What Does Controlled Access Zone (CAZ) Mean?
A controlled access zone (CAZ) is an area of a construction site that only certain workers are authorized to access. They are, specifically, elevated areas without guardrails and other adequate fall protection systems in place.
A CAZ is only permitted for certain types of work that make typical fall protection measures impractical, such as the construction of leading edges, overhand bricklaying, and precast concrete erection work. In every other case, employers must implement fall protection measures to protect workers before any work can take place.
Safeopedia Explains Controlled Access Zone (CAZ)
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide adequate fall protection measures where a fall from a height of six feet or higher is possible. Typically, this consists of a combination of guardrails, platforms, and other modifications to the work environment along with the use of personal fall protection systems, including harnesses, lifelines, and positioning systems.
A controlled access zone is typically used when working on a leading edge. The leading edge is the edge of a roof, floor, or formwork and changes location as more sections are placed. When not actively under construction, it is considered unprotected.
Safety Requirements for CAZ
OSHA provides employers with a set of criteria for controlled access zones:
- The area must be clearly defined, with posted signage to prevent entry by unauthorized personnel
- Employees working in a CAZ must be supervised by a safety monitor
- Employees must quickly respond to any warnings or prompts by the safety monitor
- The safety monitor must not have conflicting responsbilities - they must be able to remain alert, recognize hazardous situations as they arise, and warn workers without delay
- Control lines from the leading edge must be erected at a minimum distance of 6 feet and a maximum distance of 25 feet
- Control lines must be flagged with highly visible material at intervals of not more than 6 feet
- Control lines must be able to withstand a weight of 200 pounds
- The control line must be parallel to the unprotected or leading edge and extend along its entire length
CAZ Regulations for Masonry and Bricklaying
For masonry and bricklaying, the following requirements apply:
- Control lines for the CAZ must be erected between 10 to 15 feet from the leading edge
- Control lines must create a perimeter around the entire CAZ work area
- Unauthorized employees should not be allowed inside this perimeter