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OSHA Addresses Tarping And Fall Protection


OSHA advises drivers to protect themselves from falling in the event that they would have to adjust, tarp, or remove tarp from a load.

In order to protect oneself, drivers could utilize a beam and trolley system, an automated tarping system, horizontal lifeline systems, access platforms, or personal fall-arrest/restraint gear. The driver’s employer is responsible for providing appropriate fall protection.

OSHA also advises that it’s best to use systems that keep the driver off of the truck – eliminating the chances of a fall altogether.

In the event that a driver is working at a host employer’s facility, the fixed-site employer is responsible for providing fall-protection for drivers on-site, and those untarping, or tarping loads.


If fall protection systems are not readily accessible – such as when a driver is on the road, OSHA urges that worker use safe practices.

  • If you’re working 10 feet or more above the lower level, you’ll want to use a fall-protection system.
  • You’ll also want to utilize a fall-protection system if you’re working above dangerous equipment.

Safe Practices

  • Use a ladder to get on top of the load.
  • Wear non-skid shoes.
  • Do not lift with your back.
  • Watch out for gaps and cracks on the top of the load to prevent tripping.
  • Remain close to the load’s centerline while unrolling a tarp.
  • Be sure that the tarp meets the deck if tie-downs are worn or damaged.
  • Properly roll tarps to make them easier to handle.
  • Pull into a safe area (not on the side of the road).
  • Unroll the tarp from the end of the load, so that you can push the tarp forward.
  • Have a forklift operator load the tarps.


OSHA Fact Sheet | Tarping & Fall Protection


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