Since 1970 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been on mission to prevent workplace illness, injuries and fatalities by enforcing safety standards. OSHA exists, as a part of the federal Department of Labor, to create a better working environment for all Americans.
When you learn that falls are, historically, the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry, the reason for OSHA Fall Protection regulations becomes self-evident. But in addition to the direct effect of a hazard on a worker, the costs associated with workplace injury, including workers’ compensation payments, can be among the most devastating to an employer’s bottom line. These things come together to emphasize the need to prevent falls before they happen.
For general industry, OSHA requires fall protection beginning at a height of four feet. In construction, fall protection is required above six feet. Protection must also be provided any time an employee must work above hazardous equipment or machinery, regardless of the distance. Employers are responsible to determine the locations where fall protection is required, make sure that proper protection systems are provided, and finally to implement employee training in their use.
Compliance with OSHA Fall Protection regulations requires the right tool for the right job. Here at CAI Safety, we not only provide you with everything from off-the-shelf protection equipment to customized solutions, but we can also take care of your training and certification needs.
Regulation Summary: Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection Systems); OSHA’s Final Rule – December, 2016
General Industry 29 CFR 1910: On November 17, 2016, OSHA published its final rule on Walking and Working Surfaces. The 513 page copy from the Federal Register can be downloaded at:
Who and what does the final rule cover?
The final rule applies to all general industry workplaces and covers all walking-working surfaces, which include horizontal and vertical surfaces such as floors, stairs, roofs, ladders, ramps, scaffolds and elevated walkways. The final rule also has provisions affecting fall protection systems.
The final rule covers a wide variety of general industry entities, including building management services, utilities, warehousing, retail, window cleaning, chimney sweeping and outdoor advertising. It does not change construction or agricultural standards.
Effective Date: This final rule becomes effective on January 17, 2017. Some requirements in the final rule have compliance dates established after the effective date. This allows time for employers to implement the standard.
|Final Subpart D Section & Requirement||Compliance Date|
|§1910.27(b)(1) — Certification of anchorages||November 20, 2017|
|§1910.28(b)(9)(i)(A) — Deadline by which employers must equip existing fixed ladders with a cage, well, ladder safety system, or personal fall arrest system.||November 19, 2018|
|§1910.28(b)(9)(i)(B) — Deadline by which employers must begin equipping new fixed ladders with a ladder safety system or personal fall arrest system.||November 19, 2018|
|§1910.28(b)(9)(i)(D) — Deadline by which all fixed ladders must be equipped with a ladder safety system or personal fall arrest system.||November 18, 2036|
|§1910.30(a) and (b) — Deadline by which employers must train employees on fall and equipment hazards.||May 17, 2017|
|Subpart D, Walking/Working Surfaces
— Fixed Ladder, Ladder Safety Devices
— Safety Requirements for Scaffolding, Boatswain’s Chair
|1910.27 (d) (5)
|Subpart I, Personal Fall Arrest Systems||Proposed|
|Subpart F, Powered Platforms and Building Maintenance||1910.66|
|Subpart J, Permit – Required Confined Space||1910.146|
|Subpart R, Special Industries||1910.267|
|— Agricultural Operations
— Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution
|Subpart E, Personal Protective Equipment
— Safety Belts, Lifelines and Lanyards
— Safety Nets
|Subpart L, Scaffolding
— Boatswain’s Chair
|Subpart M, Fall Protections
— Scope, Application and Definitions
— Duty to Have Fall Protection
— Fall Protection Systems Criteria and Practices
— Training Requirements
|Subpart R, Steel Erection
— Fall Protection