In January 2017, new OSHA rules tightened the requirements to help prevent falls from ladders and raised work platforms. The new rules are primarily focused on the construction industry, but also apply to aviation maintenance technicians workers in hangars.
Incorporated in the new rule are advances in technology, industry best practices, and national consensus standards, all providing effective and cost-efficient worker protection. General Industry standards (includes aviation) are specifically addressed for slip, trip, and fall hazards; including an additional requirement for personal fall protection systems.
These changes are estimated by OSHA to prevent 29 fatalities and 5,842 lost-workday injuries every year.
Most of the rule will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, but some provisions have delayed effective dates, including the following:
- Ensuring exposed workers are trained on fall hazards (6 months)
- Ensuring workers who use equipment covered by the final rule are trained (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)
- 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)