Slips, trips and falls on walking working surfaces constitute the majority of general industry accidents. About 20% of all disabling occupational injuries result from falls, over 200,000 a year and 15% of all accidental deaths are attributed to slip/trip/fall incidents, second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities.
Because of this, OSHA has revised their walking working surfaces standards in General Industry to be in-line with the Construction Industry Standards. The timeline to adhere to the revisions are:
- Ensuring exposed workers are trained on fall hazards by May 17, 2017
- Ensuring workers who use equipment covered by the final rule are trained by May 17, 2017
- Inspecting/certifying permanent anchorages for rope descent systems by November 20, 2017
- Installing PFA (Personal Fall Arrest) or ladder safety systems on new fixed ladders over 24 feet and on replacement ladders and sections by November 19, 2018
- Ensuring existing fixed ladders over 24 feet (including on outdoor advertising structures) are equipped with a cage, well, PFA system or ladder safety system by November 19, 2018
- Replacing cages and wells (used as fall protection) with ladder safety systems or PFA systems on all fixed ladders over 24 feet high by November 18, 2036.
As you can see, there are a couple of deadlines that are looming just around the corner, if not already past. You might say “but I didn’t know”. OSHA says you should have! It’s your responsibility.
To learn more, check out the standards at 29 CFR 1910 Subpart (D): https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=10112