Friday, October 6, 2017

MN OSHA Adopts Walking-Working Surfaces Federal Regulations

Minnesota has adopted the final rule from federal OSHA about walking-working surfaces and personal fall-protection systems. The new rule updates and clarifies standards, and adds training and inspection requirements. MN OSHA's final rule became effective Sept. 19, 2017.

Falls from heights and on the same level (a working surface) are among the leading causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. From 2012 through 2016, Minnesota OSHA Compliance investigated 26 fatalities and 78 serious injuries due to falls.

Some requirements in the new rule have compliance dates after the effective date including:

  • Ensuring exposed workers are trained on fall hazards and the use of fall protection equipment (6 months),
  • Inspecting and certifying permanent anchorages for rope descent systems (1 year),
  • Installing personal fall arrest or ladder safety systems on new fixed ladders over 24 feet and on replacement ladders/ladder sections, including fixed ladders on outdoor advertising structures (2 years),
  • Ensuring existing fixed ladders over 24 feet, including those on outdoor advertising structures, are equipped with a cage, well, personal fall arrest system, or ladder safety system (2 years), and
  • Replacing cages and wells (used as fall protection) with ladder safety or personal fall arrest systems on all fixed ladders over 24 feet (20 years).

For more information on the changes, visit the OSHA Fact Sheet.

Up next…some more information about fixed ladder safety and compliance.


By: Julie Jelen