OSHA Issues Final Rule On Walking-Working Surfaces
Department of Labor Seeks to Reduce Work Place Death and Injury
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued a final rule updating its general industry standards on walking-working surfaces. The update is expected to mitigate the impact of and prevent workplace injuries and fatalities associated with walking-working surface hazards.
According to OSHA, the final standard will prevent 29 fatalities and more than 5,842 injuries annually. The rule becomes effective on Jan. 17, 2017, and will affect approximately 112 million workers at seven million worksites.
In addition, the most significant update adds a provision placing requirements on the design, performance, and use of fall protection systems. This change will allow employers to select the fall protection system that works best for them. The provision also addresses, fixed ladders, rope descent systems including personal fall protection systems, and training on fall hazards and fall protection systems.
The final rule revises existing requirements to reflect advancements in technology making them more consistent with OSHA standards. These revisions increase consistency between general and construction industries, which will benefit employers and workers that work in both industries.
"OSHA believes advances in technology and greater flexibility will reduce worker deaths and injuries from falls." said Dr. David Michaels assistant secretary of labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
OSHA's goal is to ensure healthy and safe worksite conditions are established and updated for all of America's workingmen and women by providing training, education, and assistance.