Due to the obvious danger of falling off an unprotected roof edge, fall hazards associated with roof access and maintenance are not typically ignored. After addressing these roof-related hazards, many safety professionals believe that all fall hazards are addressed, and they close the books on their fall protection program. However, workers are likely to be exposed to many other fall hazards while performing routine maintenance inside and around facilities. Furthermore, many of these less obvious hazards may present even greater risk to workers than hazards on the roof.
At the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), safety professionals realized that these hazards had been largely overlooked in the creation of their fall protection safety policy. In an effort to bring the agency closer to meeting its zero-injury goal, the safety professionals initiated a project to specifically identify fall hazards found inside their facilities. This paper explains a method for effective fall hazard identification and risk assessment that goes beyond the obvious hazards. A case study illustrates how the AOC approached the task of identifying and prioritizing fall hazards inside their facilities, which resulted in increased safety for its employees.