OSHA proposes changes to standards on slip, trip and fall hazards

OSHA on May 24 issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (large .pdf file) that would revise its walking-working surfaces and personal protective equipment standards.

Current regulations require employers to provide lanyards and body belts, which OSHA called "outdated and dangerous fall protection equipment" in an agency press release.

The proposed rule would extend requirements for effective fall protection, such as self-retracting lanyards and ladder safety and rope descent systems, to general industry workers. Currently, only maritime and construction workers are required to have them. The changes also would allow OSHA to fine employees for allowing workers to climb certain ladders without fall protection.

OSHA estimates the revisions will help prevent 20 workplace fatalities and more than 3,500 serious injuries each year.

Comments on the proposed rule must be submitted by Aug. 23.

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