Falls top OSHA’s “Fatal Four” leading causes of workplace fatalities, accounting for 38% of worker deaths annually.1

In January 2017, OSHA released an update to their fall protection rule, packed with revised general industry standards relating to walking and work surfaces such as ramps, ladders and gangways, as well as updated provisions surrounding fall protection equipment, training and rope descent systems. Other changes 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’s most significant update is likely it’s allowing employers to select the fall protection system that “works best for them.” While OSHA has permitted the use of personal fall protection systems in the construction industry since 1994, this final rule adopts the idea for all industries.

As many as 6.9 million businesses are expected to comply with the following timeline:

11/20/2017 - Train employees on fall protection equipment, ensure employees facing fall risks are adequately trained and have employees trained on relevant safety equipment covered in regulation and inspect and certify rope descent systems.

11/19/2018 - Install personal fall arrest or ladder safety systems on new fixed ladders over 24 feet and on replacement ladders/ladder sections, including fixed ladders on outdoor advertising structures. Ensure fixed ladders over 24 feet have cages, a well, personal fall arrest system, or ladder safety system.

11/20/2036 - Replace all cages and wells with personal fall arrest or ladder safety systems on all ladders over 24 feet.

Contact your HUB Risk Services Specialist for more information on how to update your businesses’ policies procedures to ensure compliance, we are here to give you the latest insights to ensure your success. to ensure your business is in compliance.


1 — https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html