OSHA

OSHA Issues Final Rule on Walking – Working Surfaces – What you Need to Know

Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its final rule on its policies regarding slip, trip and fall hazards for walking and working surfaces. The final rule is a revision of policies that were addressed by OSHA in 1990, 2003, and 2010. However, this final rule (over 500 pages in length) covers a variety of issues and circumstances involving slip, trip and fall hazards. This article will provide specific details on the new rule. If you have additional questions about this or other OSHA policies, contact the OSHA defense attorneys at Trent Cotney P.A.

The final rule on walking-working surfaces is designed to protect workers across a number of job types, including painters, window washers, and warehouse workers, among many others. OSHA has already put similar rules in place in the construction industry. OSHA anticipates that the policy changes made in the final rule will prevent 29 deaths and 5,842 lost-workday injuries per year.

The final rule focuses on a number of areas, including:

  • Requirements for fall protection systems
  • Provisions for ladders and rope descent systems
  • Rules for employee training for fall protections systems

New Policy For Fall Protection Systems

With the final rule, OSHA now allows companies to select the fall protection device that is most suitable for the type of work that’s being done. Previously, the OSHA standard was to require the use of guardrails. Some of the choices include, ladder safety systems, personal fall arrest, and travel restraint and work position systems. Also, employers will be required to train workers on fall protection devices.

Rules for Ladder Safety

OSHA requires that all ladders be capable of supporting their maximum intended load. Portal ladders must have slip resistant steps or rungs. Portable ladders on slippery surfaces must be stabilized and not moved or adjusted while a worker is on it. The top steps or caps of stepladders must not be used as steps. Ladders may not be fastened together to create a longer ladder. To ensure that your company is compliant with all ladder safety rules, it’s advisable to talk to an OSHA defense attorney.

Rules for Rope Descent Systems

OSHA codified a previous memorandum that permitted the use of rope descent systems. They added a requirement that these systems must have a 300-foot height limit for their use.

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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