OSHA has issued a final rule updating walking-working surfaces standards and establishing requirements for personal fall protection systems. Slip, trip, and fall hazards are a leading cause of worker deaths and lost-workday injuries – and OSHA estimates that the final rule will prevent 29 deaths and 5,842 injuries each year.
Mobile solutions are helping organizations across industries drive safety compliance and prevent incidents that could have serious human and business consequences. These platforms can help you achieve compliance with this final OSHA rule before the new regulations take effect.
Enhance fall protection training
Under the new rule, employers must provide training to employees who use personal fall protection systems and other equipment designed for falls. A qualified person must train these workers to correctly identify and minimize fall hazards; use personal fall protection systems and rope descent systems; and maintain, inspect, and store equipment or systems used for fall protection. Retraining is required when there is a change in workplace operations or equipment, or if an employee shows a lack of knowledge or skill.
Safety professionals can create custom mobile evaluation forms to assess employees as they complete the hands-on portion of their training program. For example, a training administrator may ask an employee to demonstrate how to properly use a rope descent system. With mobile forms, the administrator can easily evaluate the employee on his or her performance. Safety personnel can also create custom mobile quizzes featuring a variety of questions, including true/false and multiple choice. Upon completion, quizzes can be marked automatically and sent to the training administrator.
Effectively install, inspect, and maintain fall protection systems
The new rule requires employers to install, inspect, and maintain equipment or systems used for fall protection. Ladders and rope descent systems must be inspected before each work shift to identify any defects that could lead to injury. Building owners must affirm that permanent building anchorages used for rope descent systems have been tested, certified, and maintained as capable of supporting 5,000 pounds for each worker attached. Employers must install personal fall arrest or ladder safety systems on new fixed ladders over 24 feet and on replacement ladders. Existing fixed ladders over 24 feet, including those on outdoor advertising structures, must be equipped with a cage, well, personal fall arrest system, or ladder safety system. Walking-working surfaces must also be inspected regularly and as necessary to ensure safe conditions for workers.
Safety professionals can create mobile forms that outline, in step-by-step detail, how to effectively install a specific fall protection system. A well-trained employee shouldn’t need to refer to detailed instructions, but they do provide an extra level of assurance. Instructional YouTube videos can even be embedded directly into mobile forms.
Safety professionals can also leverage mobile forms to conduct thorough inspections by creating custom checklists and capturing site photos to highlight specific hazards. Mobile forms ensure that frequent inspections – even daily – are conducted by the right personnel, and that the data is captured accurately and shared with the right people in a timely fashion. Inspections can be automatically scheduled and dispatched to ensure ongoing maintenance is completed.
Deadlines are looming for these regulations and others. Ensure that you’re equipped with a robust digital toolkit to achieve compliance with OSHA’s final rule.