark, new products are in development, and we are looking forward to 15 more years and beyond!

Today The Trucker® Series of ladders, storage racks and work platforms is capable of equipping most any truck fleet or stationary truck with fall protection equipment that is convenient, versatile and durable. This growth is in large part a result of relationships with customers that were willing to share their workplace access safety goals.

Celebrate with the 15 Years of Trucker® Promotion

Part of the power of customer relationships comes from a willingness to share the wealth and spread the word.  With that in mind, we are offering a 15% Discount off a single Trucker® Ladder or Storage Rack.  Simply apply the following Coupon Code prior to September 30, 2014 to join our celebration and save.

Apply COUPON CODE: 15YEARS at The Trucker® Online Store

ASSE Safety Conference 2014, June 8th-11th in Orlando, FL

The ASSE Safety Conference 2014 is set to kick off Sunday, June 8th at the Orange County Convention Center (West Building) in Orlando, Florida. The annual event features a complete set of seminars, roundtables, and events that only an organization such as ASSE can offer.  The conference schedule is packed with opportunities for industry members, students, executives and other interested parties to learn, network, and enjoy a weekend in sunny Florida. Scheduled sessions are categorized based on experience level to help attendees target events that best suit their skill level and knowledge.

Safety 2014 Conference Events & Seminars

Pre-Conference Safety Training Seminars for ASSE Safety Conference 2014 began on June 5th and continue through Sunday June 8th for those arriving early . Group Meetings for industry members occur in the early evening on Sunday and Monday to provide the opportunity to network and collaborate.  The events end on Wednesday June 11th, with the morning highlight being an Executive Summit at 9:15 AM.  Events are structured for a variety of personalities, including a Golf Outing on Sunday, NightOut at WonderWorks, WISE (Women in Safety Engineering) Retreat, and daily Wellness Walks.

ASSE Safety Conference 2014 Trip Planning

We encourage attendees to download the Safety 2014 App to plan your agenda, view maps and guides, take notes, and more.  Prospective attendees can register online and plan lodging and shuttles at the Safety 2014 website.  Registration fees include group discounts, member/non-member rates, and rates for attending only a portion of the event.  The ASSE Safety Conference 2014 customer service line is (847) 699-2929 and will be available until 5 PM Friday for last minute questions.  The Safety 2014 site also provides a convenient FAQ sitemap with answers and links to any foreseeable topic.

Visit IAS at Safety 2014 Booth #532

Visit IAS at ASSE Safety Conference 2014 at Booth #532IAS will be attending the ASSE Safety Conference 2014 and exhibiting The Trucker Series of Ladders.  Products available for exhibit will include Trucker LaddersWork Platforms, and Ladder Storage Racks.  We will have multiple representatives available to provide specifications and other details.  Our Custom Product Development manager will also be on hand to discuss any safety access needs you may have.  We hope to see you there!

Mid-America Trucking Show, March 27th – 29th in Louisville

The 2014 Mid-America Trucking Show is set to kick off March 27th – March 29th at the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center in Louisville, KY.  The MATS show is the ‘largest annual heavy-duty trucking event in the world’, providing over 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space and exceeding 80,000 attendees.

For more information about the event , visit the MATS Trade Show website and stay up to date on Twitter or Facebook.  Already attending? Be sure to download the MATS Trade Show App on your mobile device and preview the Directory and Buyers Guide.

Important Information & Show Highlights

  • Get TicketsAttendees can register online for a $10 fee to expedite the entry process.  Tickets will also be available at the door. Each registration will allow one badge to be printed on-site; the badge is good for all three days of the show.
  • Register to Attend the Fleet Forum – The Fleet Forum will be held on March 26th.  Registration is still available.  Fleet Forum is a conference for executives and VIPs and will ‘provide an in-depth look at the future of equipment and trucking’.
  • Show Hours
    • Thursday 3/27: VIP Session: 10AM – 1PM | General Admission: 1PM – 6PM
    • Friday 3/28: General Admission: 10AM – 6PM
    • Saturday 3/29: General Admission: 9AM – 4PM
  • Truck Beauty Championship – The 25th annual PKY Truck Beauty Championship ‘celebrates North America’s heavy-duty, working show trucks’. Trucks will be on display in Lot J behind the West Wing with the award ceremony on Saturday March 29 at 10AM in South Wing conference rooms B101 – B103.
  • Listen to the Music – Gretchen Wilson and Chris Hennessee will be performing onsite at Freedom Hall on Friday, March 28 at 7PM. Complimentary tickets will be available at the Mobil Delvac Booth #18160 in the North Wing.

Visit Innovative Access Solutions, LLC

Innovative Access Solutions will be attending the MATS Trucking Show and exhibiting at Booth #16133 in the North Wing.  The IAS booth will be set up to exhibit The Trucker™ Series of Ladders.  Products available for exhibit will include The Trucker Series of Ladders, Flatbed Work Platforms, and Ladder Storage Racks.  We will have multiple representatives available to provide specifications and other details.  See you there!

Fall Protection PPE Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) covers a wide range of industries and safety objectives, from law enforcement to sports, industrial settings, contractors and even casual retail environments.  The various functions of PPE are designed to protect hazards in support of work safety policies and controls.  These can range from bodily injury, exposure to environmental threats, breathing mechanisms, and much more.

