OSHA Publishes New Rule Regarding Slip, Trip and Fall Protection
OSHA recently published a final rule to update the standards regarding walking-working surfaces, as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) meant to protect employees from slip, trip and fall hazards. According to the agency, the final rule is meant to increase consistency between the general and construction industries’ fall protection standards, and will allow employers to choose the system that works best for their workplaces.
The final rule applies to all general industry workplaces and covers all walking-working surfaces—any horizontal or vertical surface on or through which an employee walks, works or gains access to a workplace location. The new standards for these surfaces address the following topics:
- Surface conditions and housekeeping
- Application of loads
- Access to and egress
- Inspection, maintenance and repair
- Additionally, the final rule also indicates that employers must ensure that employees have fall and falling object protection in certain areas and during certain operations or activities.
- Employers will be required to train employees about the requirements of the new rule. And, while the training employers provide to their employees is not required to be site-specific, it does need to address the hazards to which employees may be exposed at their workplace.
- The final rule becomes effective on Jan. 17, 2017, although OSHA will allow additional time for employers to comply with some standards. For more information on the final rule, including a full compliance schedule, call us at 775-828-7420, and ask to see our compliance bulletin, “OSHA Final Rule on Slips, Trips and Fall Protection.”