Search

Final Rule Alert: OSHA Finalizes 500-page Walking-Working Surfaces Rule

Posted on 11/22/2016 by Roger Marks

On November 18, OSHA published a Final Rule to revise and update the walking-working surfaces standards for general industry workplaces. The new Final Rule updates and revises the general industry standards for walking-working surfaces.

The updates in the Final Rule take effect on January 17, 2017 are intended to harmonize the general industry walking-working surface standards with those that apply to construction industry workplaces. 

OSHA walking working surface safety standard
 

What Is a Walking-Working Surface Under 29 CFR?

Regulated under OSHA’s rules at 29 CFR 1910.21, Subpart D, a walking-working surface is anywhere an employee may be exposed to slip, trip, or fall hazards: floors, ladders, stairways, runways, dockboards, roofs, scaffolds, elevated work surfaces, walkways, etc.

OSHA safety rules for walking-working surfaces in general industry have been in place since 1971.

See a full list of definitions from the walking-working standard here. 

What’s Changing in OSHA’s Walking-Working Surfaces Final Rule?

OSHA’s revised Walking-Working Surfaces Final Rule makes a number of updates and revisions to the standard, including:

  • Adding and revising provisions to address things like fixed ladders, rope descent systems, fall protection systems and criteria, and employee training. 
  • Allowing employers to protect workers with personal fall arrest, travel restraint, and work positioning systems instead of guardrail systems previously required. 
  • Replacing specification language with performance-based language to increase compliance flexibility for employers.
  • Harmonizing to some extent the general industry and construction industry walking-working surfaces rules to simplify compliance for employers responsible for worker safety in both industries. 
  • Incorporating provisions from more recent OSHA standards like the Powered Platforms for Building Maintenance (29 CFR 1910.66) and Scaffolds, Ladders, and Other Working Surfaces in Shipyards (29 CFR 1915, Subpart E).
  • Drawing from national consensus standards like ANSI/ASSE A1264.102007m ANSI/ASSE Z359.1-2007, and ANSI/IWCA I-14.1-2001.
  • Consolidating provisions, simplifies language, and adds tables illustrations, and appendices.

What Does OSHA Mean by “General Industry”?

OSHA uses the term “general industry” to differentiate these workplaces from Construction and Maritime workplaces, industries for which OSHA maintains two separate sets of work safety standards.
Construction is a unique business and requires standards that sometimes differ from workplace safety rules for other industries.


Convenient, Effective Online OSHA Safety Training
(Now incl. HAZWOPER!)

When it comes to workplace safety, well-trained, prepared employees are the best defense against injuries and illness that cost US business up to $1 billion per week. Many OSHA General Industry safety standards require formal employee training. Protect employees with convenient training they can complete anytime, anywhere to fit their work schedule.

At Lion.com, choose from courses on essential safety topics like GHS Hazard Communication, HAZWOPER Refresher training, respiratory protection, electrical safety, fall prevention, forklift safety, and much more.

Learn more about OSHA safety training here.

Tags: general, industry, osha, safety

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

I like Lion's workshops the best because they really dig into the information you need to have when you leave the workshop.

Tom Bush, Jr.

EHS Manager

Lion's online training is more comprehensive, has better slides, and is a superior training experience than what I would get from other trainers.

Robert Brenner

District Environmental Manager

Energetic/enthusiastic! Made training enjoyable, understandable and fun!

Amanda Walsh

Hazardous Waste Professional

Well designed and thorough program. Excellent summary of requirements with references. Inclusion of regulations in hard copy form, as well as full electronic with state pertinent regulations included is a great bonus!

Oscar Fisher

EHS Manager

The instructor was very patient and engaging - willing to answer and help explain subject matter.

Misty Filipp

Material Control Superintendent

Lion Technology workshops are amazing!! You always learn so much, and the instructors are fantastic.

Dorothy Rurak

Environmental Specialist

Lion is my preferred trainer for hazmat and DOT.

Jim Jani

Environmental Coordinator

More thorough than a class I attended last year through another company.

Troy Yonkers

HSES Representative

This training broke down the regulations in an easy-to-understand manner and made them less overwhelming. I now feel I have the knowledge to make more informed decisions.

Amanda Oswald

Shipping Professional

Given the choice, I would do all coursework this way. In-person courses go very fast without the opportunity to pause or repeat anything.

Ellen Pelton

Chemical Laboratory Manager

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

Ace hazmat inspections. Protect personnel. Defend against civil and criminal penalties. How? See the self-audit "best practices" for hazardous materials shippers.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.