You may have heard by now that OSHA has updated its 1910 General Industry regulations regarding walking-working surfaces and personal protective equipment. These new regulations went into effect on January 17, 2017. What are the changes and what do they mean for you? It can seem a bit overwhelming as there are many changes in the regulations (which is a 513-page update), so our friends over at Guardian Fall Protection pulled together a list of the most impactful updates and what they mean for you. You can check out Part 1 of their guide HERE and Part 2 HERE.
One of the most wide-ranging change is the addition of personal fall protection systems and safety nets as an option for protecting workers from falls. By expanding the standards to allow more options to protect the worker, OSHA will allow employers and workers to use the system that they feel will protect them the best and is most suitable for the specific situation.
With the new regulations, training is huge. Workers will be even more knowledgeable about fall protection hazard identification and mitigation with new training standards.
Another big change affects fixed ladders. All existing ladders taller than 24′ must have a cage, well, ladder safety system or personal fall arrest system in place by November 19, 2018. There are a lot of changes when it comes to ladders, so be sure to stay ahead of the game and check out the changes HERE.
Rope descent systems and anchorages are also addressed in the new regulations. OSHA now requires that before use, “the building owner must inform the employer, in writing, that the building owner has identified, tested, certified, and maintained each anchorage so it is capable of supporting 5,000 pounds in any direction.” Somewhere around 487,500 buildings will require annual inspections and decennial certification. Make sure your anchorages have been inspected and certified!
This is just a small snapshot of the OSHA changes, be sure to check out Guardian’s breakdown of new regulations. If you have any questions, give your account manager a call!