In January of 2017, OSHA issued a long awaited update to the 1910 general industry standard for fall protection. OSHA’s 1910 Walking Working Surface Standard updated and clarified standards and added training and inspection requirements.
The rule incorporates advances in technology, industry best practices, and national consensus standards to provide effective and cost-efficient worker protection.
OSHA estimates that these changes will prevent 29 fatalities and 5,842 lost-workday injuries every year.
Most of the rule became effective January 17, 2017, 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Ensuring exposed workers are trained on fall hazards (May 17, 2017),
Ensuring workers who use equipment covered by the final rule are trained (May 17, 2017),
Inspections & Certifications:
Inspecting and certifying permanent anchorages for rope descent systems (November 20, 2017),
Fall Protection Systems:
Installing 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 (November 19, 2018),
Ensuring existing fixed ladders over 24 feet, including those on outdoor advertising structures, are equipped with a cage, well, personal fall arrest system, or ladder safety system (November 19, 2018), and
Fall Protection Systems to replace Cages on Fixed Ladders:
As of November 19th, 2018, cages are no longer considered compliant fall protection in newly installed ladders. To meet OSHA standards, a personal fall arrest system or a ladder safety system is required.
Replacing cages and wells (used as fall protection) with ladder safety or personal fall arrest systems on all fixed ladders over 24 feet (November 18, 2036).
Fall protection is required on ladders taller than (or that extend beyond) 24 feet.
As of November 18th, 2018, a personal fall arrest system or ladder safety system will be used to replace any damaged or nonfunctioning section, cage or well previously installed on a fixed ladder.
As of November 19th 2036, cages will no longer be accepted as a form of fall protection, and all fixed ladders taller than (or that extend beyond) 24 feet high must use a personal fall arrest system or a ladder safety system.