A final rule issued by OSHA on November 18th updates its general industry walking-working surfaces and fall protection standards. Specifically, the rule updates standards regarding slip, trip, and fall hazards (subpart D), and adds requirements for personal fall protection systems (subpart I).
The new rule, which becomes effective January 17, 2017, establishes employer requirements related to the design, performance, and use of personal fall protection systems under its general industry personal protective equipment standards. Other revised and new provisions included in the final rule address fixed ladders, rope descent systems, fall protection systems and criteria, and training on fall hazards and fall protection systems.
The most significant update is enabling employers to choose the fall protection system that works best, selecting from a range of accepted options including personal fall protection systems
The final rule effects general industry, not construction standards. It does, however, improve consistency between the general industry and construction standards, making it easier for employers who conduct operations in both areas.
Timeline (From OSHA’s website)
While most of the rule will become effective January 17, 2017, some provisions will have delayed effective dates, including: