On November 17, 2016, OSHA issued a final rule that updates the standards on walking-working surfaces to prevent and reduce workplace slips, trips, and falls. More commonly referred to as fall protection. The new rule addresses many areas including the requirements for personal fall protection systems, training on fall hazards, and use of personal fall protection systems. The most notable change is employers will be allowed to choose fall protection systems that work the best for their needs from the OSHA accepted options.
Falls are a leading cause of fatal occupational injuries and a major contributor to injuries causing lost workdays in the US. OSHA anticipates the revisions to the rule will reduce these injuries by as many as 5,800 a year.
The new rule goes into effect on January 17, 2017. Employers will need to make sure their fall protection plans are aligned with the changes and employees have been trained on any changes in your organization’s plan.
This is a good reminder to review your accident prevention plan and make sure all your employees have signed off on training for the plan. All Washington state employers are required to have a safety plan in place and have employees trained on the plan. To build a safety plan for your business get started with the template available in our resource center or sign up for the training session, Building Your Accident Prevention Program on December 13, 2016.