OSHA Issues Final Rule Updating Walking-Working Surfaces Standard
November 17, 2016
On November 17, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its long-awaited final rule update to the general industry walking-working surfaces standard specific to slip, trip and fall hazards. The final rule, scheduled to go into effect Jan. 17, also increases consistency between general and construction industries and includes a new section that establishes employer requirements for using personal fall protection systems. The agency has allowed the use of personal fall protection systems in construction since 1994.
The rule allows employers to use rope descent systems up to 300 feet above a lower level, prohibits the use of body belts as part of a personal fall arrest system, and requires worker training on personal fall protection systems and other equipment designed for falls. In addition, the final rule also adds training and inspection requirements.