OSHA Proposes Clarification of Handrail and Stair Rail System Requirements for Safety

OSHA Proposes Clarification of Handrail and Stair Rail System Requirements for Safety

Unclear since 2016, President Joe Biden plans to remove confusion surrounding the requirements.

OSHA is requesting updates to the handrail and stair rail system requirements for its general industry, Walking-Working Surfaces standard, according to a press release. OSHA publishes a final rule on WWS and PPE in November 2016 that updated requirements for slips, trip and fall hazards. Numerous questions were asked about when handrails would be required as well as height requirements for handrails on stairs and stair rail systems.

This proposed rule does not reopen for discussion of the decisions made in 2016. It focuses on the clarification of some requirements of handrails and stair rail systems finalized in 2016 and providing some flexibility in the transition to OSHA’s newer requirements.

According to an article, President Joe Biden is focusing heavily on the health administration. Workplace safety goes beyond COVID-19 protection. President Biden plans to address OSHA’s clarification request on walking-working surfaces and PPE.

“The proposed changes are intended to remove confusion (partly due to typos and formatting goofs) as to ‘when handrails are required on stairs as well as what the height requirements are for handrails on stairs and for stair rail systems, depending on date of installation.’”

For more information, read the Federal Register notice. Learn more about OSHA’s General Industry Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection standards here.

About the Author

Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.

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