OSHA Amends Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment Standards

To provide workers with greater protections from slip, trip, and fall hazards, OSHA has published a final rule revising and updating the general industry Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment (Fall Protection Systems) standards, effective as of July 6, 2017

In the technical amendments to the regulation, final subpart D contains three new collections of information:

  • First, final § 1910.23(b)(10) requires that employers ensure any ladder with structural or other defects be tagged immediately with “Dangerous: Do Not Use” or similar language and removed from service until “repaired . . . or replaced.” The information will alert employers and workers that the ladder is not safe and must not be used.
  • Second, final § 1910.27(b)(1)(i) requires, before any rope descent system is used, that the building owner inform the employer in writing that the building owner has identified, tested, certified, and maintained each anchorage so it is capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds (268 kg), in any direction for each employee attached. The information must be based on an annual inspection by a qualified person and certification of each anchorage by a qualified person, as necessary, and at least every 10 years. The information will assure employers and workers that the building owner has inspected, tested and certified the anchorage, which the employer may not own or have any control over, as safe to use. A related provision, final § 1910.27(b)(1)(ii), requires that the employer ensure no employee uses any anchorage before the employer has obtained written information from the building owner indicating that each anchorage meets the requirements of § 1910.27(b)(1)(i). The employer must keep the information for the duration of the job. The information will assure employers and workers that the anchorages employers use, but may not own or have any control over, are safe to use.
  • Third, final § 1910.28(b)(1)(ii) specifies that when employers can demonstrate that it is not feasible or creates a greater hazard to use guardrail, safety net, or personal fall protection systems on residential roofs, they must develop and implement a written fall protection plan that meets the requirements of 29 CFR 1926.502(k) and training that meets the requirements of 29 CFR 1926.503(a) and (c). The information collection ensures that employers and workers will know what alternative measures will be used at a given worksite to provide an appropriate level of protection when conventional fall protection is not feasible.

“The collections of information in final subpart D are necessary to ensure workers are protected from death or injury from falls from elevated heights,” according to OSHA.

The amended ruling comes after OSHA’s May program, “National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction”, which encouraged discussion among employers and employees about safety hazards, particularly preventing falls on the job site.

NECA Penn-Del-Jersey is proud to have a safety alliance with OSHA and the IBEW to advance the safety of our workers.