Fall Protection: Controlled Access Zone (CAZ)

When you are working in elevated areas such as rooftops, unprotected platforms, or around pits and tanks, one option for fall prevention is to establish a Controlled Access Zone (CAZ). The CAZ is the area within six feet of the edge of the fall hazard. A CAZ protect employees not wearing fall arrest or fall restraint equipment by physically and verbally warning them when they are within 6 feet of a potential fall hazard. This system requires stanchions, control lines, high visibility markers and additional employees acting as safety monitors.

WARNING: The CAZ requires vigilance, and a dedicated designated “safety monitor”.  It is therefore not appropriate to all situations.

  • The Controlled Access Zone (CAZ) is separated from the Safe Zone by a heavy control line that restricts access to the CAZ.
  • Post Signs at the entrance of the Safe Zone warning employees or unauthorized personnel that they: (1) are entering a CAZ; (2) should stay within the visibly marked control lines (Safe Zone); and, (3) to do as they are told by the Safety Monitors.
  • Control lines must be positioned not less than 6 feet from the fall hazard and not more than 25 feet from the fall hazard.
  • Expand the CAZ during adverse conditions (e.g., rain, wind, slippery roof), or when working at an additional elevation within the “Safe Zone” (e.g., on a step ladder).
  • Make sure control lines consist of ropes, wires, or equivalent materials that have a minimum breaking strength of 200 pounds.
  • Control lines should be clearly marked every six feet with high-visibility materials. (Bright barricade tape or red flags).
  • Rig each line so it is between 39 inches and 45 inches from the working surface. Do not let them “sag”.
  • Anyone working outside the “SAFE ZONE” and inside the CAZ (within 6 feet of the leading edge or fall hazard), must wear fall restraint or fall arrest equipment.
  • Designate a person whose sole job and responsibility  is to monitor the safety of other employees in the work area and who will:
  • Watch and warn employees when it appears that they are acting in an unsafe manner; crossing the CAZ line without wearing fall protection or fall arrest protection.
  • The Safety Monitor must be able to see that the entire CAZ is clear of unprotected employees. If necessary add an additional Safety Monitor to ensure the CAZ remains clear.
  • All Employees who working at a location utilizing a Controlled Access Zone will comply with the Safety Monitors directives.

If there are repeated infractions into the CAZ, the Safety Monitor will bring the matter to the attention of the 1st AD.