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Walking Working Surfaces

- April 12, 2018 by Erin Silva, CSP (View all posts by Erin)

Did you know that On November 17, 2016, OSHA issued a final rule on Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems to protect workers in general industry from falls? This is significant because falls from heights are still one of the leading causes of serious workplace injuries and deaths. If you’re in the construction industry this rule doesn’t have any effect on you, but for those in General Industry you now have greater flexibility for choosing what fall protective measures are best for you.

Historically, construction standards have allowed a greater variety of fall protective measures such as:

  • Guardrail Systems
  • Safety Net Systems
  • Personal Fall Arrest Systems
  • Positioning Systems
  • Travel Restraint Systems
  • Ladder Safety Systems

This rule comes into effect on January 17, 2017, and will ease the compliance by bringing many of the general industry standards in line with current construction standards. This means that if you, as an employer, can demonstrate that is not feasible or creates a greater hazard to use a guard rail, safety net or personal fall arrest system you may develop a fall protection plan as outlined in the construction standards. Want to know more about what that looks like see: https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_id=10758&p_table=STANDARDS

Keep in mind you will need to have a qualified person develop this plan for you and meet all the training requirements outlined in the standard and always use the hierarchy of fall protection. Check back later for more on the hierarchy of fall protection.

Want to know more? Ask your designated Risk Management Consultant for more information.

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