On November 18, 2016, OSHA published the final rule update for Walking Working Surfaces (Slips, Trips and Falls). This new rule impacts the standard for General Industry (29 CFR 1910 Subpart D). OSHA has been in deliberation over this update for the past several years and SafetySkills has been closely monitoring the situation. Now that the rule is finalized and published, we wanted to make our clients aware of the actions that will be taken to ensure your training remains up-to-date for your employees and the timeline in which it will be deployed.
The most important aspect of the new changes is the employee training deadline. The deadline for employee training according to the new guidance is six months from the date of publication in the Federal Register (May 18, 2017).
In general, the changes to our courseware will be minimal. The most impactful changes relate to floor holes, fixed ladder installations, etc. In some ways, the new rule simplifies the existing regulations, such as the elimination of wall holes.
After careful review of the final rule, we have compiled changes to the following SafetySkills courses:
WHS-1.2 Warehouse Safety
LDR-1.2 Ladder Safety
LDR-1.2esp Ladder Safety (Spanish)
OGS-35.2 Ladder Safety for Oil and Gas Workers
RET-5.2 Ladder Safety for Retail Workers
CAL-3.2 Ladder Safety for Workers in California
STF-1.2 Slips, Trips and Falls
SCF-1.2 Scaffold Safety
FAL-1.2 Fall Protection
CAL-1.2 Fall Protection for Workers in California
OGS-15.2 Fall Protection for Oil and Gas Workers
In the interest of expediting customer training timelines, as well as ensuring that our content contains the most accurate regulatory information, we will make the necessary updates to the above courses in the early part of Q1, 2017.
OSHA’s official release can be found here:
OSHA National News Release
U.S. Department of Labor
November 17, 2016
OSHA issues final rule updating walking-working surfaces standards
and establishing personal fall protection systems requirements
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued a final rule updating its general industry Walking-Working Surfaces standards specific to slip, trip, and fall hazards. The rule also includes a new section under the general industry Personal Protective Equipment standards that establishes employer requirements for using 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 final rule also increases consistency between general and construction industries, which will help employers and workers that work in both industries.
OSHA estimates 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.
The final rule’s most significant update is allowing employers to select the fall protection system that works best for them, choosing from a range of accepted options including personal fall protection systems. OSHA has permitted the use of personal fall protection systems in construction since 1994 and the final rule adopts similar requirements for general industry. 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 a personal fall arrest system; and requiring worker training on personal fall protection systems and fall equipment.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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Amanda McClure, 202-693-4672, [email protected]
Release Number: 16-2193-NAT
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department’s Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).