OSHA Issues Final Rule for Walking-Working Surfaces Standards

OSHA Issues Final Rule for Walking-Working Surfaces

The rule addresses personal fall protection systems' requirements.

OSHA has issued a final rule updating its Walking-Working Surfaces standards specific to slip, trip, and fall hazards. The rule also includes PPE standards for personal fall protection systems.

"The final rule will increase workplace protection from those hazards, especially fall hazards, which are a leading cause of worker deaths and injuries," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "OSHA believes advances in technology and greater flexibility will reduce worker deaths and injuries from falls."

The agency estimates the standard will prevent 29 fatalities and more than 5,842 injuries annually. It will take into effect on Jan. 17, 2017. The rule allows employers to select fall protection systems that work best for them, by choosing a range of accepted options, including personal fall protection systems. Other changes include allowing employers to use rope descent systems up to 300 feet above a lower level; prohibiting the use of body belts as part of the personal fall arrest system; and requiring worker training on personal fall protection systems and fall equipment.

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