The news is filled with workplace violence incidences on an all too regular basis. Preparing for an emergency in the workplace is a daunting task, but thorough planning and training can be the difference between life and death if an emergency happens at your business.
Falls from heights and on the same level (a working surface) are among the leading causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. OSHA has issued a final rule on Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems to better protect workers in general industry from these hazards by updating and clarifying standards and adding training and inspection requirements.
The rule affects a wide range of workers, from painters to warehouse workers. It does not change construction or agricultural standards.
Employers are advised and encouraged to institute and maintain in their establishments a program which provides systematic policies, procedures, and practices that are adequate to recognize and protect their employees from occupational safety and health hazards.
An effective program includes provisions for the systematic identification, evaluation, and prevention or control of general workplace hazards, specific job hazards, and potential hazards which may arise from foreseeable conditions.
Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 370 of the 991 construction fatalities recorded in 2016 (BLS data). Those deaths were preventable. The National Safety Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries.
Falls from ladders account for 20 percent of all fatal and lost work-day injuries in general industry.
The new rule includes requirements to protect workers from falling off fixed and portable ladders as well as mobile ladder stands and platforms. (The ladder requirements do not apply to ladders used in emergency operations or ladders that are an integral part of or designed into a machine or piece of equipment).
This article covers the new Subpart D stairways (29 CFR 1910.25 a – c) standards and the exception. Subpart D 29 CFR 1910.25 d – f were covered in a previous Safety Spotlight article.
1910.25 (a) Application – This section covers all stairways (including standard, spiral (d), ship (e) and alternating tread-type stairs (f)). Except for stairs serving floating roof tanks, stairs on scaffolds, stairs designed into machines or equipment, and stairs on self-propelled motorized equipment.
1910.25 (b) General Requirements – The employer must ensure:
April has been designated for the fourteenth consecutive year by SCATS as Hispanic Safety month in Nevada.