Walking Surfaces and Fall Protection Standards

It is no secret to anyone that the top injury cause in Tennessee and the United State is in fact slips, trips, and falls. We as a civilization have found it virtually impossible to place one foot in front of the next without tangling the two together. There are numerous reasons why American workplaces see so many lost time injuries. Water on indoor walking surfaces that was not removed, using office furniture as ladder systems, or even staring at our phones while ignoring the extension cord connection in the hallway. Regardless of the reasons so many slips and falls occur, it does not take away from the fact that they are so demonstrative in every phase of our industry.

In response to years of bruises, broken bones, and even fatalities, OSHA has adopted and updated the 1971 Standard to help further reduce the chances of slips and falls. Some of these new rules will begin as early as this month.

The final rule became effective on January 17, 2017, which is 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. OSHA has provided delayed or phase-in compliance dates for several requirements in the final rule, including:

Train all employees on slips and falls and equipment hazards — May 17, 2017;
Inspection and certification of permanent building anchorages — November 20, 2017;
Installation of fall protection (personal fall arrest systems, ladder safety systems, cages, wells) on existing fixed ladders (over 24 feet) that do not have any fall protection — November 19, 2018;
Installation of ladder safety or personal fall arrest systems on new fixed ladders (over 24 feet) and replacement ladders/ladder sections — November 19, 2018; and
Installation of ladder safety systems or personal fall arrest systems on all fixed ladders (over 24 feet) — November 18, 2036.
NGU and TNRMT have been assisting our members since 1987 to provide a safer workplace and workforce. Our safety consultants have a combined 35 years experience in the safety industry. If you have any questions regarding these new standards or if you would like to schedule training regarding the new standards please contact your regional safety consultant.

Additional support is available at any time from your loss control consultant! Please feel free to contact Mark Bilyeu, Chris Stites or Jason Baggett.

East TN
Jason Baggett – (865) 228-8835

Middle TN
Chris Stites – (615) 289-4101

West TN
Mark Bilyeu – (615) 210-7827

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