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Tom Lea BScHons, GradIOSH, AIEMA

Final rule updating walking-working surfaces standard and establishing personal fall protection systems requirements – what does this mean in practice?

January 2017

OSHA general industry standards on walking-working surfaces to prevent and reduce workplace slips, trips, and falls, as well as other injuries and fatalities associated with walking-working surface hazards, become effective next week.

Final rule includes revised and new provisions addressing, for example, fixed ladders; rope descent systems; fall protection systems and criteria (including personal fall protection systems); and training on fall hazards and fall protection systems. In addition, the final rule adds requirements on the design, performance and use of personal fall protection systems.

Assistant Secretary of Labour for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels said:

"The final rule will increase workplace protection from those hazards, especially fall hazards, which are a leading cause of worker deaths and injuries. OSHA believes advances in technology and greater flexibility will reduce worker deaths and injuries from falls."

But what does this mean in practice?

Falls form height and on the same level or working surface are among the leading causes of work-related accidents and deaths – the world over.

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