On May 24, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a proposed rulemaking seeking to revise its Section 1910.21 safety standard governing worker protection from tripping, slipping and falling hazards on walking and working surfaces, and portions of the Section 1910.140 rule governing fall protection. OSHA identified these hazards as the leading cause of employee death and serious injury in the workplace.
The proposed rules would prohibit the use of lanyards and body belts in favor of self-retracting lanyards and ladder safety and rope descent systems already required for the construction industry. Also, OSHA would have the authority to fine employers in most industries that allow employees to climb certain fixed ladders if appropriate fall protection measures are not employed.
OSHA is accepting comments on the new rules through August 23, 2010. The full proposed rulemaking can be found at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-10418.pdf.