OSHA has postponed reviewing its final rule addressing slip, trip and fall hazards, a regulation which has taken more than two decades to develop. The Walking Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems was slated for review on December 21 but has since been postponed.
An OSHA spokesperson told Safety+Health that withdrawals happen “from time to time,” but rules can be resubmitted and published, and that the agency is “committed to finalizing this rule during this term.”
Fall hazards continue to plague American workplaces, as fall protection has been OSHA's top violation every year since 2011. It was, once again, the most commonly-cited hazard in the recently-released Top Ten OSHA Violations of 2015 report.
The agency has worked to revise slip, trip, and fall prevention in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) for 25 years. Formal changes to the CFR were originally proposed in 1990 not only to address falling hazards, but to establish requirements for personal fall protection systems due to advancements in technology.
The proposal was revised several times pending public hearings, reopened in 2003, and presented again in 2010. The current proposal aims to increase consistency between construction, maritime, and general industry standards. The final rule aims to reflect advancements in technology and is now slated for publication in April.