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TOPIC: Slips-and-falls

OSHA Takes Walking-Working Surfaces Seriously

Now that OSHA’s requirements for Walking-Working Surfaces (WWS) (subpart D) are in effect; the organization is demonstrating that they are serious about enforcing these new regulations.

For example, just days after the requirements became effective, OSHA initiated an inspection of an aluminum manufacturer and found 51 safety and health violations with proposed penalties of $1,922,895.

These violations included citations because fixed ladders, portable ladders, skylights, stairs, loading docks, and other WWS were not compliant.

This citation isn’t isolated incident. Since January 17, 2017, the effective date of the new rule, OSHA has inspected and cited at least a dozen employers for multiple WWS violations. Included in the various citations were failures to:

  • Conduct required inspections
  • Guard unprotected sides and edges 4 feet or more above a lower level
  • Prevent employees from falling into holes
  • Ensure strength criteria for guardrail systems
  • Keep all walking-working surfaces in clean, orderly, and sanitary condition
  • Ensure that each walking-working surface can support the maximum intended load for that surface

Since OSHA issued the new requirements, employers are required to

  • Conduct a hazard assessment
  • Implement required fall protection
  • Develop an inspection schedule
  • Train employees
  • Begin verifying certification of anchorage for rope descent systems

Employers are also required to equip existing fixed ladders with a cage, well, ladder safety system or personal fall arrest system by November 19, 2018.

Companies looking to meet the new WWS requirements may want to schedule a safety audit, set up a training program in Fall Protection Awareness for General Industry and Competent Persons Classroom Fall Protection and make sure that their fall protection equipment is up to par with the new standards.

Arbill is a safety solutions company. We are all about protecting your workers in the workplace. Our mission is to keep workers safe and return them home safely at the end of the day. Visit arbill.com for more information about being safe… and subscribe to the Arbill Safety Blog so that you never miss out on great safety tips and information.

Have a safe day!

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Slips, trips and falls are a leading cause of workplace accidents and injuries. According to OSHA, slips, trips and falls account for 15% of all accidental deaths in the workplace and cost employers over $11 billion per year. 

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