OSHA Finalizes Updates to Walking/Working Surfaces, Fall Protection Standards
Last Friday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) finalized a rule updating walking/working surfaces and fall protection requirements for general industry workers. The updates bring the general industry standard into closer alignment with the construction industry standards. Many of the changes are definitional and outline newly required and accepted systems, methods and practices.
OSHA originally proposed the finalized updates in 1990 and again in 2010. Of particular note to the ready mixed concrete industry is OSHA’s decision to NOT require fall protection on rolling stock and motor vehicles. In OSHA’s 2010 proposal, the agency suggested it may require such systems on equipment such as mixer trucks. NRMCA submitted comments and lobbied OSHA in strong opposition to any such requirement on the basis that the scenario could create an unsafe work practice: potential fall protection gear getting caught in a rotating mixer drum. Not to mention, NRMCA argued that many proven industry best management practices are currently employed to minimize fall hazards, such as using three points of contact.