OSHA Issues Final Rule for its Walking-Working Surfaces Standards

OSHA Issues Final Rule for its Walking-Working Surfaces Standards

Fewer Workers’ Compensation Claims Follow Tennessee ReformsSlip, trip and falls are responsible for the most occupational injuries aside from motor vehicle accidents in general industry according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Slip and fall accidents cost employers billions of dollars each year. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) wanted to prevent as many of those injuries as possible, so they issued a revised final rule last year to help improve workplace safety and to bring general industry workplace safety requirements into alignment with those in the construction industry.

OSHA’s final rule updates the general industry’s walking-working surfaces and fall protection standards, incorporated advances in technology, industry best practices and national consensus standards to provide effective and cost-effective worker protection. It also adds requirements for personal fall protection systems.

OSHA estimates that the revised rule will prevent 29 fatalities and 5,842 lost-workday injuries every year. The revised rule (29 CFR 1910.21 – .30) includes new requirements for walking-working surfaces and it introduces new requirements under general industry standards for personal protective equipment. It applies to all general industry workplaces, which includes almost 7 million establishments and more than 100 million workers from office workers to manufacturing. Employers are now required to:

  • Identify and evaluate slip and fall hazards in the workplace
  • Provide personal protective equipment or fall protection systems for workers
  • Regularly inspect and maintain all walking-working surfaces in the workplace
  • Provide training for employees so that they can recognize and minimize workplace hazards, use appropriate fall protection systems and use proper ladder climbing techniques.

For more information, you can refer to OSHA’s fact sheet on the revised walking-working surfaces and fall protection standards.

What to do if you slip and fall at work?

If you suffer an injury, seek medical attention right away. Your next step is to inform you employer about the accident and then file a workers’ compensation claim. Tennessee and Georgia workers’ compensation programs provide a partial wage-replacement benefit, medical expenses related to the work injury and other additional benefits such as vocational rehabilitation.

At Wagner and Wagner Attorneys at Law, we fight to get our clients all the lost wages they’re allowed and payment for all medical bills including surgeries, hospital bills, medications, and medical devices. Our Chattanooga workers’ compensation lawyers are your trusted advocates. To get the help you need for a Tennessee or north Georgia workplace accident, you may call us at 423-799-3532 or complete our contact form.

Related: Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Cases and the Health Care Sector

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