Modified Guidance on AWP Fall Protection

Words: Dan Kamys

OSHA has rescinded its January 2009 letter of interpretation #20070823-7896 on the use of shock-absorbing lanyards in aerial work platforms (AWPs). The 2009 letter of interpretation had created uncertainty in the industry by suggesting that a manufacturer’s requirement for a minimum anchorage point elevation of 18.5 feet would prevent the use of a fall protection system (six-foot lanyard with shock absorber, full-body harness) in an aerial lift. This question was put previously to OSHA, due to concerns that at times the distance between the platform and the ground would be less than 18.5 feet.

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) continues to stand behind its 2007 technical guidance H1, which provides clear and simple recommendations for personal fall protection (PFP) in AWPs. Technical guidance H1 is available in the “Publications” section of www.ipaf.org.

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