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The effective date for OSHA’s NEW Walking-Working Surfaces & Fall Protection Rule was January 17, 2017! And training requirements are due within the first 6 MONTHS!
The final rule issued on Nov. 17, 2016, comes after many years of data collection and analysis and draws from both industry best practices and advancements in technology and methods developed in the years since OSHA adopted the existing rule. The rule is designed to increase consistency between general and construction industries, helping employers and workers in both industries.
It is finally here! OSHA has updated the original 1971 Standard on Walking-Working Surfaces! It now includes Fall Protection for General Industry, as well as, changes to the existing Walking-Working Surfaces Standards. This will be a full day workshop to gain insight into the changes, additions, definitions, training and inspection requirements, and time lines for implementation of the new standard.
The new final rule allows employers to choose from a range of accepted fall protection options in order to select the system that works best for them. The rule includes revised and new provisions addressing fixed ladders, rope descent systems, fall protection systems and criteria (including personal fall protection systems), and training on fall hazards and fall protection systems.
The rule also adds new requirements on the design, performance, and use of personal fall protection systems to the general industry Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standards.
Other changes to the rule include allowing employers to use rope descent systems up to 300 feet above a lower level, prohibiting the use of body belts as part of a personal fall arrest system, and requiring worker training on personal fall protection systems and fall equipment. The rule no longer requires the use of guardrail systems, in favor of workplace-specific personal fall arrest systems.