December 19, 2019

OSHA Corrects Standards on Walking-Working Surfaces, PPE, and Special Industries

A notice published by OSHA in the Federal Register on Tuesday corrects errors and clarifies requirements in the agency’s standards on walking-working surfaces, personal protective equipment, and special industries. OSHA’s corrections to the walking-working surfaces standard address measurements for fixed ladder side rail extensions and clarify the agency’s intentions regarding articulated stairs, or stairs that change pitch due to change in height at the point of attachment. According to OSHA, 42 inches is the minimum—not the exact—measurement for fixed ladder side rail extensions. The agency also clarified that articulated stairs are not covered by the standard. Two other corrections to the walking-working surfaces standard’s sections on scaffolds and rope descent systems and fall protection systems fix a typographical error and add labels to a figure that were mistakenly omitted when the final rule was originally published.

A correction related to personal fall protection systems states that OSHA’s provision regarding the gate strength of snap hooks and carabiners should be consistent with the national consensus standard ANSI/ASSE Z359.12-2009, Connecting Components for Personal Fall Arrest Systems.

OSHA has also identified incorrect references to ladder standards in the special industries standard’s section on electric power generation, transmission, and distribution. The agency is replacing the incorrect references with the correct ones.

OSHA’s corrections to these standards went into effect on Dec. 17, 2019. For further details, see the Federal Register notice.