With OSHA having a renewed focus on Fall Protection and having imposed new rules for Fall Protection PPE, businesses in a range of industries are investing heavily in fall protection equipment.  Consider the following review of Fall Protection PPE equipment and how it can help to reduce injuries at your workplace.

Personal Protective Equipment Options for Workplace Fall Protection Safety

Personal Protective Equipment is required by OSHA when positive fall protection such as guardrails, access platforms, gangways, catwalks, and stairways are unavailable.

When guardrails and other positive fall protection are not available to protect from falls, workers must use personal fall protection systems (such as harnesses, lanyards, lifelines). [29 CFR 1910.6729 CFR 1915.7129 CFR 1915.73, and 29 CFR 1915.77]

Harnesses & Lanyards

Harnesses and lanyards are considered personal protective equipment since each individual worker must be fitted with the equipment for fall protection safety, as opposed to an all encompassing solution.  A lanyard is the rope or other length of connection between a single point anchor source and a safety harness, worn by an employee.  Snap hooks, D-rings and caribiners are utilized to ensure a safe connection.  Anchors must be secured and can be affixed to a variety of stable structures.  The complete fall protection system must be able to adequately support the weight of the employee.  Fall protection PPE systems are typically categorized as a fall restraint system, which prevents falls similar to a car seat belt, and a fall arrest system, which catches a falling worker prior to contact with the ground or other solid structure.

Fall Restraint Systems

The advantage of fall restraint systems is the prevention of the need to absorb the shock and otherwise prevent further injury in the event of a fall.  Further, in cases where the environment requires rescue efforts in the case of a fall, a fall arrest system is preferred.  Generally speaking, fall arrest systems are more safe and less expensive, while more limiting and often less efficient in a workplace.

Fall Arrest Systems

Fall arrest systems often require shock absorbing lanyards and must be carefully considered to avoid further injuring the employee when a fall occurs.  These systems are often used in work environments such as roofing, construction, and shipyards.  In these work environments, a fall is more permissible compared to a mining operation or manufacturing plant with heavy machinery.

Horizontal and Vertical Lifelines

Lifelines are a broad range of fall protection equipment that can be applied for horizontal applications such as roofs or ship decks, as well as vertical applications such as enclosed spaces or ladder systems.  As opposed to a single point anchor, lifelines provide more freedom of movement as they are typically connected to a cable, pipe, or other continuous structure.  Horizontal systems can be designed to provide ultimate movement flexibility via pass through systems, overhead connections, and other similarly unobtrusive mechanisms.  Vertical lifelines can be track based or climb assist systems on ladders at heights, or pulley operated systems for confined spaces and similar applications.  In each case, lifelines generally differ from harness and lanyard systems in so much that they are less mobile and more of a direct method for cases where fall protection risk is consistent and eminent.

The Trucker™ Series of Ladders Rated as ANSI Type IAA

The Trucker™ Series of ladders was recently tested and passed ANSI Type IAA Special Duty performance requirements.  ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standard A14.7-2007 applies to portable metal ladders and provides duty ratings from 200 to 375 pound capacity.  Type IAA is the maximum 375 lb. duty rating, described as an Extra Heavy Duty Industrial Ladder.

The Trucker™ Series of ladders are safety engineered to reduce fall injuries and improve efficiency when accessing truck trailer decks.  The Trucker ladders provide dimpled Wide Grip Strut® plank steps, feature handrails that extend above the deck to provide 3 points of contact, and are engineered with a diagonal stairway design for ease of access.  The ladders meet and exceed the general requirements provided by OSHA for ladder safety:

When there is a break in elevation of 19 inches(48 cm) or more and no ramp, runway, embankment or personnel hoist is available, employers must provide a stairway or ladder at all worker points of access.
Source: Stairways & Ladders: A Guide to OSHA Rules



ANSI A14.7-2007 Testing Procedures

The Trucker™ ladders underwent tests far exceeding the duty rating, passing test loads in excess of 1200 lbs. to meet the requirements of the 375 pound special duty rating.  Tests included In-Use Inclined Load Test, Step / Rung Bending Strength Tests, Side-to-Side-Rail Shear Strength Tests, Rung Torque Tests, and Handrail Tests.  With a durable design including CNC billet mounting hooks and extruded aluminum frame, The Trucker Series of Ladders offer the durability to provide mobile safety for truck fleets, stationary trailers, or individual truck drivers when accessing the trailer deck.


The Trucker Series of Ladders

The Trucker™ Series of Ladders

The Trucker™ ladders are designed to mount to a variety of flatbed trailers including drop deck, roll tarp, curtain side, and more.  The Trucker Series of ladders feature plank steps and a pivoting bottom step, and fold up compactly for storage and mobility.  Additional ANSI rated Trucker ladders include a shorter two step ladder and longer four step ladder, originally designed for crane trucks.  Mounting options include the standard CNC mounting hooks, for mounting throughout the stake rack, or steel brackets for more permanent ladder placement.

The Safety & Numbers blog is pleased to highlight The Trucker™ Series of ladders as a valuable equipment investment for businesses to improve work safety.  Trucker ladders provide features designed for the mobile truck driver or service fleet.  In addition to the compact design, lockable storage racks and accompanying flatbed work platforms can provide safety on and off the work site.