Elevated Work / Walking-Working Surfaces

Review the Elevated Work Program concerning the protection of employees working with lifting machinery and in elevated areas. 

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (University), through the Division of Safety and Compliance, Occupational Safety and Health Department (OSH), has established this Elevated Work Program to protect the health of university students, faculty and staff and to assure compliance with State and Federal occupational safety and health standards.

This Program provides the minimum requirements for unit-specific elevated work procedures. It is expected that campus units will utilize this Elevated Work Program to develop unit-specific standard operating procedures (SOP).

Occupational Safety and Health (OSH)

OSH is responsible for the administration of this Program, which includes general awareness training, assisting in the identification of fall hazards, and assisting in the selection of appropriate fall protection systems. OSH maintains copies of all records for services provided by OSH pertaining to this Program. An OSH Program Coordinator is designated to provide guidance, regulatory interpretation, and oversight for this Program and to review this Program annually. 

Deans, Department Heads, and Directors (Campus Units)
Campus Units shall designate a Responsible Person that will be charged with implementing this Program and unit-specific SOPs. Campus unit shall provide the resources necessary to implement this Program and unit-specific SOPs.

Campus Unit Responsible Person (Competent Person)
The Campus Unit Responsible Person shall complete fall protection competent person training and work with OSH to identify fall hazards in their Campus Unit. The Responsible Person shall identify other individuals within the unit to serve as competent persons, as needed, and ensure they receive appropriate training. The Responsible Person shall work with Campus Unit Supervisors to identify personnel that may be exposed to fall hazards and ensure that all personnel within their unit affected by this Program receive proper training. The Responsible Person shall ensure that unit-specific SOPs are reviewed annually.

Supervisors of Affected Employees (Supervisors)
Supervisors and Principle Investigators (PIs) are responsible for enforcing proper work practices and use of fall protection equipment under their responsible charge in accordance with this Program and unit-specific SOPs. They shall assist in the development and annual review of unit-specific SOPs. They shall ensure that all their personnel who may be exposed to fall hazards receive training appropriate to the fall hazards to which they are exposed. They shall furnish appropriate fall protection equipment and devices for their employees exposed to fall hazards.

Employees shall follow the requirements of this Program, unit-specific SOPs, and training. They shall not perform work at height for which they have not been trained. They shall identify fall hazards prior to beginning work and implement controls to protect from falls. Hazards that the employee cannot control shall be reported to their supervisor.


Working at height is defined as work on a surface that has an unprotected side, edge, etc. four feet or more above an adjacent lower level; when working from aerial lifts or other elevated work platforms; and when working above dangerous equipment. All employees will be protected from falling when working at height.

Fall hazards will be evaluated by a Campus Unit fall protection competent person with assistance from the Campus Unit Responsible Person and the OSH Program Coordinator upon request to determine the best method to protect the employee. When selecting what type of fall protection to use, the fall protection competent person will consider the hierarchy of hazard controls, which organizes risk control techniques from most- to least-effective.

Program Evaluation
This Program will be reviewed annually by OSH. The written Unit-Specific SOPs shall be reviewed and updated by the respective Campus Unit at least annually and more frequently as hazards, tasks, procedures and/or equipment change.

Appendix A - Unit-Specific Standard Operating Procedures
Appendix B - Ladders
Appendix C - Scaffolding
Appendix D - Fall Hazard Evaluation
Appendix E - Fall Protection Plan
Appendix F - Elevated Work Equipment Inspections Sheets
Appendix G - Definitions
Appendix H - Program Audit Checklist

Useful Resources:
OSHA 1910 Subpart D Walking-Working Surfaces Standards
OSHA 1910 Subpart F Powered Platforms, Manlifts, and Vehicle-Mounted Work Platforms Standards
OSHA 1910.140 Personal Fall Protection Standards
OSHA 1926 Subpart L Scaffolds Standards
OSHA 1926 Subpart M Fall Protection Standards
OSHA 1926 Subpart X Stairways and Ladders Standards