According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, slips, trips and falls cause the majority of general industry workplace accidents and cost employers billions of dollars each year in lost productivity and business. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) statistics show that about 20% of all disabling occupational injuries result from falls (202,066 serious accidents a year).
For these reasons, OSHA revised its slips, trips and falls regulation under Subpart D, “Walking-Working Surfaces.” The requirements apply to all general industry workplaces and all walking and work surfaces, including but not limited to: floors, aisles, ladders, roofs, ramps, stairways, scaffolds and elevated work surfaces and walkways.
Under the new rules, effective January 2017, employers are required to:
- Identify and evaluate slip, trip and fall hazards and provide appropriate personal protective equipment
- Conduct regular and periodic inspections and maintenance of all walking and work surfaces in their workplace
- Provide training that enables employees to recognize the hazards of falling and the procedures to be followed to minimize these hazards.
OSHA expects the requirements to affect seven million employers and 112 million employees. The revisions will prevent 29 fatalities and 5,842 injuries each year, according to OSHA’s estimates.
OSHA believes that the new requirements give employers the necessary flexibility to decide which fall protection method or system works best for the work operation. General industry employers can now use guardrails and handrails, covers, personal fall protection, designated areas, safety net systems and safety gates that meet OSHA regulations. For employees, OSHA said these options will help provide more effective and necessary protection from falls.
Are you in compliance with the new rules? If not, or if you’re not sure, call the experts at KC Supply Co. at 800.527.8775. KC Supply Co. can help you select the appropriate safety gates that meet OSHA regulations for your workplace needs, for ladderway openings, stairway openings, equipment access ladders, scaffolding, mezzanines, working platforms and more. KC Supply Co. is your source for safety gates that meet OSHA regulations and other critical workplace safety gear.
For more about OSHA’s revisions to Subpart D, visit www.osha.gov/walking-working-surfaces.
|Final Rule to Update General Industry Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection Standards | Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Final Rule to Update General Industry Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection Standards