The transition between the Obama and Trump administrations and a congressional “request” that agencies halt their regulations temporarily has not stopped OSHA from finalizing the OSHA fall protection rule. OSHA has required compliance within 60 days of its release on January 17, 2017.

The detailed OSHA fall protection rule revised general industry standards relating to walking and work surfaces such as ramps, ladders, and gangways, and also updated provisions surrounding fall protection equipment, training, rope descent systems, and more. With so many advancements in technology and safety developments, OSHA is hopeful that worker injuries will be significantly reduced. In addition, this updated regulation seeks to improve the consistency between general and construction industries. With this streamlined information, falls can be prevented and mitigated.

According to OSHA, the “rule’s most significant update is allowing employers to select the fall protection system that works best for them, choosing from a range of accepted options including personal fall protection systems. OSHA has permitted the use of personal fall protection systems in the construction industry since 1994 and the final rule adopts similar requirements for general industry. 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.”

As the OSHA fall protection rule went into effect on January 17th 2017, this leaves little time for the approximated 6.9 million businesses to get on board. However, the effective dates for the following provisions are as follows:

5/17/2017- Train employees on fall protection equipment.

7/17/2017- Ensure employees who face these risks are adequately trained.

7/7/2017- Have employees trained on relevant safety equipment covered in regulation.

11/20/2017- 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.

11/19/2018- 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.

Employers who have regular employees, hired contractors, temporary and leased employees are expected to abide by these regulations by these scheduled dates.

While OSHA and other regulatory agencies update policies and require compliance, we are here to give you the latest insights to ensure your success. Talk to a HUB Transportation expert to ensure your business is in compliance.