New OSHA regulations to go into effect December 15

New OSHA regulations to go into effect December 15

With time running out before a set of new regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration goes into effect, contractors and renovation companies are performing on-site compliance checks to confirm that all workers are adhering to the new policies.

According to Occupational Health and Safety, the new regulations will go into effect on December 15, and before this date, it is up to the employer to implement the changes and understand the new laws. With the date looming, employers are increasingly equipping their workers with the knowledge, training and necessary equipment to remain safe and be in compliance.

The changes, which build on OSHA's Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines, will alter the way contractors can protect their workers from fall hazards, and identifies appropriate methods of keeping workers safe.

"These methods, such as slide guards or safety monitor systems, could be used in place of conventional fall protection methods (guardrails, safety nets, or personal fall arrest systems) required by the residential fall protection standard (29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13))," explains Craig Firl, North American Technical Manager for Capital Safety. "Employers did not have to prove the use of conventional fall protection was infeasible or more hazardous, nor did they need to provide a written fall protection plan."

With fall protection currently one of the leading causes of death among workers performing restoration and other duties while at heights, OSHA is ramping up its efforts to ensure compliance in the construction and manufacturing industries. This comes after data showed an average of 40 workers suffer a fatal fall from a residential structure every year.

Firl added that there are a few steps companies can take to ensure compliance before the December 15 deadline rolls around and OSHA starts performing inspections. The first step, he said, is to put together a solid plan.

"As your company adapts to meet OSHA's new regulations, knowledge will be your most impactful tool," he wrote. "Start by educating yourself. If you have a firm grasp on the specifics of the new standards, ensuring your workers are in compliance will be a painless process."

According to OSHA, the new requirements will including ensuring all employees that work above 6 feet are outfitted with fall protection systems. There are several forms of acceptable fall protection methods, which include guardrails, safety nets, and personal fall arrest systems. The latter includes full-body harnesses, deceleration devices, lanyards and anchor points.

Many companies are taking the time now to perform checks in an effort to keep downtime to a minimum once an OSHA maintenance inspection occurs. Keeping proper documentation of asset use and other functions can greatly streamline the inspection process, keeping costly downtime to a minimum. 

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to RSS Feed