Almost ten years ago Fall Protection (1926.501) moved into the number 1 spot on OSHA’s Top 10 list of most cited violations. Since then, not much has changed and to this day violations surrounding fall protection remains in that top spot. Why might you ask?
One of the biggest challenges that businesses face, is staying current with the regulatory changes. There are numerous safety rules and recommendations, and these rules are regularly updated. OSHA is always evaluating and improving their safety standards to better serve and protect workers; but with that each business is responsible for managing and maintaining these changes.
If a business does not have dedicated personnel to constantly monitor these evolving guidelines, a business might simply assume that they are current with the latest OSHA safety standards.
Since OSHA fall protection rules encompass several different industries, there are cases in which a business might assume that certain rules are only industry specific and those rules do not apply to them. OSHA has various fall protection guidelines which you can view by visiting https://www.osha.gov/fall-protection/standards; and every business should be fully aware of these rules and which ones apply to their workplace.
While OSHA is one of the largest and most well-known regulatory organization, there are several others out there too. For example, ANSI has a set of fall protection guidelines. With that, it can be difficult for a business to fully understand all the safe access and fall protection requirements across each regulatory body.
Although it might not be easy to keep up with all the ongoing changes in regulations, it is imperative. Worker safety is the most important part of running a business; management and ownership must keep employees safe while onsite.
OSHA, ANSI, and other regulatory organizations will continue to update their guidelines to increase workplace safety and to help businesses avoid injuries and fatalities related to slips, trips and falls. While some of the ongoing changes might seem minor, they are necessary, OSHA enforces these to ensure employees have the safest possible work environment.
We recommend you take the time to familiarize yourself with all regulations, appoint personnel to keep track of any ongoing changes or contact a company like Hemco Industries who can work with you to evaluate your facility and ensure that you are current with all of OSHA’s fall protection requirements.