The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is hoping that one of its proposed rules can prevent the annual 3,000 injuries and 20 deaths that occur in the workplace. Workers in certain industries in Pennsylvania who are concerned about the safety of their workplaces will benefit from the implementation of the rule.
The Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Protective Equipment rule has been reviewed and cleared by the White House Office of Management and Budget, and there is an expectation that it will soon be published by OSHA. The rule was originally proposed in 1990 and was later amended in 2010. The rule was updated so that it could adhere to nation-wide standards and current industry policies. It was also updated to be in accord with the standards issued by OSHA for shipyard and construction job sites. The first part of the rule, Subpart D, details regulations for walking-working surfaces and when the fall protection systems should be used. Subpart I describes the performance benchmarks for the personal fall protection systems.
OSHA believes that measures can be put into place that can prevent occurrences of falls, slips and trips in the workplace. Over the years, it has collected and evaluated data to determine what is needed to eliminate the hazards that contribute to those incidences. The general industry standards that are already in place acknowledges that using physical barriers and guardrails can protect employees from falls. The proposed rule will enhance employee protection by giving employers the flexibility to determine the best fall protection system for a specific work operation.
Despite following all safety protocols, workplace accidents will continue to occur. People who are injured on the job may want to have legal assistance when seeking benefits under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage.